It’s a great thrill for Philadelphia fans to have a baseball team good enough to win four division titles, two National League pennants and a World Series in the last four seasons. As someone who lives in the Philly area, I can tell you that for many Philly folks it’s a great thrill just to have a contending team!
Best of all, this exciting club is playing in gorgeous Citizens Bank Park, one of the finest ballparks in America. It’s a win-win for anyone who wants to go to a Phillies game. It’s also a popular ticket, so you need some information to save you time and money.
Since the Phillies sell out most of their games, you’ll need to get started buying tickets early, perhaps when they go on sale in February. You can sign up for the Phillies ticket alert newsletter to keep you posted, not only for when the tickets go on sale but also for special deals, like the six-pack that includes a game against a popular interleague opponent like the Yankees. You’ll need an account on MLB.com—for step-by-step instructions on how to sign up, click here. Otherwise, you can use a broker like StubHub or search available tickets with a site I highly recommend called “SeatGeek”.
Citizens Bank Park is full of nooks and crannies as far as seating, so you’ll need to decide where to sit. The lower level seats behind home plate are expensive, of course, but there are plenty of relatively affordable seats elsewhere in the park, and all sections have advantages and disadvantages. For example, the seats all the way out in right center field—Sections 201 and 301—are almost right on top of the visitor’s bullpen, and you can rattle them like only South Philly fans can! Keep it clean though, the Phillies will crack down on people who get out of hand.
There’s plenty of ways to get to the Bank as well. Some fans may have preferred a downtown location for the new park, but one advantage to its location is plenty of parking, over 21,000 spaces. You shouldn’t have a problem driving in from I-76 or I-95 and finding a spot, although traffic can get bad, especially when another event is taking place. For an easy exit, if you don’t mind the walk, try the lot next to the NovaCare center on Pattison Avenue. It costs the same, but you’ll get out of there in a hurry, and you can head west on Pattison and use Penrose Avenue to get to I-76 or I-95.
If you’d rather not drive, or if another event is taking place and you’re worried about the traffic, the SEPTA Broad Street Orange Line is a perfectly good alternative. The Pattison station at the south end of the line drops riders off just steps from Citizens Bank Park, and SEPTA runs Sports Express trains that make fewer stops on game days. The Broad Street Line is accessible from almost all of the other train lines, and also by PATCO trains that come from New Jersey.
Once you get into the Bank, you’re going to want to sample something from the extensive ballpark menu. The celebrated food items are mostly found in Ashburn Alley in center field; there are Tony Luke’s and Campo’s cheesesteaks, Bull’s BBQ, Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries, and the popular Schmitter sandwich based on a local Chestnut Hill tavern (McNally’s). All of it is good, if a little premium priced. If you want to try the delicious crab fries, by the way, go to the actual Chickie’s and Pete’s on Packer Avenue—they’re cheaper there, and C&P has a shuttle called the Taxi Crab that will run you to the game!
There isn’t much in the way of local establishments to party after the game, but there is a McFadden’s located right there in the park. It’s a fun place with an outdoor patio and bands playing, but it does get crowded, especially after a Phillies win.
Chicago and Boston may have the classic ballparks, New York may have two majestic new ballparks, but Philadelphia has a unique and wonderful venue of its own and a great ballclub playing in it. No one ever regrets a trip to the ballgame at the Bank!
This article is of course just an introductory guide. You can learn much, much more about all of the aforementioned tips with a PDF-format Citizens Bank Park E-Guide—available here!