The 5 Best Things About Citizens Bank Park

By Kyle Yahn (Contributor)

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Since its opening season, in 2004, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has completely changed the face of the Phillies organization.

In 2003, the Phillies ranked 24th in the MLB in attendance. After the inception of Citizens Bank Park in 2004, they rose all the way to fourth. The Phillies have now led all of baseball in attendance for the past three seasons. They are now working on a 204-game sellout streak going into the 2012 season. The stadium sells out every single night, and the atmosphere is perpetually electric.

Not only does this state-of-the-art, $336 million stadium draw in massive crowds, but it supplies them with everything that a baseball fan could possibly dream of.

The Philadelphia Phillies have created a model of success for other teams to follow in Major League Baseball. Over the past decade, they have gone from the basement of the National League to a perennial powerhouse. This turnaround all began with the introduction of the baseball paradise that is Citizens Bank Park

The Views

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There is not a bad seat in the entire stadium. Whether in the nosebleeds or right behind home plate, the fans are always right on top of the action.

This is great, considering the majority of the 43,647 seats are filled on a regular basis. In fact, in the 2011 season, the Philadelphia Phillies averaged an attendance capacity of 104.1 percent.

Those extra 4.1 percent may be some of the most exciting places to be anyway. With the atmosphere of the ballpark and the fans who inhabit it, standing room only seats can be just as fulfilling as front row seats.

And if you miss any of the action, just take a look at the recently installed and massive 40′ x 70′ LED scoreboard in left field—the largest in the National League.

The Bullpens

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There couldn’t be a more perfect feature to a baseball stadium than the bullpens at Citizens Bank Park.

These are especially fun to be around when a rival team is in town, as the visitors’ bullpen lies within ample heckling distance of the Philly faithful. Philadelphia sports fans are notorious for their passion and um…providing a comforting environment for opposing players and fans.

However, the bullpens in Citizens Bank Park aren’t only good for taunting opposing pitchers. If you’re sitting in the point of right center field (seen in the image), the Phillies staff is only a few feet away. I myself have had a conversation or two with Rich Dubee, the Phillies pitching coach, when seated in this area.

It’s a truly unique experience, and that’s why these bullpens are one of the greatest features of Citizens Bank Park.

The Food

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The food at Citizens Bank Park is incredible.

There’s the classic Philly lineup in center field, with Tony Luke’s, Campo’s and Planet Hoagie, and there are several places to get ballpark classics like burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, cracker jacks and soft pretzels scattered throughout the concourse.

And of course, there are a myriad of locations to get some ice cold refreshment.

However, my personal favorite has to be Chickie’s & Pete’s crab fries. These Old Bay-covered french fries—dipped in cheese sauce of course—are the epitome of baseball bliss. Unfortunately, the line never ceases to cost you at least a half an inning.

They are worth the wait.

The Atmosphere

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Mix together consistent sellouts and the spirit of the Phillies fan base, and out comes undeniably the best atmosphere in Major League Baseball.

It’s difficult to express in words the kind of feeling Citizens Bank Park gives off. You have to experience it to truly understand.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, over the past two years, and as I walk around these stadiums, there is a dullness that never even remotely appears in Citizens Bank Park.

From Game 1 to Game 162, the Phillies fans are always in full support of their team. This is something that is rare and special in the game of baseball, and is what gives Citizens Bank Park the greatest atmosphere in the world to watch a baseball game.

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Love em’ or hate em,’ there’s no way around it. Philadelphia Phillies fans are the best in the game.

Their passion, faithfulness and knowledge of the game set them apart from all other baseball fans.

Phillies fans endeared themselves to the world during Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN after their reaction to Osama Bin Laden‘s death in May of 2011.

The Phillies fan base can be described in a few simple adjectives: rowdy, obnoxious, rude, fickle, unforgiving and perfect.

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A history of professional baseball in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia Phillies Active Roster as of January 5th 2012

Philadelphia Phillies Active Roster

#

Pitchers

B/T

Ht

Wt

DOB

Phillippe Aumont L-R 6’7″ 255 Jan 7, 1989
58 Antonio Bastardo R-L 5’11” 195 Sep 21, 1985
56 Joe Blanton R-R 6’3″ 245 Dec 11, 1980
52 Jose Contreras R-R 6’4″ 255 Dec 6, 1971
37 Justin De Fratus S-R 6’4″ 220 Oct 21, 1987
Jake Diekman L-L 6’4″ 190 Jan 21, 1987
34 Roy Halladay R-R 6’6″ 230 May 14, 1977
35 Cole Hamels L-L 6’3″ 195 Dec 27, 1983
57 David Herndon R-R 6’5″ 230 Sep 4, 1985
38 Kyle Kendrick R-R 6’3″ 210 Aug 26, 1984
33 Cliff Lee L-L 6’3″ 190 Aug 30, 1978
58 Jonathan Papelbon R-R 6’4″ 225 Nov 23, 1980
66 J.C. Ramirez R-R 6’3″ 225 Aug 16, 1988
55 Joe Savery L-L 6’3″ 215 Nov 4, 1985
39 Michael Schwimer R-R 6’8″ 240 Feb 19, 1986
40 Michael Stutes R-R 6’1″ 185 Sep 4, 1986
Dontrelle Willis L-L 6’4″ 225 Jan 12, 1982
49 Vance Worley R-R 6’2″ 230 Sep 25, 1987
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
31 Erik Kratz R-R 6’4″ 255 Jun 15, 1980
51 Carlos Ruiz R-R 5’10” 205 Jan 22, 1979
23 Brian Schneider L-R 6’1″ 210 Nov 26, 1976
Sebastian Valle R-R 6’1″ 170 Jul 24, 1990
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
71 Freddy Galvis S-R 5’10” 170 Nov 14, 1989
75 Harold Garcia S-R 5’11” 190 Oct 25, 1986
74 Cesar Hernandez S-R 5’10” 160 May 23, 1990
6 Ryan Howard L-L 6’4″ 240 Nov 19, 1979
19 Michael Martinez S-R 5’9″ 145 Sep 16, 1982
27 Placido Polanco R-R 5’10” 190 Oct 10, 1975
11 Jimmy Rollins S-R 5’8″ 170 Nov 27, 1978
Jim Thome L-R 6’3″ 250 Aug 27, 1970
26 Chase Utley L-R 6’1″ 200 Dec 17, 1978
21 Wilson Valdez R-R 5’11” 170 May 20, 1978
Ty Wigginton R-R 6’0″ 230 Oct 11, 1977
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
16 John Bowker L-L 6’1″ 205 Jul 8, 1983
9 Domonic Brown L-L 6’5″ 205 Sep 3, 1987
Tyson Gillies L-R 6’2″ 195 Oct 31, 1988
15 John Mayberry R-R 6’6″ 230 Dec 21, 1983
Laynce Nix L-L 6’1″ 220 Oct 30, 1980
3 Hunter Pence R-R 6’4″ 220 Apr 13, 1983
8 Shane Victorino S-R 5’9″ 190 Nov 30, 1980

Gulf Coast League Phillies