FirstEnergy Stadium
Reading, Pennsylvania
Year Opened
1950

Current Team
Reading Fightin Phils

Affiliate
Philadelphia Phillies

League
Eastern League

Capacity
8,000

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B+ Atmosphere A- Concessions A+

Photos taken in 2009
FirstEnergy Stadium is proof that a city does not need a new stadium in order to draw fans. As long as improvements are constantly made to the park, and prices remain affordable, people will come out to the park. How else to explain Reading being the second best draw in the Eastern League, ahead of cities like Trenton and Bowie (both which have newer parks) ? I've attended two games here, and have been amazed to see the crowds of people waiting to get in when the gates open. Once inside it is easy to see why fans get here early. The concessions are varied, affordable, and there are plenty of areas where fans can sit and enjoy their dinners. Besides this, there are numerous pre-game activities, especially for the kids. For a buck kids can ride a small train around the park. FirstEnergy Stadium is really nothing too special as a park. The grandstand has a small roof that covers about half the seating. All the seating in the grandstand is plastic molded seats. There are large bleacher sections down both lines - most of which is bench seating. Also, outfield seating (including a pool) was recently added. The concourse area is located beneath the grandstand as well as behind both bleacher sections. It can be a bit tight under the grandstand with big crowds, but the park is big enough so there are other places to go. The first base concourse area has concession stands featuring grilled items. On the third base side is a picnic area as well as another concession stand in the left field corner. A scoreboard featuring a small video board is in left-center field. The team tries to keep the focus on baseball here, but with sound effects and 5 mascots running around, it can be a bit tough for fans to pay attention to the game. Still, it's great to see large crowds at an older stadium. The only small complaint I have here is that there is no wraparound concourse. With plenty of space for one behind the center field fence, it would seem to an obvious addition. Despite recent rumors about a new ballpark being built in Reading, the Phillies owners seem content with staying put at FirstEnergy Stadium. Reading should be an example for all those cities complaining because they can't draw with their "old" , luxury box-less parks.
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