Philadelphia Phillies tickets

Veterans Stadium

Inside Veterans Stadium

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tenants: Philadelphia Phillies (NL); Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)
Opened: April 4, 1971
First Phillies game: April 10, 1971
Last Phillies game: September 28, 2003
Demolished: March 21, 2004
Surface: Astroturf (1971-2000); NeXturf (2001-2003)
Capacity: 62,382 (baseball); 65,356 (football)

Architect: Hugh Stubbins & Associates
Builder: McCloskey & Co.
Owner: City of Philadelphia
Cost: $50 million

Philadelphia Phillies tickets:

Location: Left field (N by NE), Packer Street and Interstate 76; third base (W by NW), Broad Street; first base (S by SW), Pattison Avenue, First Union Spectrum and Center; right field (E by SE), Tenth Street.

Dimensions: Foul lines: 330 ft.; power alleys: 371 ft.; center field: 408 ft.; backstop: 60 ft.; foul territory: large.

Fences: 6 ft. (wood April, 1972); 8 ft. (wood June, 1971); 12 ft. (6 ft. plexiglass above 6 ft. wood, 1972).

Aerial view of the Vet
 
Outside the Vet

Veterans Stadium was built on a 74-acre site in South Philadelphia, part of a complex that also included the Spectrum, home of both the Flyers (NHL) and 76ers (NBA), and JFK Stadium, site of the annual Army-Navy college football game. JFK Stadium was torn down and replaced by a new arena, called the First Union Center. Veterans Stadium replaced 62-year-old Shibe Park (A.K.A. Connie Mack Stadium), which was located north of the city. Its seating capacity of 62,382 was the largest in the National League, a status temporarily usurped by Mile High Stadium in Denver when it was the home of the Colorado Rockies.

Voters approved a $25-million bond issue for a new stadium in 1964, but because of cost overruns, another measure in 1967 authorized an additional $13 million. At a total cost of $50 million, it was one of the most expensive ballparks to date. At the Veterans Stadium opening, the ceremonial first pitch was dropped from a helicopter to Phillies catcher Mike Ryan, who bobbled the ball but held on. That started a tradition of unique deliveries of the baseball on Opening Day. In 1994, the Phillies took over the management of the Vet from the city of Philadelphia, which let the stadium fall into disrepair. The team eventually installed new seats, and a new out of town scoreboard.

The Phillies, born in 1883, had never won a World Series championship when the Vet opened. They proceeded to win NL East championships in 1976, 1977, and 1978, and, in 1980, the World Series by beating the Kansas City Royals. The World Series returned to Veterans Stadium in 1983 and 1993, but the Phillies lost both times.

The Vet, Spectrum and JFK
 
Inside the Vet

Trivia:

  • Retired numbers: Richie Ashburn (1), Robin Roberts (36), Steve Carlton (32), Mike Schmidt (20) and Jim Bunning (14).
  • No hitters: Terry Mulholland, against the Giants on August 15, 1990, and Kevin Millwood, against the Giants on April 27, 2003.
  • Site of the 1976 and 1996 All Star games.
  • The parkís rounded rectangular shape was called an octorad by the architects.
  • Connie Mack Stadiumís home plate was transplanted here.
  • Plastic tarp covered unfinished right-field wall in April 1971.
  • "Liberty Bell" used to hang from center-field roof on fourth level - hit by Greg Luzinski on May 16, 1972.
  • Statues of Connie Mack and a sliding runner outside the park.
  • Smallest hot dogs and loudest boos in baseball.

More on Veterans Stadium:

Recommended Reading (bibliography):

  • Philadelphia's Old Ballparks by Rich Westcott.
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
  • The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
  • City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
  • Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
  • Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
  • Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
  • Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
  • The Story of America's Classic Ballparks (VHS).

Veterans Stadium seating diagramBaker BowlConnie Mack StadiumCitizens Bank Park

Philadelphia Phillies
3501 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
(215) 463-1000

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PHOTOGRAPHS:

Panoramic view inside Veterans Stadium © 1996 by Munsey & Suppes and Ray Bergman.
Aerial view of Veterans Stadium courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies.
View outside of Veterans Stadium courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies.
View of Veterans Stadium, the Spectrum and JFK Stadium by Munsey & Suppes.
Wide angle view of inside the park courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Updated October 2004

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BALLPARKS © 1996-2014 by Munsey & Suppes.