Ballpark Review: Citizens Bank Park

Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies

Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 43,651

Games Attended: Too many

Living close to Philadelphia, I have been to my fair share of Phillies games- both at The Vet and The Bank. To me Citizens Bank Park will always be in the top half of Major League ballparks. It doesn’t do anything great, but it doesn’t do anything bad either.

Aesthetics- 19/25

Exterior- 4/5

This is how a modern park should look like on the outside. Beautiful brick gives it a vintage look, yet you can still sense it is a new ballpark. It is also very compact, which I like.

Interior- 8.5/10

The Bank is a very cool place to watch a ballgame. There is the gigantic scoreboard in left, the funky wall in center with Ashburn’s Alley, and the Liberty Bell that lights up in right.

Backdrop- 6.5/10

The one minus is a lack of the city’s skyline as a backdrop, but the stadium is a bit too far away and it’s angled just off from giving you a good view of it unless you are in the upper deck.

2) Seats & View- 16.5/20

Sight lines- 8/10

Citizens Bank Park offers some really cool seats. The field level gives you a great view, however the further along you are towards the foul pole the more you will have to crane your neck. But being that close to the field is worth it. The outfield seats are prime home run territory and the vantage point from Ashburn Alley is one of the more unique center field/outfield views. In the upper deck, you have a bird’s nest view of the stadium and it is one of the better upper decks I have sat in. What is really cool to me is that the top of the upper deck has a chain-link fence all around, so you can look at the surrounding neighborhoods; it’s not much of a sight but something I’ve always found cool.

Best seat- Upper Deck anywhere from 412-419.

Proximity- 4.5/5

These are some of the closest seats in baseball. Especially in the upper deck.

Comfort- 4/5

3) Atmosphere- 13.5/15

Fan Participation- 5/5

Philly fans have a reputation for being loud and obnoxious- which makes watching a game here so great. When the team is good, this place is packed every night. Even now when the team stinks and the place is half full, those there are passionate and into the game. Unless you have a jersey of the opposing team on, you’ll fit right in. And I’ve been to several Mets/Phillies games here- it makes for a fun night.

Attendance- 4/5

This takes a dip because the team sucks and less people show. But from 2006-2013 this place was packed every night.

Fan Knowledge- 4.5/5

Philly fans might be brash, but they live for their teams.

4) Attractions- 6/15

Museum & Team History- 4/10

Despite being one of the longest operating franchises in history, there is little celebration of their history. While the park does celebrate Philadelphia history very nicely, I wish it celebrated their team as well. Ashburn Alley is in center and located there are plaques of Phillies greats. But Ashburn Alley is more of a gathering place for friends and an area to grab food.

Things to See and Do- 2/5

There are plenty of stores, but most of them are small and without great variety. The one exception is a store on the third base concourse. They have merchandise from all different players throughout the league. I almost bought a Roberto Clemente jersey once.

5) Food & Drink- 9/10

Hot Dog- 5/5

Citizens Bank Park has the best hot dog in baseball- bar none. There is nothing like a Phillie frank and Dollar Dog Night is a Citizens Bank Park staple that every Phillies fan must attend. Their dogs are short and plump- the best type of hot dog.

Best of the Rest- 3/5

As for other food, don’t worry, it’s Philadelphia so there will always be good food. There is cheese steak and pizza and other ballpark fare that is high quality for a ballpark. The beer prices and diversity is not great, but you can get a 25oz’er for an average ballpark price.

Bonus Point: Signature Dish- +1

Philly Cheese steaks

6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 4.5/5

Two words- Phillie Phanatic. The Phillie Phanatic is legit and for those “purists” out there- you can have fun at a ballgame. The Phanatic does a great job making both kids and adults laugh without taking away from the product on the field. The Bank compliments this with their great use of the video board and you get top notch game entertainment. Also, the PA guy has a great voice.

7) Cleanliness- 3.5/5

It’s been over a decade now since The Bank opened so there is something withering, but overall it feels and looks like a clean ballpark. The seats are clean, the concourse is holding up, and I can’t remember having any issues with the bathrooms.

8) Local Scene & Location- 2/5

The good: The Bank is located next to all the other sport stadia (Lincoln Financial, Wells Fargo Center) and the Xfinity Live bar is supposedly a baller place to go, especially after a game.

The bad: Outside of the sports complex, there is nothing to do. You are in South Philly and if you want to enjoy some cheese steaks or go to a bar, you will have to drive elsewhere in the city.

9) Access & Cost- 3.5/5

The lower level seats will still cost an arm and a leg, even if the team is bad. Expect to pay at least $100 for good field level seats. However, you can find steals in the upper deck for $10-$20 and as I’ve mentioned, the upper deck is a great spot in this joint. As for food and drinks, the prices are run of the mill for a Major League park.

The complex is easily accessible. The local train drops off right the complex and if you are coming by car, it is easy to drive to and from- whether by PA or NJ.

10) Misc- 3

Stats & Info- 1

Out-of-Town Scoreboard- 1

One of the best in baseball, it spans the right field fence.

Concourse- 1

11) Personal Opinion- 4/5

As I mentioned, there is nothing bad I can say about Citizens Bank Park. I’ve been several times and have always had a great experience. It might not be scenic as PNC, as cheap as Coors, or have a local scene like other parks but it is a clean, beautiful stadium with good food and good fans.

Overall Score: 84.5/115

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