Itinerant Fan

Citizens Bank Park

Citizens Bank Park is part of the famed cluster of venues known as the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia, and also the newest of the three stadiums that stand there. Built in 2004 to house the Phillies, it stands across the street from Lincoln Financial Field (home of the Eagles) and the Wells Fargo Center (home of the Flyers and 76ers), near the intersection of Broad and Pattison streets that carries so much significance for so many Philly sports fans.

It wouldn’t have taken much for Citizens Bank Park to be an upgrade over the Phillies’ previous home, the often-derided Veterans Stadium, but in its 15-some years of existence, the new place has settled in nicely among the destination ballparks of the major leagues. From the lively Ashburn Alley to the Liberty Bell home run/victory display, the venue boasts its fair share of unique features. 

And the home team has done its part in making memories for its fans. First and foremost was the 2008 World Series title, part of a run of dominance that included five straight division titles and two trips to the Fall Classic. 

After some down seasons, the Phillies look primed to become part of MLB’s elite once again, and they’re also promising to make Citizens Bank Park one of the most happening spots in the majors as well.

For more on visiting Philadelphia, check out our Philadelphia city guide.

  •   The Approach

    As mentioned above, the intersection of Broad and Pattison streets is a familiar spot to any Philly sports fan, since all three professional venues are nearby. Citizens Bank Park, specifically, is a block to the east along Pattison, and easily recognizable among the venues and surrounding parking lots.

    The entire Sports Complex is easily accessible by car via the adjacent Interstate 95, which runs just past Lincoln Financial Field as it snakes by on its route between Center City and Philadelphia International Airport. Look for signs directing drivers to the Sports Complex; Broad Street has its own exit and is well-traveled — and, of course, busy on game days.

    Alternatively, I-76, also known as the Schuylkill (pronounced SKOO-kill) Expressway, runs north of the ballpark and is a more convenient route for fans coming from the northwest. Look for signs directing you to Broad Street, Packer Avenue or the Sports Complex. For more detailed driving directions, click here.

    Once you’re in the area, you have numerous parking options, with lots surrounding all three venues. The lots surrounding Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field are popular options, as long as there isn’t an event at either of those facilities going on concurrently. Click here for more info and a parking map.

    Fans staying in Philadelphia’s Center City and looking to take public transportation can use the Broad Street Line of SEPTA, the city’s subway system. The line’s southbound terminus is at Broad and Pattison, though the station in recent years has carried a corporate sponsor name (currently, it’s NRG Station).

  •   The Build-Up

    Amid the sea of sports venues and surface parking, there is an oasis of pregame entertainment in the Sports Complex. Xfinity Live, built on the site of the old Spectrum arena and catty-corner from Citizens Bank Park (at the corner of Pattison and 11th streets), is the primary option for fans looking for a convenient pregame hangout. It contains a number of establishments, including some familiar names to Philly sports fans (and options you’ll also find within the ballpark).

    Several other unique-to-Philly options are within a short driving distance and are worth checking out if you can swing it logistically. A few worth mentioning within about a mile of the park: Chickie’s and Pete’s (known for its “crab fries”), Tony Luke’s (a stalwart in the city’s cheesesteak wars), and John’s Roast Pork (purveyor of Philly’s other beloved sandwich, the roast pork). 

    A little farther away but definitely worth visiting if it’s your first time in Philadelphia: The Italian Market neighborhood, and perhaps the two most famous cheesesteak joints, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks.

    Also, Philadelphians love their tailgating, and it’s not uncommon to see a few folks hanging out next to their cars with beer and/or a grill in the hours before first pitch.

  •   The Ambiance

    The most intriguing feature of Citizens Bank Park is in the outfield. The concourse that runs from foul pole to foul pole is lovingly named Ashburn Alley after Richie Ashburn, a beloved former Phillies player and broadcaster, and it’s full of features including the team’s Wall of Fame, food stands and restaurants, a large team store and a famously up-close-and-personal view of the visitor’s bullpen. It’s not unusual to see Ashburn Alley in the middle innings swelling with fans, many of which have taken up prime standing-room positions to watch the game, while the seating bowl looks strangely devoid of people.

    The ballpark is also well-known for its wide selection of food options, much of which reflects the unique cuisine of the city. Several of the establishments mentioned in the “Build-Up” section above run stands in the stadium, including Tony Luke’s and Chickie’s and Pete’s, both of which can be found in Ashburn Alley.

    Other spots worth checking out include Shake Shake, Campo’s Steaks and Federal Donuts. In left field, just below the main scoreboard, sits Harry the K’s, a fan-favorite hangout named after legendary team broadcaster Harry Kalas. The team also recently opened a beer garden on the main level along the third-base side. For a more comprehensive look at food options, click here.

    Wherever you go in the ballpark, you’re sure to see images of the Phillie Phanatic, the beloved green mascot whose presence sometimes contrasts with the gruff image of the Philly sports fan. The Phanatic himself is often found on the field between innings, performing such antics as shooting hot dogs from an air cannon.

    CBP’s seating bowl consists of four levels, and while the uppermost rows in the 400-level can feel a little high, at least you will have a nice view of the Philadelphia skyline in the distance while you watch the game. You’ll also be able to see the lighted bell in the outfield that “rings” whenever the Phillies hit home runs, or after victories. 

    Speaking of bells, the team refurbished the old replica Liberty Bell that hung at Veterans Stadium, and as of the 2019 season put it on display near the Third Base Gate for fans to see and take pictures with.

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The Particulars

Home Teams
Philadelphia Phillies

Address
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Year Opened
2004

Capacity
43,647

Upcoming Events
All times local
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
7:05 pm
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New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
7:05 pm
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New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Thursday, June 27, 2019
1:05 pm
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Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies
Friday, July 12, 2019
6:05 pm
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Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies
Saturday, July 13, 2019
7:15 pm
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