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Citizens Bank Park Is An Underrated Gem

I went to Citizens Bank Park a couple of weeks ago for the series against the Mets. The Phillies unsurprisingly took two out of three games sending the Mets season into an even more depressing place. But the big takeaway for me from the weekend was how great CBP is. I walked away having it ranked as my favorite ballpark I've been to in the NL East (haven't been to Atlanta yet):

1. Citizens Bank Park

2. Citi Field

3. loanDepot Park (Marlins Park)

4. Nationals Park

5. Shea Stadium

6. Olympic Stadium (Montreal Expos)

7. Joe Robbie Stadium (old Marlins park)

First, the sightlines were fantastic. I sat in the Home Run Club the first night, the uppers on the 2nd day and field level for the last game. Every single game had better sightlines than the equivalent at Citi Field (probably the weakness of that park). loanDepot has some great views as well but the roof being closed most of the time and the food being average gives CBP the easy win there. Nationals Park just has no identity to me. It's a tough spot when they haven't been in DC all that long but it was the most boring new stadium I've been to.

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My biggest drawback of CBP was I hate how all the Philadelphia arenas are all in the same random exit off the highway. I love how in Baltimore, you can walk to Camden Yards and get a good dinner nearby and never have to hop in a car. In fairness, the areas around Citi Field and loanDepot might be the only places in NYC and Miami where you can't find a bar. 

The thing I loved most about the park was the dedication the history of Phillies baseball. They did such a great job honoring their past, I was left wishing the Mets did much more at Citi Field. My favorite thing may have been the All-Star Bricks. This was in Ashburn Alley (named after the HOF Phillies centerfielder and later broadcaster Richie Ashburn). They have a section for each position and then each All-Star gets a square with their name, the year and the Phillies logo from that time It's an awesome time capsule.

If you walk into the park by the Centerfield Entrance, you are greeted by a Wall of Fame. This is similar to the plaques you'll see in the Mets Hall of the Fame but I like how this is out in the open and the first thing people see when they walk in. 

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Right in front of the plaques are two giant World Series trophies. The one pictured is from 1980 and the other is from 2008. I love these reminders how special a World Series title is. Them adding a third trophy out there will be a big deal.

Citi Field still has the best food. I love how modern loanDepot Park looks. Nationals Park…exists. But after spending the weekend, I have the Citizens Bank Park ranked ahead of all of them. 

If you are looking for more stadium reviews, Frank The Tank and I went to Miami to grade and review loanDepot park. He's a tougher grader than I am but I think we were both pretty fair.