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1900 Centre Ave.
Reading, PA

Stadium Opened: 1950
Capacity: 9,000
Dimensions: LF 330 ft.  CF 400 ft.  RF 330 ft.
Surface: Natural Grass

Former Names of Ballpark: Reading Municipal Stadium, Memorial Stadium, GPU Stadium

Parking:

  • Parking is free, but a little cramped
  • There are signs in the parking lot that say “Foul Ball Landing Territory”
  • Reading Railroad goes through parking lot. (This RR line is still active)

Food:

  • Concession stands are located inside the concourse part of the ballpark underneath the seating bowl and outside in VIST Financial Plaza (added in 2011).
  • The featured concession item is "The Churger"- a hamburger and a chicken breast separated by a slice of cheese on a roll.
  • Other concession items available: Rita's Italian Ice, French fries, funnel cake fries, DiGiorno Pizza, Hot Dogs, Roasted Nuts, Onion Rings, Chicken Tenders, Nachos, Cheese Steak Sliders, Stuffed pretzels, etc.
  • Prices were very reasonable. In 2017, a hot dog was still only $2.00.

 

 

Seating/Stadium Design:

  • Picnic Area in the outfield with TVs on the tables
  • No luxury Boxes
  • Pool in right field picnic area
  • Bleacher Seats (with backs) and box seats

  • Seats are blue, red, and yellow. The variety of colors take away from the attractiveness of the park. UPDATE- I noticed on my 2017 visit, the seats are now blue, yellow, and green.
  • VIST Financial Plaza- added in 2011, is four times larger than the previous food court. It is covered with protective netting so fans can enjoy their concessions at a table or wait in line without fear of getting plunked on the head with a foul ball. The plaza also features a small performance stage for pre-game music.

Photo taken in 2017 of updated video board

Atmosphere/Character:

  • Good Sound Effects and PA system
  • Free Programs
  • National Penn Bank Train Sign beyond the outfield wall - when the Phillies score a run, the train smokes and lights up.
  • In between innings contests and promos. The most popular is the "Crazy Hot DOg Vendor" who throws hot dogs into the stands
  • One thing I don't care for here is that they are very uptight over where you can and can't stand. Even if you are just snapping a quick photo, they shoo you away. Also, when exiting the ballpark, you can only walk in certain directions and some areas they block off. I had a hard time meeting up with my husband and daughter who had run the bases because I wasn't allowed to walk where I needed to, to find them. Good thing I didn't let my daughter go by herself, thinking we could meet her on the 3b side. Even when there was only a handful of fans left in the ballpark, they still wouldn't allow you to walk in certain directions to exit. This really rubbed me the wrong way, especially thinking how my daughter would have been paranoid if we couldn't get to her quick enough after she ran the bases. I left the game with really bad taste in my mouth, for a ballpark I thought I loved in past visits. I lowered the score in this category from 4 stars to 3 because of this. Sorry, but no need to be so controllling. You should be able to exit through every available exit from the grandstand.
  • Retired numbers in Centerfield
  • Oldest ballpark in the Eastern League
  • This stadium has a lot of character, mainly due to the unique surroundings. (A water tower is scene beyond the 3rd base side of the stadium, railroad tracks are visible as well). There are decorative railroad crossing signs at entrance to the stadium
  • Also, the unique features of the stadium, like the heated swimming pool in Right field.
  • Multiple mascots are available throughout the game in the autograph booth

One of the mascots, "Screwball"

 

Crazy Hot Dog Vendor

 

Recognition of Team's History and/or MLB Affiliate:

  • Team's name is taken from it's MLB affiliate, the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Photographs hung on the wall throughout the concourse area.
  • Mural in VIST Financial Plaza.

 

 

Overall Rating:

Review based on visist on 5/29/06, 7/19/09, and 5/5/11 and 8/27/17.

 

amanda@baseballstadiumreviews.com