(One of my favorite ways to have fun and stay positive is sports, both watching and playing them. This article illustrates why I love sports.)
We were recently in Philadelphia where we got $17 SRO tickets to see the Phillies host the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park in South Philly.
At the time, the Phillies had sold out more than 100 straight home games. That started me thinking . . . 43,000 phans times $55 per head is $2,365,000 per game. So that’s how they afford those salaries! (I got the per person
cost from something called the Fan Cost Index. The Phillies are the 8th most expensive “experience” in the 30-team MLB.)
In 2004, when this very nice retro stadium opened, Citizens Bank agreed to pay $95 million dollars for the stadium to carry its name for 25 years (or, if sooner, until they go belly up — as happened with other stadiums when the dot com bubble burst. Remember Enron Field in Houston?).
We arrived early enough to walk around the park and to see the night’s starting pitcher, Phillies all-star Roy Halladay, warm up in the outfield.
Before long, the game began. With Halladay pitching, we expected a low scoring game. However there was a brisk breeze blowing out toward the right field stands . . . and that turned out to be where 4 of Halladay’s pitches ended up. He surrendered a career high 4 home runs.
But the home phans went home happy because Jimmy Rollins, and others, mounted a late game rally to win 5-4 .
In a few days, I won’t remember the score of the game or much about it.
But several memories of the evening will stay with me for a long time . . .
The Phillies mascot, the Philly Phanatic, is a bundle of energy and the phans love him. He’s all over the stadium. At one moment, he’s in the 400 level nose-bleed seats joshing with the fans and a few minutes later he’s on top of the Phillies dugout leading cheers.
The phans are truly nutso for their team. Seventy-five percent of them were wearing Phillies red gear, but that didn’t prevent the stores from selling even more jerseys and hats. Ka-ching!
Since no visit to Philadelphia would be complete without a Philly Cheese Steak, I went shopping in the main food section of the stadium, called “Ashburn Alley.” I discovered that a place called Campo’s had a “Vegetarian Cheese Steak.” I decided to give it a try. Although I have no clue what was in the sandwich replacing the beef, the sub was phantastic! I can’t wait to get my next one.
One of the advantages of not having seats is that you can wander around and watch the game from different positions. We did. But none of our views was as interesting as the one this cameraman had.
All-in-all, a great time at the ballpark on a Saturday night in early September .. . even without seats.