Nats Fans on the Road: Citizens Bank Park

The latest edition of “Nats Fans on the Road” takes us to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia where the Nationals completed their third consecutive series win.  Attendance at “The Bank” has plummeted since 2011 when Philadelphia Phillies led the majors with an average attendance of 45,440 and were the National League East champions.

These two Nationals fans drove to Citizens Bank Park in April for a game Saturday night.
These two Nationals fans drove to Citizens Bank Park in April for a game Saturday night.

This year the Phillies have a 27-50 record and rank 23rd in the majors with an average attendance of 25,151.  We caught up with two Nationals fans this week—Bill and Andrew—who were among the 22,292 fans who attended Friday night’s game in the City of Brotherly Love.

Bill

Bill planned his trip home to see friends around his plans to see a game.  He opted to head straight to his awesome field level seats down the first base line on Friday night as Max Scherer made a bid to join Johnny Vander Meer as the only pitcher to throw two consecutive no-hitters.

Bill sported his new Washington Senators hat from his field level seats.
Bill sported his brand new Washington Senators hat from his field level seats down the first base line.

Nationals fans who prefer to walk around can check out The Bank’s unique view of the visitor’s bi-level bullpen.  The bullpen is now much more accessible to fans as attendance has dwindled.

“In previous trips to the park, those sports filled up fast,” Bill said.  The bullpen is now much more accessible to fans as attendance has dwindled.

Watching the visiting team throw bullpen sessions is more accessible with lower attendance (Baseball Stadium Reviews)
Watching the visiting team throw bullpen sessions is more accessible with lower attendance (Baseball Stadium Reviews)

Bill often takes a pass on the ballpark food and instead opts for dinner at “a famous dive” where fans can get better value.  He recommends Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks because they have his “favorite cheesesteak,” and Uncle Oogie’s Pizza which is just a 10 minute drive from the stadium.

Visiting fans apparently don’t have to sweat those “stereotypical” run-ins with Phillies fans like they do at Nationals Park.  Bill’s interactions with Phillies fans were pleasant.  “They too were following Scherzer’s perfect game bid and they gave him a loud round of applause when he gave up a hit…They were classy.”

Andrew

Andrew and his family originally planned to see two games—one on Friday and one on Sunday—while they were on vacation.  “The doubleheader was a bonus,” Andrew said acknowledging his opportunity to see a rare traditional single-admission doubleheader.

Andrew took 574 photos on Sunday.  Follow him on Twitter (@NatsFamily) to see them.
Andrew took 574 photos on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter (@NatsFamily) to see them.
My roommate Zach bought a cup of Crab fries when we went to Citizens Bank Park
My roommate Zach bought a cup of Crab fries when we went to Citizens Bank Park

There are plenty of places to get cheesesteaks at The Bank including Campo’s Steaks in Ashburn Alley—the center field concourse where fans can also “enjoy” Crab fries (french-fries seasoned with Old Bay) and take pictures at the Wall of Fame.

Fans, like Andrew, looking for something a little more unique can also stop by left field Federal Donuts concession behind Section 140.  Federal Donuts is Philadelphia establishment that sells a two-piece fried chicken box with a doughnut for $9.75.  For $3.75 fans wanting something sweet can buy brown sugar doughnuts or cinnamon doughnuts in packages of two. Andrew’s experience with a Phillies fan was similar to Bill’s experience.  “The one Phillies fan I talked to Friday was hoping for a no-hitter,” he said.

Andrew and his family enjoyed doughnuts from Federal Donuts concession
Andrew and his family enjoyed doughnuts from Federal Donuts concession.

Citizens Bank Park certainly has the potential to become “Nationals Park North.” The next series in Philadelphia starts September 14.