Veterans Stadium Awaits Its Demise

Veterans Stadium is literally on its last legs. Portions of the stadium – both interior and exterior – have been cut away to aid in the pending implosion. The Phillies offices have long since been moved to their new homes at Citizens Bank Park. The seats, the signs, the turf, any possible item that could be sold to fans and collectors has been distributed with charities benefitting from the sale. Now, the once grand home of the Phillies stands just waiting to be put out of its misery.

Sunday morning in South Philadelphia will not be very quiet. Veterans Stadium, once a state-of-the-art facility that was the pride of both the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles will have its own internal fireworks display. Workers will spend this week rigging dynamite at strategic spots throughout the stadium, setting off the blasts and dropping The Vet will come on Sunday morning.

Say what you will about our old playground, but it served us well. Veterans Stadium became victim to a change in ideals. At one time, stadiums just like The Vet went up all over the country and one at a time, they're all coming down. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have already fallen and St.Louis won't be far behind. It seemed like a great plan; a facility that could house both football and baseball, plus play home to great concerts. None of that pesky real grass to take care of. Adjustable seating configurations that fit for both sports. Enough seating for football and to house the ArmyNavy football games. Enough room for a city to celebrate a World Series victory in 1980.

One of the Veterans Stadium landmarks – the Liberty Bell – is removed from the stadium to be placed in storage until a final decision on its fate is made.
The times, they are a changin'. Now, real grass is back in fashion. Intimate is better. Teams want their own stadiums, not needing to share with anybody. Fans enjoy little things like cupholders on seats. Owners love the spacious and plentiful luxury boxes, much closer to the field and much more lucrative for the bottom line.

Citizens Bank Park will be great. There is no doubt about that. As a fan, I too want all of the intimacy that the new place will boast. As a fan who is in love with the signing of Jim Thome and the trade for Billy Wagner, I understand the bottom line and love its new looks. Still, as the days and soon, the mere hours tick away, it's sad to think of the moments that took place in our old home. A few years ago, my parent's home – the place where I grew up – was sold. It still stands and I still find myself driving past for a look at the old place every now and again. Part of me wishes that The Vet could be there for quick visits when nostalgia hits. Still, this is progress. Still, she served us well.

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