My family and I had a great time at the Phillies game last night. We have all been to the new ballpark several times and visit an average of two or three times a season. Compared to other major league stadiums I've visited, it is certainly one of the best.
Some of our favorite things about the Phillies park:
1) The seats and sightlines. We've sat in a wide variety of seats at the park, from the nosebleed section (400-level) all the way out in the left field corner to seats only a few rows behind home plate. There really isn't a bad seat in the house. Of course, some seats are better than others, but if your budget can only afford the cheapest seating area, you should still consider it. They really did a great job at designing this park in terms of viewing the game. Our seats last night were in the outfield straight down the third base foul line and they were amazing.
2) The food and drinks. The selection of different food and drinks, as well as the locations of stands throughout the stadium, make finding good grub at the park convenient. (Note, I didn't say "cheap" but more on that later!) My personal favorite is Chickie's and Pete's. There's always a huge line at this stand out in right field, but it moves fast because they only serve their famous crab fries with cheese sauce (AMAZING!) and drinks.
3) The website. Before you visit the ballpark, be sure to visit the Phillies website. They have extensive information about planning your visit to the park, including helpful maps (parking lots, as well as stores and food stands in the stadium) and even descriptions of what each stand serves so you can get an idea before you arrive about what you'd like to see and do.
4) Ashburn Alley. If you're a Phillies fan or a baseball enthusiast, take the time to walk through Ashburn Alley in the outfield. They've got some cool exhibits about past players and the history of the Phillies going back to the 1800s.
5) The Phanatic. One of major league baseball's best-known mascots, he is always an entertaining part of the ballpark experience.
Some things we don't like:
1) Prices. Bring cash and credit cards, because you will spend a lot at the park. From the now-$15 parking fee to the always bemoaned beer prices, it's an expensive night out. Because of the Phillies' success and the fact that they've sold out every home game for a few years now, ticket prices are high. Food and drinks are expensive as well. However, compared to other major league stadiums, the prices really aren't that far out of line with what you see at other franchises.
2) Parking and driving. For people like us who come from too far away to take public transportation, driving to the game is often a challenge. The best thing that you can do if you're driving to the park is get familiar with the area. Print out a parking map from the website and go on Google maps to give yourself an idea of the layout of South Philadelphia. Nothing is more frustrating than sitting in traffic longer than you need to because you took a wrong turn and can't find your way back to I-95.
Philadelphia sports fans have a bad reputation across the country, but we have rarely run into problems or seen bad things at Phillies games. Tons of families bring their kids and it's an exciting atmosphere. Of course, there are always jerks out there and they tend to get more attention than the tens of thousands of gracious fans that come to every game. If you come to a game and someone near you is out of line, flag down an usher. There's a huge presence of Phillies staff at the park and they are there to help you out. Don't let a fear of Philly fans keep you from enjoying this great park.
Citizens Bank Park also offers ballpark tours. We have not had a chance yet to take one, but it's on our bucket list for the future. Check out their website and see if it would be a convenient addition to your trip. Enjoy your time at this great park!
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