Philadelphia is gritty, from the surroundings to the people. Phillies are dedicated fans and it defiantly showed. They came out hours before the game and sat in the rain til it started. We watched the Phillies vs the Washington Nationals on Monday, May 21st. It was funny routing for the Nationals the day before. We arrived over two hours early and they had already opened up a limited section of the park. We got a drink at Harry The K’s the restaurant in left field named after Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas. You can sit and watch the full game there as long as you keep buying. We watched the Phillies batting practice and walked around the park as it opened. We had seats on the very top level (4 levels!) and it was high up there, still a great seat…but almost a touch of vertigo. The whole stadium felt huge. Capacity 43,651, but it felt like 50+
The video board in left field was so clear and massive, apparently it’s the largest HD screen in the National League. It also wouldn’t be Philly without a replica Liberty Bell. It “rings” and lights up after Philly home runs and wins. Unfortunately, we didn’t see either. The Nats won. Another Philadelphia quirk is that their bullpens are in the outfield amongst the fans. When they first opened in 2004 the Phillies bullpen was closest to the fans and after Philly fans booed their own pitchers (these are the same fans that booed Santa Claus) they switched to have the visitors section closer for heckling.
The mascot always needs mentioning. Its rates high on my husbands list. The Phillie Phanatic….a green beakish creature. The Phanatic has been named the best mascot before and he did not disappoint. He was absolutely hilarious. He came out with a full rain suit on when it began to sprinkle. He mimicked and danced with middle school cheerleaders. There are also videos of him traveling to the Galapagos Islands…his birthplace.
All in all, the stadium might not have a beautiful backdrop of the city, but it was still a beautiful park. Its very open and you can see the game the entire time you walk around the park. There were so many options for food (love the cheesesteakes!) and the craft beer was endless. You had to search for any macro beers if you wanted. We were highly impressed with the Philly beer scene. Philly really was a passionate town about its sports, beer and food.
Photos from Citizens Bank Park