Teams: Philadelphia Phillies

Citizens Bank Park

Philadelphia Phillies
Major League
Final Score

TL;DR?  Here’s the long-form piece in a nutshell:

For something as subjective as ballpark rankings, with all their variations based on roots and loyalties, there’s a rare consensus here: fantastic park, less-than-ideal setting.

Philly fans will tout the infrastructure efficiencies, but Citizens Bank Park is almost defined by its South Philadelphia Sports Complex location, because any shortcomings are a function of that location.  Drag the park 4 miles north and witness the closer skyline views, much-needed sense of place, and vibrant local scene, and you would have a top-5 park.

Location and views are huge in my book, but CBP does almost everything else right.  Leaving the classic Dodger Stadium out of the equation which is a different animal, this is my highest ranked “parking lot stadium.”

Aesthetically, the interior sports clean lines, an engaging color scheme, a unique angular grandstand design, and one of baseball’s most beautiful batter’s eyes.  Functionally, CBP’s sightlines are excellent, and the concourse design may be baseball’s very best.  The concourses open to the field on all three levels, with no interruptions in visibility throughout the main concourse, numerous fan-friendly SRO areas, and Ashburn Alley.

Elevated by recent renovations, CBP’s amenities are some of the best in baseball.  Local culinary staples like Tony Luke’s, Campo’s, and Federal Donuts remain scrumptious.  Recent enhancements added (a) a wonderful sports bar with an open-air beer garden, (b) a redesigned historical exhibit in left field, and (c) one of baseball’s premier kids’ areas, among other things.  Then throw in the passionate Philly fans, and you’re looking at a memorable experience.

But Citizens Bank Park still feels like a missed opportunity for what it lacks—that all-so-important sense of place provided by a downtown location—given that it’s otherwise so fan-friendly.