Construction begins 2002
Under construction in 2003
Opening Day, 2004. View from Suite 79
Dead center field is only 401’
Jim Thome at bat.
The Liberty Bell lights up in red, white, and blue when there’s a Phillies home run.
Jim Thome rounding the bases. The scoreboard is big, but not as huge as the one in Houston.
They have an excellent out-of-town scoreboard in right field.
This was taken by a Villanova student at a Phillies-Cards game on May 4, 2004. I wore this jacket during the 2008 World Series against the Rays and again duiring the 2009 World Series against the Yankees.
Kara, Caitlin and I took a road trip to a Red Sox-Phillies game in 2013.
April 12, 2004. Inaugural Opening Day at the new Phillies ballpark. I went with Rick Feinblatt, Don Braun and Greg Gross from the Greater Media Philly group. It was a very rainy day and they probably shouldn’t have played, but it was the Inaugural Game and festivities were all planned. We had luxury suite seats…3rd level on the 3rd base side. Suite 79. Cincinnati Reds v. Phillies. The first home run was hit by the Phils’ Bobby Abreu in the bottom of the first. A long fly into the right field bleachers. The new light-up Liberty Bell came alive. The Phillies lost, 4-1.
I went again on May 4th, 2004. Cardinals v. Phillies. Got a $40 box seat from a guy outside the ticket window who had an extra. I didn’t have $40 in cash so he said “just give it to me when you get inside.” That would never happen in Boston. The $40 box seat was a couple of rows behind the Phillies’ dugout. Great view. Much better than the $79 suite. In this game the Phillies hit back-to-back-to-back home runs (Bobby Abreu, Jim Thome, and Pat Burrill) – something I had never seen before. They lost to the Cardinals 6-5. at was a couple of rows behind the Phillies’ dugout. Great view. Much better than the $79 suite.
I went again a couple of weeks after that. I got out of work at Mix 95.7 late and it was the 3rd inning when I got there. A scalper on the sidewalk asked if I need a ticket and I said sure, how much? He said, “Just face value – $40.” I told him I thought that was a little high for the 3rd inning and started to walk toward the ticket window. With each step I took he dropped the price by $5. He was down to $15 when I got to the window and the woman there said I could get a $10 ticket. So I did that. I got a $10 seat in the 3rd deck right down the right field foul line. Dodgers v. Phillies. Brett Myers threw a complete-game shutout. The seat was roomier and more comfortable than a $98 upper box seat at Fenway.
Nine years later Kara, Caitlin and I took a road trip to see the Red Sox play away in Philadelphia. The PhiIlies had been to the World Series twice with one championship since my last visit and tickets were much tougher to get. We sat in the 3rd deck and had a great time. Got cheesesteaks and Yueng Lings.
Citizen’s Bank Park is nothing like the Vet. The slogan for 2004 is “real grass, real fun” and it is. It’s a nice hitter’s park. Seats are comfortable, sight lines are very good. Access to the upper levels is not as convenient as in other big new parks like Camden Yards, Pac Bell, and the Ballpark at Arlington. Actually it’s not that bad, but you have to walk up a lot of stairs. Concourses are nice and wide, there are lots of special Philly-themed restaurants and concessions. Lots of parking next door and across the street, and there will be more when they finish clearing the rubble from the imploded Vet next door. The seats in deep center are only $10.