Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Accessibility at Citizen’s Bank Park

The Philadelphia Phillies’ current record is far from that of their World Series appearances of 2008 and 2009, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to the ballpark to catch a game.  In fact, not only will it be cheaper and easier to get tickets to see Howard and Utley, but it will also be easier to get around in a wheelchair.

Citizen’s Bank Park opened in 2004 with a goal “to assist our guests with disabilities in becoming familiar with a facility that is ‘not your typical ballpark’,” according to their website.  The Phils even hired an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) consultant to create an accessible environment when designing CBP.    The atmosphere, open-air feel, and fan-friendly environment of a game at CBP is a fun way to spend any day or night, regardless of the score.

Here are some disability-friendly features of CBP:

  • Courtesy wheelchairs are provided to be used for transportation to and from your seat.  They are available behind sections 122 and 318.  The chairs must be returned immediately after using them for other guests to use.
  • There are wheelchair accessible “seats” all around the park and in all three levels (Field, Pavillion, Terrace).  Companion seating is available allowing a maximum of three guests or caregivers per wheelchair to sit in these sections.  Folding chairs are provided as needed.  Find out ticket pricing and locations here.
  • Accessible parking spots are available near the stadium for $15 with the use of a placard or hang tag.  Make sure to arrive early to get a closer spot.
  • Elevators, water fountains, and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, including 14 family restrooms, are located throughout the park.

Here are some disability-friendly tips for enjoying a game:

  • Get to the park early enough to avoid the crowds.  The Ashburn Alley gates typically open two and a half hours before first pitch.  While you’re there, take a tour and watch Rollins take some swings.  The Phils start batting practice about two hours before night games.  These are subject to change, so call 267-570-BATS to get the latest updates.
  • Map out the areas of the park you want to see.  The park has a lot of features including Ashburn Alley, views of home and away bullpens, Harry the K’s, and a variety of concession stands (ranked #1 in MLB ballpark vegetarian options!).  Mapping it out allows you to see where everything is before the crowds arrive and get to everything efficiently.
  • Plan your transportation to and from the game.  Know how you’re going to get there whether it’s the Broad Street Line, driving, or otherwise.  And don’t forget to account for traffic.  Not all of the stops on the Broad Street Line are wheelchair accessible so go to septa.org to find out detailed information about your route.
  • If vision impairment is a concern, then be sure to bring binoculars and a handheld radio of some sort.  Syncing up the Phils on either 1210AM or 94.1FM is a good way to get a detailed perspective of the game through your headphones as you’re in your seats.  Smart phones, iPods, and other MP3 players often allow you to listen to these stations on the radio.
  • Know where the nearest bathrooms and first aid areas are located.  Guest services are located behind sections 122 and 318 for more specific information that may be applicable.

Have fun!  CBP is a great place to hang out with friends and family throughout the season so make sure to follow these tips and make the most of it.

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