Phils Begin New Era With On Deck Series

This weekend will be loaded with firsts in the illustrious lure of Philadelphia Phillies baseball. It is no secret that the Phils will be opening the gates to shiny new Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, which signifies a new chapter in the team's history books. The Cleveland Indians are a perfect opponent for such an event because they have seen first hand the affects a new ballpark can have on a passionate baseball fan base.

When Jim Thome's private chartered jet arrives early Saturday morning in Philadelphia, the Phils slugger will be en route to his first meeting with his former team, the Cleveland Indians. Thome has often spoke of his great memories from time spent in Cleveland, many of which surrounding the atmosphere at Jacob's Field. The Phillies hope for and anticipate the same results to surround Citizens Bank Park, beginning right from the get go on Saturday.

In Cleveland, the Indians experienced a streak in which every game for over two seasons was sold out, due largely in part to Thome's talent, and the electric ambiance of Jacobs Field. It is no surprise that the Phillies chose Cleveland to be the opponent when they unveil the crown jewel of this front office.

Although Saturday and Sunday's games will only be exhibition contests, with the players still fine tuning their game, they will provide a chance for Phillies fans to experience the excitement of what baseball is all about. Citizens Bank Park is the culmination of years of hard work by the Phillies front office and the future couldn't look brighter for the team.

Whether it's taking a stroll down Ashburn Alley, or watching the game from the rooftop bleachers in right field, there is something for everyone at Citizens Bank Park. While fans may have left years of memories behind when the team made the move to their new park, those same fans will forge new memories and traditions in the Phightin Phils new home.

The Phillies really seem to have gotten everything right with the new ball yard. Any longtime Philadelphian can easily see the parallels with the team's first home; Shibe Park. This ballpark is Philadelphia, from the architecture, to the brick Façade and even the statues bordering the entrances ooze with nostalgia of years gone by.

From a business standpoint, Citizens Bank Park will pay dividends for the team beginning with the first turn of the turnstile Saturday afternoon. Often criticized for it's horrid turf and obstructed sightlines, Veterans Stadium became a Burden for the Phillies. Because the team was locked into a joint lease with the Eagles, there wasn't much chance for the stadium to generate enough money to put the Phillies into the upper echelon of Major League Baseball. Now, with a baseball only park, the skies the limit for funds rolling into the front office.

And so, the moment has come for the Philadelphia Phillies to finally lace up their spikes and go to war on a grass field in a baseball only park that was meant for Philadelphia. Citizens Bank Park, like Veterans Stadium, will soon become more than just a building, rather, a place for fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and groups of friends to finally have a chance to view and enjoy the game of baseball the way it was meant to be. Hopefully the results on the field will echo the beauty of Citizens Bank Park for years and years to come.

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