Located close to the state borders of Pennsylvania and New Jersey – which runs the Delaware River, Citizens Bank Park is the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. This venue was a replacement for Veterans Stadium, which served the Phillies for more than three decades. Citizens Bank Park was created at a rapid pace, with ground breaking for the facility on June 28th, 2002. The stadium opened less than two years later on April 3rd, 2004.
The cost for this facility was approximately $458 million, with the government agreeing to help fund the project. Similar to other professional sports teams, the threat of the Phillies leaving Philadelphia helped spur action. Before the venue opened, Citizens Bank agreed to pay $95 million for the naming rights to the facility over the span of 25 years.
Similar to many other stadiums, the fans wanted to name the venue in honor of a beloved local sports hero, although in the end, the cold, hard cash created by naming rights won out over sentiment. In this case, the compromise struck was the creation of Ashburn Alley, named after Richie Ashburn, who played for the club between 1948 and 1959 and broadcasted games from 1963 until 1997. The original Ashburn Alley was the conspicuously thick grass along the third base line at Shibe Park, which allowed his bunts to stay fair rather than go into foul territory as they would at other ballparks.
Philadelphia Phillies Stadium
Over the 2014 and 2015 season, the Phillies haven’t performed well at home or on the road, although their home record is a bit less terrible than their road mark. This is mostly because of a fire sale of their most valued players, which has made the squad into the worst in the league.
Citizen’s Bank Park is known to be one of the most hitter friendly venues in the MLB, so much so that the left field fence was moved back by five feet following ridiculous rates of home runs slugged during the first two seasons this stadium was in operation.
The 2015 Park Factor stats show that this ballpark is still one of the most productive for hitters, ranking close to the top in terms of the rate of runs and walks produced. Home runs still fly out of this park at an accelerated pace, although the number of hits produced hovers around average while doubles and triples take place at a pace that’s well below average.
Date Opened: April 3, 2004
Construction Cost: $458 million
Architect: Populous; Agoos Lovera Architects; EwingCole
Ballpark Type: Retro Classic
Capacity Attendance: 43,651
Playing Surface: Riviera Bermuda Grass
Previous Philadelphia Phillies Stadiums
Recreation Park; Baker Bowl; Connie Mack Stadium; Veterans Stadium
Other Major Events
2012 NHL Winter Classic
The fifth NHL Winter Classic took place at Citizens Bank Park, welcoming the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers, who played before a crowd of 46,967, which set an attendance record for this facility. The Rangers took the game by a score of 3-2.
First National League DH
Security concerns caused by the G20 summit in Toronto caused the Phillies to lend Citizens Bank Park to the Blue Jays as a home field when the two teams played on June 25th, 2010. Due to the fact that the Jays were considered the home team, this resulted in the first ever case of a designated hitter being used at a facility belonging to a National League team in the history of Major League Baseball.