Many of the Phillies’ players, both MLB and MiLB guys, are already in Florida. It’s not “Pitchers and Catchers” yet, but we’re getting close. As we do, you’ll start to see all manner of opportunity to purchase Phillies tickets for the upcoming season. Kram and Mark will help you decide whether to pull the trigger:
Mark: “Go see the Phillies”
Look, I’m not going to try to convince you that the Phillies will be good this year. I know, there’s a reason they play the games, but I’m not banking on it in the form of a major Phillies ticket package. But, I would encourage you to make the trip down I-476 once or twice this season, and here’s why:
- Hamels and Utley: Cole Hamels and Chase Utley are generational talents, who play the game the right way. Who knows how much longer Hamels will be a Phillie or how much longer Utley’s knees will hold up? Take the opportunity to see these guys play one more time. Throw in Cliff Lee, too, if he’s healthy, and maybe Chooch.
- It won’t be crowded: I know, an empty ballpark is not so appealing, but Citizen’s Bank Park is a wonderful facility. Take the opportunity to walk around a little easier and purchase some crab fries without missing three innings. The lines will be short and there may be areas of that stadium you’ve never visited before. Now’s the time to explore.
- It’s the big leagues: There is a different feel to an MLB game–a different buzz created by the big stadium and the big screen and the big TV cameras and the SportsCenter highlights later in the evening. It just feels different from a Minor League game–and that’s a good thing. Even back in the days of the 3/4-empty Vet, there was a big-league feel. Experience it if you have a chance.
- Visit our former ‘Pigs: Many of us have gotten to know some of the guys who’ve come through Allentown in recent years: Cody Asche, Darin Ruf, Cameron Rupp, Buck Buchanan, and others. Make the trip down to see how they’re fairing in The Show. Wait, Kram, doesn’t Cody owe you guys tickets?
- It might not be quite as expensive as you think: Despite the recent increases at Coca Cola Park, you’ll still spend more at Broad and Pattison. However, you should be able to find tickets at a reasonable price–perhaps really good seats! With smaller crowds, you may be able to locate food and beverage options in and around the stadium which fit your budget better.
- The other team: OK, so maybe you’re not even a Phillies fan. You can still probably get a mini-plan that will cover the games when one of your other favorite teams is in town.
- Even if you wait until the last minute you should be able to get good seats. So even if I can’t convince you to buy a mini-plan or the like, I still think you should go down for a game or two–even if you wait and buy the tickets when you know the weather will be favorable.
Kram: “Stick with the IronPigs and the Fightins”
Are you kidding me? This is easy, and I’ve got more reasons than you:
- It’s still too expensive: I know the Phillies are doing all kinds of “Minor League” things to try to fill the seats this year–heck, even fielding a Minor League team some would say. However, it’s still way to much. What’s parking now? $15? You think I should spend $10 for beer? With the drop-off in season ticket holders, there won’t be as many people dumping tickets on StubHub for pennies–so tickets might not be as cheap as you think. Plus, I think Cody forgot about that whole “I’ll get you tickets” thing…
- It’s too far from the field in that big stadium: As someone who goes to 70-odd minor league games per year, I find it undesirable to sit so far from the field, compared with the smaller parks we’re used to. And pay a premium to do it? No thanks.
- I don’t have time for the nonsense: By the time you drive down there through rush-hour traffic, park, then get out of South Philly and back home after the game, you’ll have spent more time in your car than at the game–especially if the team is losing 9-1 and you leave early. Not worth it.
- Danger, Danger: Look, I’m getting old and nervous. And, I know Allentown and Reading aren’t the safest places in the world. But, I’m more exposed to crime, auto accidents, and undesirable consequences by travelling so far to see what amounts to a minor league team.
- Poor Product on the Field: It’s gonna be dreadful. If the team is as bad as we think, it won’t be much fun. You’ve got a better chance for an exciting baseball game in Allentown or Reading.
- Dead Stadium: Sure, I might be able to move around the park easier with fewer people, but the place will be dead. It’s gonna be just sad. Allentown and Reading will have packed parks, closer to home, at a better price. No one likes losing, and the people who are in Philly watching the game will be unlikely to have anything about which to cheer.
- The Prospects: Much is yet to be decided, but perhaps eight of the top twelve prospects in the Phillies’ farm system will be in either Reading or Allentown. It’s a chance to see them up close as they develop. Why drive to Philadelphia and waste money on washed-up, boring veterans. Let’s get out and see the young, hungry players who will be the Phillies of the future–some of whom we haven’t ever seen before because they’ve arrived via trade during the offseason.
- The Schedule: Did you know, the IronPigs and Fightins schedule only overlaps for SEVEN games over the entire season? And, the first one doesn’t happen until June 19. Just about any night you want to go to a professional baseball game, you can. And, you don’t need to waste your time, money and personal security travelling to the big city.
See you at the park–one of the smaller ones…