This article is part of the wheelchair travel blog series, Accessible Gameday. In this series, I’ll share my experiences with wheelchair accessibility at ballparks and sports stadiums around the country.
The Philadelphia Phillies baseball team is America’s oldest continuous professional sports franchise — since 1883, the team hasn’t switched cities or changed its name, giving it a sense of stability that baseball fans adore. The Phillies have played ball at Citizens Bank Park since 2004, and the stadium is one of the most wheelchair accessible in all of baseball.
On a recent trip to Philadelphia, the Phillies organization offered me a tour of the ballpark and tickets to a game so that I could produce this article on the gameday experience for people with disabilities.
Philadelphia Phillies ADA Tickets & Seating
The Phillies offer ADA seating throughout the ballpark and at various price points. The exception is the 400-level, which is accessible only by stairs. To ensure price equity for fans with disabilities, wheelchair spaces on the 300-level are sold at a reduced price to match that of seats offered to able-bodied guests on the 400-level.
Single-game tickets can be purchased online at www.phillies.com. From the ticketing page, it is possible to browse a seat map that displays only ADA accessible seats. Click the link that says either “Need ADA Seats?” or “Click here for real-time ADA/Handicap Seating” – the link text depends on whether you are using the standard or interactive seat map.
My seat was in section 117, along the first base side of the field. Although the picture above is not great, the view from my seat definitely was. The ADA seats were shielded from the rain, which was a factor the night I went. During my tour of the stadium earlier in the day, I was able to check out the various seating options for wheelchair users, which I have shared below.
Each of the ADA wheelchair seating areas could be easily adapted to suit individual and group needs, with folding chairs available for able-bodied companions or guests. The diversity of accessible seating locations was great, allowing fans with disabilities to enjoy a game on a budget (with some tickets under $20 each!) or splurge on a spot behind home plate. Choice is important in equal access, and the Phillies hit that one out of the park.
For more information on ADA seating or to purchase tickets, visit the Phillies ticket office outside the stadium on Pattison Ave. (pictured above) or call ticket services at +1 (215) 463-1000.
Citizens Bank Park Stadium Accessibility
Opened in 2004, Citizens Bank Park is a modern baseball stadium that was built with ADA accessibility regulations in mind. I found everything easy to access, and I’d like to highlight a few things here.
Accessible bathrooms are important, and I found them in abundance throughout the ballpark and on multiple levels. In total, there are 61 restroom facilities at Citizens Bank Park.
The men’s (and presumably women’s) restrooms each feature ADA accessible toilet stalls – one designed to accommodate wheelchair users and another for those who require grab bars but not extra space. In the wheelchair accessible stall, I found there to be plenty of room to maneuver my wheelchair and adequate space to park alongside the toilet. Bathroom sinks are also accessible.
For those requiring a bit more privacy, 14 family restrooms are located throughout the ballpark. The family restrooms are wheelchair accessible, with an ADA compliant toilet, grab bars and sink. Each family restroom contains a baby changing station.
Elevators & Ramps
Elevators are available to take fans to upper floors and sections of the ballpark. On the ground floor, elevators are located behind sections 103, 112, 119, 123, 133, 137 and 141. To locate the appropriate elevator, simply ask an usher.
If you’d prefer not to use an elevator, two sets of ramps provide access to the upper levels of the ballpark. Their locations are behind first base and adjacent to the left field gate. Pictured above is the ramp near the left field gate.
Concession sales are a major part of the bottom line for professional sports franchises, and the Phillies are no exception. Concession stands lined the concourse and mezzanine levels, with ballpark staples like hot dogs, hamburgers and pretzels, as well as Philly favorites like the cheesesteak. There was even a stand selling macaroni & cheese.
The largest concession stands like the 9th St. Market and Hatfield Grill, pictured above, offered a wide variety of meals, snacks and drinks to combat hunger and thirst during the game. At the Hatfield Grill, the staff were extremely accommodating, offering to bring my order out for me.
Location & Transportation
Citizens Bank Park is located in South Philadelphia, within a spots complex that includes Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center. The ballpark’s address is:
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
If you will be driving to attend a Phillies game, make sure to bring your handicap parking permit/decal/blue badge. Disabled parking spaces in each of the preferred lots surrounding Citizens Bank Park are available for $18 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Public transportation is also a great way to get to Citizens Bank Park. Ride the subway’s Broad Street Line to AT&T Station, then walk or roll the final half-mile to the ballpark. AT&T Station is fully wheelchair accessible, and one-way rides cost just $2.50 (or $2.00 with the reloadable SEPTA Key card).
You can alternatively order a Philadelphia wheelchair taxi to get to and from the game. Traditional taxi companies, UberWAV and Lyft Access provide accessible taxi vans in Philadelphia with a rear-entry wheelchair ramp.
Professional sports teams are an important part of the culture of American cities and the Phillies are no exception. The accessibility of Citizens Bank Park makes it possible for people with disabilities and wheelchair users to take part in the Phillies tradition. Whether you are visiting Philadelphia or live locally, attending a Phillies baseball game is one of the best choices for accessible entertainment.