Ballpark Digest is previewing what every MLB team is doing to begin the season, both on and off the field, as the 2018 campaign is underway. Up next: the Philadelphia Phillies and Citizens Bank Park.
Citizens Bank Park will see some dramatic changes in 2018, as the Philadelphia Phillies have made a slate of improvements aimed at fans of all ages. From new amenities for kids, to new social spaces and a refined effort to celebrate team history, the Phillies have taken a multi-faceted approach to reshaping the fan experience.
In what is perhaps the biggest change for 2018, the Phillies are introducing The Yard. Designed by Metcalfe Architecture Design, the comprehensive kids’ area will feature a variety of amenities, highlighted by a WHIFFLE Ball field. Dubbed the Citizens Bank Phan Field, this area is modeled after Citizens Bank Park, with touches that include a dugout, padded outfield wall, and a scaled-down version of the ballpark’s scoreboard.
At 13,000 square feet, The Yard has plenty of room for other amenities, including a bullpen speed pitch, 30-foot climbing wall, a hot dog launcher complete with targets and soft-foam hot dogs, and a Turkey Hill Ice Cream Bar. Parents will also find an amenity for themselves in this space, as The Yard will feature a Backyard Bar with a drink lineup that includes beer, wine, cocktails, and frozen drinks. The Yard is located in right field in Ashburn Alley.
Citizens Bank Park will also feature an overhauled Left Field Plaza that honors the team’s history and incorporates new concession offerings. This area should provide plenty of photo opportunities, as it will feature the team’s World Series trophies from 1980 and 2008 along with statues of its retired numbers. In keeping with the history theme, the Phillies have relocated their Wall of Fame to this space. Also included is a new Boardwalk Eats, which features menu items like hot dogs, burgers and desserts. Bull’s BBQ has been relocated to a nearby space, while new patio seating can be accessed via a stairwell.
Elsewhere, look for new social spaces and group areas. A new social space behind the batter’s eye wall in centerfield will overlook the bullpen, and offer drink rails and seating. In addition, the right field corner will now feature new standing room only and eating areas.
Renovations have been made to the ballpark’s Bill Giles Party Suites. All three new party suites are climate-controlled, with interior lounge areas that offer room to socialize and views of the field. One of the suites has been outfitted with glass walls to provide views of the Philadelphia skyline. The suites can accommodate 40-70 guests.
The Phillies and Aramark are also refining Citizens Bank Park’s menu. A Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Vegan Cauliflower Cheesesteak have been added at Harry The K’s, and a Smoked Brisket Taco Trio will be available behind sections 120 and 135. P.J. Whelihan’s is now featured in Ashburn Alley, offering pub stables such as boneless wings and loaded tater tots. In a touch that spruces up the ballpark’s technology offerings, many in-seat vendors will accept credit cards this year, giving fans the option of a cashless transaction for select menu items.
Some other changes to Citizens Bank Park will affect behind-the-scenes aspects, though they are still notable. LED lighting has been installed at the ballpark, which has also received a new sound system. The Phillies also painted structural steel, re-coated concourses, extended their protective netting, and made Citizens Bank Park a smoke-free facility.
Rendering of The Yard courtesy Philadelphia Phillies and Metcalfe Architecture Design.
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