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This entry was posted on Monday, July 7th, 2008 at 1:36 pm and is filed under Baseball, Football, Giants Rumors & News, Jets Rumors & News, Mets Rumors & News, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

On the 4th of July I wanted to be in the most American place I could possibly imagine. A baseball game is a pretty good start. When you go to the game in Philly, the birthplace of freedom, you’re on the right track.

Take in to account that Johan Santana was to pitch for the visiting rival Mets, that the stadium was filled with traveling New Yorkers, and that there are delicious cheesesteaks in center field and you’ve got yourself an afternoon that just oozes Americana… and Cheez Whiz.

The game itself turned out to be a rainy affair and the Phillies ended up pulling it out in the 9th. I had my money on Santana to strike out 9 players (which didn’t happen) and to get the win (which also didn’t happen). I had a ball despite my betting habits. The main reason for all this joy? The park itself is designed for fun.

From the moment I saw the gigantic baseball cards depicting the Phillies’ starting lineup I knew that this certainly wasn’t Shea. Citizens Bank Park is so new it almost sparkles. The vendors are easily accessible. You can pretty much see the game from everywhere and this gives the stadium a very open, airy feel. It’s not like you’re enclosed in a big concrete structure. Adding to it is a part of the stadium called Ashburn Alley. Planted at the Center Field wall, Ashburn Alley is a wide open area with concessions stands, standing tables as well as picnic tables, the bullpens for both teams, and no formal seating. It was this that blew my sports watching mind. I was standing in center field about ten feet above the Met’s bullpen leaning on the fence with a beer in hand casually watching Santana not strike anyone out. I think he struck out two. I had an incredible view right over down the plate and grabbing food or drink took about ten seconds. I usually didn’t even have to move. It was like being in your local bar, but instead of watching the game on the TV, the field was everywhere you turned. The atmosphere was charged as it always will be when these two teams play but the environment was relaxed. And the food… I ate two cheesesteaks. If you’ve never had one then you don’t know how incredibly delicious and self destructive that statement is.

I loved the stadium if you didn’t get that already. The best part about it, though, is that next year we New Yorkers will have not one new stadium but two. As I stood there listening to the Philladelphians taunting the Mets’ bullpen, all I could think was, “I hope this is how they’re building Yankee stadium.” Baseball to me is about spending a relaxing afternoon at the ballpark and this is how I like to do it. I checked out the Citi Field overview and it appears that the Mets are incorporating many of these design features in their new stadium.

• Numerous permanent attractions built into the master plan add to Citi Field’s family-friendly environment, including: an expanded Fan Fest family entertainment area within the ballpark on the Concourse level, an enhanced outfield Picnic Area adjacent to the batter’s eye, multiple party deck areas, and an interactive Mets museum with club memorabilia and Hall of Fame displays.

An enhanced picnic area adjacent to the batter’s eye? Multiple Party deck areas? Yes and Yes please. Shea’s dumpiness looks to be a thing of the past and I for one can’t wait for the new stadium.

Sadly, the new Yankee stadium doesn’t seem to involve any of these new design features, but hey it is Yankee stadium after all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?

I looked into the New Meadowlands and I see that their main focus has been building a stadium that will switch colors. Almost everything I read is about how when the Giants play, the whole stadium will be blue, and when the Jets play, it will be green. They’re obviously trying to make it more of a 50/50 stadium than Giants stadium was. With a new plaza ringing the stadium, they’re also catering to tailgating which is great since the parking lot before both Jets and Giants games is epic.

While I’m sad that there won’t be a standing room picnic/outdoor bar area in the New Meadowlands, I’m still excited for the new football stadium to be finished.

Citizens Bank Field is inspiring. It encourages people to go to ballgames. In building such a great ball park, the Phillies have done something they never intended to do. They almost certainly convinced me to be a regular at Mets games next season.

There are currently 2 responses to “July 4th and A Great Trip to the Ballpark”

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  1. 1 On July 7th, 2008, gozer said:

    I was at the game on Saturday. I fell head over heels for that ballpark. Talk about Americana. The open, airy design of the place that you mention is supposedly something they’re incorporating into CitiField as well – open concourses so that you can see the action from the concessions – brilliant! If the Yankees aren’t incorporating a similar design, then shame on them. After a weekend at Citizen’s Bank Park, I’m not sure I can ever look at a ballpark the same way again.

  2. 2 On July 7th, 2008, J Atwood said:

    I am looking forward to the new NY stadiums. I have never been to Shea, nor have I ever had a desire to. I’ve never once heard a good thing about it.

    I’ve been to Yankee Stadium a couple times and it’s a dump. Lost of history, yes, but a dump nonetheless. I love a good new stadium and look forward to catching some Phils=Mets games in Flushing next year.

    CBP is a beautiful stadium with the #1 rated stadium food in the country and I fully expect the NY stadium to try and outdo their Philly counterpart. It’ll be fun to see how they match up. Like tonight, when Mets Killer Adam Eaton stomps all over Father Time himself, Pedro Martinez.

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