Since I moved here four years ago, I have continually tried to get into the Phillies. They have done their best to turn me away with April burials and September collapses, but I still try to follow them. I don't get near as passionate about the Phillies as I do with the Buccos, but I need to root for a team that has a chance at winning some games. Old school fans might resent me for supporting an old rival, and I don't blame them. Unfortunately when a team has 15 straight losing seasons you no longer have rivals. Plus with the Phillies in a different division it is doubtful they and the Pirates will ever be rivals again.
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
I've gone to 3 games this year, and its amazing to see the difference between a game at PNC Park and a game at Citizen's Bank Park(outside of representing different banks). PNC is picturesque. The view of the city is stunning, the bridges and the water add so much character, as do the dimensions of the field itself.
Citizen's Bank Park on the other hand is more of your big city ballpark. It doesn't knock your socks off with its views. It doesn't have the same character as PNC does. But for baseball, I have to say its definitely a better experience. After all, you're there to see a ball game, not to look at a view. That's the best part about a game there. Besides the Phanatic nonsense, its all about the game. You wear Yankee, Met, or Brave gear there, you're going to hear about it. The upper tiers are filled with chants against opposing fans. There is an electric feel in the air. This can often be a negative feel, but the park really does get emotional. People actually show up every night and its fun. They have real players and a spirited following.
PNC is nothing like that. Even on sellout nights and the like its a completely different crowd. Its friendly and care-free. Half the stands are filled with people saying "When will this baseball game end and the fireworks begin?" I HATE that. The baseball game is supposed to entertain you, not some cheesy gimmick.
Its a shame that baseball has become such a charade in Pittsburgh. We know the emotion and pride brought to every Stiller and Penguin game. No one goes to a Pirate game because there is something on the line or because they want to see a great display of baseball. Actually I'm not sure why anyone pays money to go to the ballpark.
I am not trying to attack PNC Park here in any way. Its a wonderful park that all Pittsburghers can be proud to call their own. When it comes down to where I watch a baseball game, however, I choose Citizens Bank Park over it. This could change within 10 years, but right now I'd go there 8 times out of 10. I want to attend games where a buzz fills the stadium. A ballpark where incompetent owners are too afraid to sit among their brethren. A place where other fans feel intimidated to enter. A place where the outcome has an impact for the home team and where you can see players who are the best in the league at their position. I love PNC, but I'll take the ballpark that fields a competitive team and a passionate atmosphere any day.