Monday, July 13, 2009
Accessibility Review: Citizens Bank Park
Plenty of official parking lots at Citizens Bank Park are located around the park. We found a spot right across the street they close for pedestrian traffic. They seem to have a good amount of handicap parking here and it seemed that even after though the game was sold out not that many arriving by car arrived early to the game.
When the park first opened they only had Ashburn Alley open behind the outfield. Here they have an area with a time line history of Philadelphia baseball history and the Phillies Wall of Fame. This area has steps down to it with a ramp next to the steps. The ramp works for the most part, but it would have been better if they had flipped the set up of the steps and ramp or just made it all ramped. The issue is that to see the timeline up close you have to go by each chunk and then turn around to get to the ramp to the next chunk. It was not really an issue since it was not crowded when we were there, but it is potentially an annoyance if this area is crowded, which really does not take much since the path is not that big here.
In Ashburn Alley before the rest of the park opened we got some fries and sat in the picnic area by the barbeque place. Mik was not really able to get up to the table due to them being circular picnic tables without enough room between the bench parts for Mik’s wheelchair to scoot up to the table. It was not a problem for Mik at the time, as he was not trying to eat anything, but it certainly would not have worked if he had wanted to eat at the table and not on his lap at that time.
Once the rest of the park opened we headed to find our seats in section 207. It was not easy to find the elevator up to the seats, but we were finally shown by a staff member where the elevator to the club level was located. It is kind of hidden and no signs point to it, which is actually a good thing because it keeps people that do not need it from hogging it. At the end of the game there was a little bit of a wait because up top it is easier to find, but the usher outside the elevator made sure we got on first as soon as he noticed us waiting.
Our seats in section 207 were good seats. The view of the field and scoreboard was unobstructed and even the bar in front did not really get in the way. There were also cup holders at a decent height for Mik, however, there was only one for every few spaces and between the three of us there was only the one for Mik and Dad and I had to put our drinks on the ground. It is one thing if the seats in front do not have cup holders, but when they all do it is an unfairness that annoys Mik that not every spot in the handicap row has a cup holder.
Overall the accessibility experience at Citizens Bank Park was great. It lives up to the expectations of it being accessible since it is a newer ballpark. The only issues are the somewhat poor design of the Philadelphia baseball timeline area and the cup holders and both are rather minor inconveniences, especially the cup holder situation, although to Mik that is an important aspect of accessibility.