Ballpark Experience Isn't All Great

Red Sox Nation doesn't make a trip to the ballpark a lot of fun, but a Phillies win can overshadow that issue. A bigger problem is that the Phillies need to pay attention to what happens after the game is over.

My wife and I went to Citizens Bank Park on Sunday to enjoy the Phillies game against the Red Sox. It was an enjoyable drive down the turnpike, with the usual delays at all the right places, but generally uneventful. When I got to Ashburn Alley, I found myself wondering is this Philadelphia or Boston? There were so many Boston jerseys walking around there, I couldn't tell. My wife and I went into the gift shop and what did we see? They were selling Boston Jerseys, not a few but a lot of them. I of course bought a Phillies shirt and my wife got a pink cap.

Next, we went to find our seats, this was our first time sitting in the 300 level; 319 to be exact. We got there after seemingly climbing a mountain. We sat down and the view was fantastic. Great seats behind home plate, looking over the bullpens and into Ashburn Alley. We sat and watched batting practice and the stands started filling up around us with - you guessed it - Red Sox Jerseys to the left of us, in front of us and behind us. I finally found relief when another group on our right came in and yelled Go Phillies!

The game gets started and Red Sox fans were chanting some dribble about their Sox. Then came Bobby Abreu and his home run and the chanting stopped and Phillies fans drowned out the Red Sox faithful. In our section, the Sox fans actually got up and left. No obstructed view, clear sailing all the way. I was really impressed by the attendants who offered to assists my wife carrying food and drinks each time she left and were able to answer any questions. It was a nice day for Phillies fans, since our team won, even though they had to do it between the scattered rain drops.

The whole experience in Philadelphia was great till it was time to go; the parking lot was a nightmare. We saw so many rude and crude people behind the wheel driving that day, it was amazing. We were cut off and almost hit several times and saw so many one finger salutes, it was an absolute joke, I was surprised that we didn't see multiple accidents. It wasn't just young people cutting other drivers off either. It was surprising how many of the cars had out of state license plates, too. One particular incident, a family sedan was trying to get in, insisting on inching their way in and a young guy in a sports car was determined not to let him in, He practically nailed himself to the car in front of him and when the flow of traffic finally let the family in, this joker kept revving his engine and charging at them like he was going to hit them. Obviously, he was showing off just how mature he was.

Once we got to the main street it was bumper to bumper until we got to the turnpike entrance, which after a game was expected. The part inside the stadium parking lot was utter chaos and police really need to be there to direct traffic and to avert situations like we witnessed. It would certainly make things run smoother.

Unfortunately, we'll have to miss our next scheduled visit in two weeks, since I'll be out of commission because of surgery. So while we got to see a win and enjoyed the day at the ballpark, the Phillies do need to pay more attention to some aspects of the fan experience. Of course, I'll do it again though, since I'm a fan through and through.

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