People who don’t like the location of Citizens Bank Park should really count their blessings. When the ballpark was being proposed, one of the sites was in the heart of the city near Chinatown, which was nixed when Chinatown folks protested the intrusion into their neighborhood. This probably saved people who rent cars in Philadelphia about $350 million in land acquisition costs.
All the same, baseball fans bemoan the reality that Citizens Bank Park isn’t everything it could be, because it’s in the same dreary neighborhood as the rest of Philly’s sports arenas, where Veterans Stadium once sat. To which I say, until you’ve ridden a shoddy 7 train to get to a Mets game or a sardine-packed Green Line train to a Red Sox game because traffic and parking are so miserable, quit yer bitchin’. One thing the Philadelphia sports complex has is ample parking.
Still, with the Phillies as popular as they have become, all of the parking lots near the Bank get full, making exiting the lot after the game a slow, patience-trying experience.
If you don’t mind a bit of a walk, I have the antidote. This tip was given to me by a Phillies usher by the name of Marty, who would know.
There is a NovaCare complex west of the ballpark on Pattison Avenue. Look for the sign in Eagles green. Just west of NovaCare (don’t try to park in their lot) is a lot mostly used by the employees of Philly teams, but there is ample parking for fans here as well. This lot costs the same as the stadium lots, and it’s a bit of a hike, but you’ll be glad you did it after the game.
Leaving the lot just make a right out of the gate instead of a left towards the park and its exiting traffic, and after a few hundred yards you can make a hard right onto Penrose Avenue (you’d do well to stay in the right hand lane until you get there), which leads straight to I-76 and points west and east including New Jersey. From I-76, you can also head east and quickly get on I-95 for points north and south. Meanwhile, people in the Bank’s lots will be wishing they had taken the Taxi Crab to Chickie’s and Pete’s to wait this out.
Like I said, it’s about a quarter of a mile walk to get to the park from here, but if you’re going to be downing a Tony Luke’s cheesesteak or a Schmitter, you’re going to need the exercise anyway. Better to get some extra blood flowing through your legs than have everything sit on your butt for an hour in a parking lot.
Hopefully, someday there will be some Pattison Avenue vendors of something besides oversalted soft pretzels, making the walk an even better one.