Under Construction: CBP Work Far From Finished

With snow falling in Philadelphia, workers scrambled to do what work they could on Citizens Bank Park as the first of two exhibition games to be played at the Phillies new stadium on April 3 and 4 draw closer. Amidst the snow and construction workers, the Phillies again reiterated that the new home won't be a completely finished product when the first fans walk through the turnstiles.

Remember when you were a kid and you played wiffle ball. All you needed was a yard, a bat, a ball and a few friends. Heck, you didn't even need bases because somebody could simply take off their shirt and throw it on the ground to mark the base. Then, in little league, you graduated to real bases at least a bench to sit on and sometimes, there was even a homerun fence. It was baseball basics.

Stadiums these days are complex things. Miles and miles of cable and millions and millions of dollars. There is concrete work to be done, video boards to be constructed and all sorts of amenities to be installed. Yes, those of us who were content with stepping on somebody's shirt as we rounded first have grown into fans that feel slighted if our seat doesn't come with a cup holder. Get ready to feel slighted.

The Phillies had always hinted that there might be a few finishing touches that would have to be done on Citizens Bank Park after the opening exhibition games. Now, they have acknowledged that those "finishing touches" might include things like getting the concession stands in working order and they could run not only past the exhibition games, but well past the home opener on April 12.

Plans are being made to set up temporary concession stands because many of the permanent facilities won't be ready to serve up our beer and cheese steaks. In fact, Larry Shenk, the Phillies vice president for public relations told The Philadelphia Inquirer that portions of the park may be off limits to fans. One of those area could be Ashburn Alley a section of the outfield set as a playground for fans of all ages. The fan area is far from complete and will likely be at the top of the list of areas that fans won't be permitted in at least during the exhibition games.

If you're going to one of the early games, you can know that your seat will be ready. The field will be ready. Those fancy video boards will be ready. Other than that, the Phillies will let you know as we draw closer to the opening. Shenk conceded that workers will be on site for some time after the official home opener on April 12 doing work on various areas of the stadium. Work started in left field and moved in a counter clockwise direction, so the right field areas of the stadium are the furthest from completion. If it makes you feel any better, the players workout area may not be finished for the exhibition opener either. That area should have all of the work done and equipment installed prior to the official opener though, so our team will be able to stay in shape.

Look at it this way. It's baseball at its purest. There's a field, the players have dugouts and you have a seat. Plus, there will be Phillies baseball. After all, isn't that all we really need?

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