Citizens Bank Park
Citizens Bank Park is a 43,647-seat baseball park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, and home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Citizens Bank Park opened on April 3, 2004 and hosted its first regular season baseball game on April 12 of the same year, with the Phillies losing to the Cincinnati Reds, 4”“1. The ballpark was built to replace the now-demolished Veterans Stadium (a football/baseball multipurpose facility), and features natural grass and dirt playing field and also features a number of Philadelphia-style food stands, including several which serve cheesesteaks, hoagies, and other regional specialties. The ballpark lies on the northeast corner of the Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center.

History

Planning
In 1998, the Phillies and the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League joined their Western Pennsylvania counterparts, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers in making requests to replace both Veterans Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh with separate stadiums. Pressure for new Philadelphia stadiums increased after a railing collapsed at The Vet during the Army”“Navy Game, injuring eight cadets. The Pirates threatened to leave Pittsburgh in 1997, which helped convince the legislature to approve funding for the four proposed stadiums. While Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh approved the pacts swiftly, due to plans already being in place at the time of legislative approval, debate within Philadelphia's city leadership carried on as Pittsburgh opened their stadiums ( PNC Park for the Pirates and Heinz Field for the Steelers) in 2001. The Eagles agreed to a site slightly southeast of Veterans Stadium, which would become Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles' stadium was built on the site of an old food warehouse and celebrated its grand opening in August 2003. The Phillies originally wanted a downtown ballpark similar to Baltimore, Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco. Various locations were proposed, initially at Broad and Spring Garden streets, Spring Garden and Delaware Avenue and next to 30th Street Station, where the main post office is located. The team and the city announced that the site would be at 13th and Vine streets, just north of Interstate 676, within walking distance of the Center City downtown district. There was considerable support for a downtown ball park from business and labor and the city at large, but residents of the city's Chinatown section protested. The City and team eventually settled on building at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, on the site of an old food warehouse much like Lincoln Financial Field. In the years that followed, residents, fans and owner Bill Giles expressed regret that the new ball park was not located in Center City. Regardless of location, the team set records in 2010 for attendance (3,647,249 fans, averaging 45,028) and sellouts (81), extending a streak dating back to July of 2009 to 123 straight sellouts. The unveiling of the park and ground breaking ceremonies were on June 28, 2001. Following the game that evening, the location of the left-field foul pole was unveiled at the outset of the team's annual July Fourth fireworks display. On June 17, 2003, Citizens Bank agreed with the team to a 25-year, US $95 million deal for naming rights and advertising on telecasts, radio broadcasts, publications and inside the facility. The ballpark was officially topped off on August 12, 2003, and opened in April 2004.

Modifications
Shortly after the park opened in 2004, the bullpens were reassigned so the Phillies' pitchers used the lower pen and visitors use the upper pen. This was done to give Phillies' pitchers a better view of the game and to protect them from heckling by rowdy fans. In its first years, Citizens Bank Park allowed 218 home runs in 2004 and 201 in 2005. More than half of those home runs were to left-field. Following the 2005 season, the left-field wall was moved back 5 feet (1.5 m). Even with these modifications, the park has a reputation as one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball. In 2009, it gave up 149 home runs, the most in the National League and second in the majors behind only the new Yankee Stadium.

Significant events
  • Randy Wolf of the Phillies threw the first pitch at 1:32 pm EDT on April 12, 2004 to D'Angelo Jimenez of the Reds, who got the park's first hit, a lead-off double. Bobby Abreu of the Phillies hit the first home run, which also served as the franchise's first hit in the club's new home. Reds pitcher Paul Wilson earned the first win in that game and Danny Graves earned the park's first save.
  • On June 14, 2004, former Phillies first baseman Jim Thome hit his 400th career home run to the left-center field seats at Citizens Bank Park.
  • The Eastern League Reading Phillies hosted the Trenton Thunder on May 9, 2005 at CBP; Reading beat Trenton 5”“3.
  • On September 14, 2005, Andruw Jones of the Atlanta Braves hit his 300th career home run which went 430 feet (130 m) off Phils reliever Geoff Geary in a 12”“4 Phillies win. The ball landed in the upper deck in left field.
  • The Phillies lost their 10,000th regular-season game in their history on July 15, 2007 to the St. Louis Cardinals, 10”“2, marking the first time a professional sports franchise reached that plateau.
  • The park hosted its first World Series game on October 25, 2008, with the Phillies defeating the Tampa Bay Rays, 5”“4 in Game 3. Before the game, country music singer Tim McGraw, the son of the late Phillies closer Tug McGraw (who had recorded the last out in the Phillies' World Series victory in 1980), took a handful of his dad's ashes and spread them on the pitcher's mound just before handing the ball used in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in the game to Steve Carlton. The elder McGraw died from a brain tumor in 2004. Four days later, the Phillies completed a suspended Game Five, defeating the Rays, 4”“3, and claiming the franchise's second World Series championship in front of a park record crowd of 45,940.
  • The first inside-the-park home run was hit by Jimmy Rollins on June 20, 2004, against the Kansas City Royals.
  • On June 25, 2010, Citizens Bank Park hosted the first regular-season game in a National League stadium in which the designated hitter was used; Major League Baseball moved the Phillies' series against the Toronto Blue Jays from Rogers Centre to Philadelphia, citing security concerns for the G-20 Summit. Ryan Howard served as the first DH in a National League ballpark. Despite playing in their park, Philadelphia was designated as the road team.
  • The first no-hitter at Citizens Bank Park was thrown by Roy Halladay on October 6, 2010 against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of the 2010 National League Divisional Series..


Features

Ashburn Alley
Behind center field is Ashburn Alley, named after Phillies Hall of Fame center fielder Richie Ashburn, who played for the team from 1948 to 1959 and was a Phillies broadcaster from 1963 until his death in 1997. It is seen by Phillies fans as a compromise between the Phillies and their fans, many of whom wanted Citizens Bank Park named in honor of Ashburn. Ashburn Alley is named for the slightly-overgrown grass which bordered the third base line at Shibe Park where Ashburn was famous for laying down bunts that stayed fair. The new Ashburn Alley, located near Ashburn's defensive position, is a walkway featuring restaurants, games and memorabilia from Phillies history. Ashburn Alley also features a memorabilia shop and a large bronze statue of Ashburn directly behind center field, as well as the U.S. flag, the flags of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia, a POW/MIA flag and the flags from the Phillies' championships (below).

This area opens two-and-a-half hours before the scheduled first pitch, similar to Eutaw Street at Oriole Park at Camden Yards via the Left Field Gate, with two exceptions: Opening Day, when all gates open three hours before the scheduled first pitch and on the team's annual Photo Day, when all gates open two-and-a-half hours before the scheduled first pitch to allow fans with cameras onto the warning track to take pictures (or videos) of the team's players. Features of the Alley are:
  • All-Star Walk " Granite markers pay tribute to Phillies players that have played in the MLB All-Star Game since its inception in 1933 and runs the length of Ashburn Alley.
  • Bull's BBQ " Located at the eastern end of the Alley, it is named in honor of and owned in part by former Phillies outfielder Greg "The Bull" Luzinski. This southern-style barbecue features ribs, turkey legs along with pork, beef and chicken sandwiches and "Bulldogs" ( kielbasa).
  • Seasons Pizza - A new pizza franchise in CBP that took over for Peace A Pizza starting in the 2008 season.
  • Planet Hoagie - Local franchise that makes hoagies, including one named after a Phillies player each series.
  • Campo's " Philadelphia cheesesteaks, replaced Rick's Steaks in 2009. The original Campo's opened in 1947.
  • Tony Luke's " Tony Luke's famous cheesesteaks and roast pork.
  • Games of Baseball " Sponsored by Citizens Bank, this interactive area features a video trivia game, where players compete for prizes, a run-the-bases game with the Phillie Phanatic, and a "Ring 'Em Up" game (formerly a "Pitch 'Em and Tip 'Em" game) where you can throw at targets of a catcher. Prior to 2010, a huge 22 feet (6.7 m) high baseball themed pinball game was in this area. Players earn coupons and exchange them for prizes at a kiosk such as hats, shirts and other ballpark-imprinted memorabilia.
  • Harry The K's Bar and Grille " Named for late Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, the bi-level bar and grill is built into the base of the scoreboard, and serves finger foods and sandwiches, including "The Schmitter".
  • Memory Lane and Phillies Wall of Fame " A history of baseball in Philadelphia is located behind the brick batting eye in center field, while the opposite wall commemorates members of the franchise who contributed to the franchise's history. It was in this area where Ryan Howard hit two of the park's longest home runs, on April 23, 2006 against the Marlins off Sergio Mitre, and against Aaron Harang of the Reds on June 27, 2007, as well as second baseman Chase Utley's homer into this area against the Astros on April 23, 2007 clearing the center wall and becoming the second player to reach the Memory Lane area one year after Howard's feat.
  • Exposed Bullpens " Located in right-center field, the bi-level bullpens allow the fans to get very close to the players (especially the visiting team, who sit in the top level). Fans are allowed to heckle but must keep it clean. The section above the bullpen that contains the Phillies Wall of Fame is closed to the public about 30 minutes prior to first pitch and remains closed throughout the game, re-opening at the game's conclusion.
  • Rooftop Bleachers " Inspired by the 1920s and 1930s stands on North 20th Street outside Shibe Park, this area replicates the seating similar to that outside Wrigley Field in Chicago. During the 2008 season, fans could go on top for $15 on Thursday home dates and get special food offers and events.
  • Starting Lineup " The Phillies starting lineup that day is illustrated by giant 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) by 5-foot-wide (1.5 m) baseball cards as fans enter the left field gate.
In 2004 and 2005, organist Paul Richardson performed from Ashburn Alley, as Citizens Bank Park was built without an organ booth. The food at CBP was named as Best Ballpark Food in a survey of Food Network viewers in the first annual Food Network Awards which first aired on April 22, 2007. On August 14, it was announced that Citizens Bank Park was voted #1 by PETA as America's most vegetarian-friendly ballpark, which was repeated in 2008 and again in 2009.

Other attractions
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop Make-Your-Own-Phanatic " The first store of its kind in sports, fans are invited to buy and stuff a Phillie Phanatic doll and dress it up. Similar shops have since been set up in Cleveland's Progressive Field, Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Nationals Park in Washington, DC.
  • Diamond and Hall of Fame Clubs " Two premium seating areas in the park. The Diamond Club, located behind home plate, includes an air-conditioned indoor club area with exclusive food and souvenir shops where ticket holders can watch batting practice on either side of the club (especially on rainy days). There are a total of 1,164 seats in the Diamond Club. A second level, called the Hall of Fame Club, is located between Sections 212 through 232. This air-conditioned area features exclusive food and souvenir stands akin to The Diamond Club, and also houses memorabilia from the teams' past going as far back as the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1900s. The Hall of Fame Club contains 6,600 seats. In addition to being an attraction to fans, the Hall of Fame level also houses the A/V crew on the first-base side of that level that controls the scoreboard and all other monitors throughout the park, as well as the press box, television, and radio booths.
  • High and Inside Pub " Located on the Terrace Level behind home plate, the area is open to groups before the ballgame, and the public once the games start.
  • Liberty Bell Home Run Celebration " Standing 102 feet (31 m) above street level, this 52-foot-tall (16 m) by 35-foot-wide (11 m) mechanical, lighted replica of the Liberty Bell "rings" and lights up after every Phillies home run and victory.
  • Majestic Clubhouse Store and Mitchell & Ness Alley Store " The clubhouse store is open year-round, and serves as the starting point for tours of the ballpark. The bi-level store features regular merchandise on the first level and Phanatic-themed items on the second level, while the Alley Store is open during all home games and features authentic replicas of older Phillies jerseys made by the famous Philadelphia retailer of vintage uniform shirts and caps as well as other items. During the off-season, customizable jerseys are available in the main store when a stand next to the store is open during the season.
  • McFadden's Bar and Grille " Open year-round, this restaurant combines the McFadden's and Zanzibar Blue menus at the Third Base Gate. Since its opening, it has become a popular post-game (or event) site for the nearby Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field.
  • Phanatic Phun Zone " Located at the First Base Gate plaza, this playground offers fun for guests eight years old and younger with slides, climb, explore and play games. A separate area for toddlers three years old and younger is found inside.
  • Phanatic Giant Shoe Slide " Located on the Terrace Level near home plate, kids can slide in and out of a replica of one of the Phanatic's sneakers.


Statues
Besides the Richie Ashburn statue in Ashburn Alley, statues of three other famous Phillies " Robin Roberts (at the First Base Gate), Mike Schmidt (at the Third Base Gate) and Steve Carlton (at the Left Field Gate) " ring the outside of the facility. Each of the 10-foot-high (3.0 m) statues were made by local sculptor Zenos Frudakis. Other art found throughout the park includes tile mosaics, murals and terrazzo floors with outlined images of famous players in Phillies history.

Green stadium
The Philadelphia Phillies are the first Major League Baseball team to join the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership Program which motivates organizations across the world to purchase green power in order to minimize environmental impact. The Phillies announced on April 30, 2008 that their home field, Citizens Bank Park, will be powered with 20 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green energy purchased in Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Certificates (RECs). The EPA stated that this purchase holds the record in professional sports for the largest purchase of 100% renewable energy. The Phillies are among the top three purchasers of green power in Philadelphia, and the executive director of the Center for Resource Solutions, Arthur O'Donnell, wants "other clubs to take their lead." Aramark Corporation is the Phillies' food and beverage provider at Citizens Bank Park and they are taking major actions in improving the environmental impact of the Phillies' stadium. Glass, cardboard, and plastics used during game day are recycled; frying oil is being recycled to produce bio-diesel fuel, and biodegradable, recyclable, and compostable products, serviceware, and plastics have been introduced.

Concerts
The first concert at the park was Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band on August 25, 2005, they returned on June 14, 2008. The Eagles, The Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban were scheduled to perform on June 14, 2010, but the show was cancelled.

Other stadium information
Due to the City of Philadelphia's Smoking Ban, smoking is only permitted at the first base gate, the third base gate and the left field gate. Dan Baker, public address announcer for the Phillies since 1972, continues to introduce the players. During each player's first at-bat, Baker, in an excited voice, says, "Now batting for the Phillies, number (#), (position), (player's name)". For example, a first at-bat introduction would have Baker say, "Now batting for the Phillies, number eight, center fielder Shane Victorino!" During subsequent at-bats, players are only announced by their position and name, for example, "Phillies first baseman, Ryan Howard!" Baker only uses the city of the opposing team when he announces their players rather than the team nickname, for example, "Now batting for Atlanta, number ten, third baseman Chipper Jones", and makes the announcement in a more-subdued tone.

Video boards
In 2004 and 2005, Citizens Bank Park installed Daktronics video and message display in the park. One of the largest incandescent displays in Major League Baseball was installed in left field that was used as a scoreboard and for giving statistics. There are also out-of-town field-level displays installed in the park that measure approximately 10 feet high by 25 feet wide. During the 2010”“2011 offseason, the Phillies replaced their incandescent scoreboard with a new HD scoreboard that cost $10 million. The new screen measures 76 feet (23 m) high and 97 feet (30 m) wide, which nearly triples the size of the old screen. When it is completed, it will be the largest HD screen in the National League.

Photo gallery

Year Event Championship 1915 1915 World Series National League champion 1950 1950 World Series National League champion 1976 1976 National League Championship Series National League East division champion 1977 1977 National League Championship Series National League East division champion 1978 1978 National League Championship Series National League East division champion 1980 1980 World Series World Series champion 1983 1983 World Series National League champion 1993 1993 World Series National League champion 2007 2007 National League Division Series National League East division champion 2008 2008 World Series World Series champion 2009 2009 World Series National League champion 2010 2010 National League Championship Series National League East division champion

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