|Anything would be an improvement on Veterans Stadium. Tickets in Philadelphia for Phillies games
were a hot commodity when this place first opened. For anyone that has attended a game at the Phillies' former home, Citizens Bank Park is an infinitely better place to see a game. For me, it doesn't stack up to some of the other new parks built since 1990, but just having a baseball-only facility with real grass is enough to probably make most Phillie fans happy. Like other parks that opened recently, Citizens Bank Park has been termed "retro". But its setting is anything but. Located right next to where the Vet was, it is on the outskirts of the city in the same complex as the other sports arenas. The Center City skyline can be seen from the upper deck, but mostly you just notice the parking lots when looking beyond the outfield fence. The physical structure of the ballpark doesn't break any new ground, but the Phillies have added some unique touches. The most notable is the open concourse in the upper deck. This pushes the fourth level of seating a bit higher, but provides more standing room which fans seems to be demanding more and more lately. Also there are some "rooftop" bleachers located on top of concession structure in right field that are supposed to resemble those that were at Connie Mack Stadium. But the feature of the ballpark that is getting the most attention and seems to be the most popular with the fans in Ashburn Alley, which is located along the outfield concourse. This area has several concession stands (including Greg Luzinski's "Bull's BBQ") as well Memory Lane which contains some history of the Phillies. Also located in the outfield below the scoreboard is a two-tiered restaurant called Harry The K's which has seats that overlook the field. Concessions at Citizens Bank park are somewhat limited in variety, especially for a new park. Cheesesteaks, Italian sausages, burgers, chicken fingers, and BBQ are the extent of the food options. Maybe the blue collar nature of the Phillie fans makes them less demanding in terms of concessions choices than fans in places like Seattle and Denver. The concessions they do have are reasonably priced and of pretty good quality. The atmosphere here is rather laid back. While Philadelphia fans are known for their booing, the Phillies don't go overboard with their music, sound effects, or silly between inning games. Sightlines appears to be quite good from most seats in the park. While the fourth deck of seating is a bit high, it is still probably closer than many of the upper deck seats at Veterans Stadium. Parking is plentiful in the lots surrounding the park and costs $10. Having seen most of the other new ballparks, I wasn't overly impressed with Citizens Bank Park, but compared to the ballpark the Phillies were coming from, it is a huge upgrade.