Citizens Bank Park, Home of the Philadelphia Phillies
Citizens Bank Park (The Bank) Overview
The Bank is the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. It is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.
The Phillies' ballpark opened April 3, 2004 and the Phillies played their first baseball game there on April 12, 2004, against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Philadelphia Phillies built The Bank to replace Veterans Stadium, a multi-purpose facility for sports such as baseball and football.
The Bank features numerous Philadelphia-style food concession stands, which includes the famous Philadelphia cheesesteaks. The ballpark is located at the Northeast corner of the Philadelphia Sports Complex.
Citizens Bank Park Quick Facts
- Location: One Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, PA
- Years: 2004-present
- Seating capacity: 43,647
- Surface: Kentucky bluegrass
- Architect: Populous and EwingCole
- Project Cost: $458 Million
Citizens Bank Park History
In 1998, the NFL Eagles and the Phillies joined their Western Pennsylvania counterparts Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates in making requests to replace Three Rivers Stadium and Veterans Stadium with two separate stadiums.
The pressure to construct new stadiums in Philadelphia increased when a tragic railing accident occurred at Veterans Stadium during an Army versus Navy game. The collapsed railing injured eight cadets.
The Pittsburgh Pirates vowed to leave Pittsburgh in 1997, which helped to convince the Pennsylvania legislature to approve funding for the four stadiums.
The Philadelphia Phillies originally wanted a downtown ballpark that resembled the ballparks in Cleveland, Baltimore, San Francisco, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Detroit. Various locations were discussed including Broad and Spring Garden Streets, and Spring Garden and Delaware Avenue.
The Philadelphia Phillies and the City of Philadelphia finally announced 13th and Vine (north of Interstate 676) as the location of the ballpark. It would be walking distance from the downtown district of Center City.
Although many residents liked the location of the ballpark, Chinatown residents loudly protested against the location. As a result, the two parties changed the location to the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, on the site of an old warehouse similar to Lincoln Financial Field.
Years after constructing the ballpark, Phillies fans and the ball club's owner, Bill Giles, regretted that they did not build the stadium in Center City. It didn't seem to matter though as the Phillies set team attendance records in 2010 with an average of 45,028 fans and 81 consecutive sellouts.
On June 28, 2001, the Phillies held the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new ballpark and played their first game. Following the game, they unveiled the location of the left field foul pole with a fireworks display.
Citizens Bank made a $95 million, 25-year agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies for telecast advertising, naming rights, radio broadcasts and other media inside the ballpark. In April 2004, Citizens Bank Park officially opened.
After the ballpark opened, the Phillies made a few modifications such as the bullpens. The home team pitchers used the lower bullpens and the visitors used the upper bullpen. These modifications gave the pitchers a better view and protected them from the rowdy fans.
Citizens Bank Park
has a reputation as a hitter-friendly park. In 2009, it gave up 149 home runs, the most in the National League and only second in the majors to New Yankee Stadium.