There are a lot of “classic” things about “America’s Classic Ballpark,” FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. It’s an old-time stadium and there are a lot of old-time features–concessions under the stands for one. Today, the Fightins–nee R-Phils–announced some changes and improvements for the upcoming baseball season.
They led off with a few hints (media from Fightins Twitter account):
At this point I was thinking new field surface, or–thank goodness–all new seats. You see, those static seats don’t flip up and it’s a major pain in the …. knees….when folks are trying to get in and out of rows.
With these last two, they were starting to talk about dugouts and views and amenities and it became pretty clear: Dugout suites.
A lot of the news conference coverage of this addition to the Reading stadium yesterday afternoon, it was very similar to what we’ve heard of our own dugout suites at Coca Cola Park–as well as the new Pig Pen Suites which were added last season:
- Super close to the action
- Right on the field
- A unique view
- Amenities like: wait service
- Ball park design change needed authorization from the league
- Great for groups
As the news was released, some of the things about the new seating were not exactly clear to me. First, though, it is going to be the only place in Reading to get the “Bull’s BBQ.” Second, it won’t be only for groups; single game tickets will be available ($25–Yikes!) when single game tickets go on sale for the rest of the stadium–I believe in February some time. Wait service is available, but the “free food and open bar” certainly will cost more, right? And if you want to add the “warning track pre-game cocktail party” then I imagine that will be an added charge, too.
We’ll see. It’s interesting and it’s cool and in a lot of parks, that’s about where the actual dugouts are, anyway–they’re a little closer to home plate–and smaller–in Reading. As a new season ticket holder in Reading, I can say that I’m glad it’s not impacting my own seats–and I’ll probably not be sitting there since I have seats already. There will be netting in front of them to protect the inhabitants from line-fouls. And I’m certainly glad they’re not doing anything to mess with that french fry stand under the grandstand–those are the best fries in the whole world I tell you!
Baseball’s coming….see you at the park–before you know it!
UPDATE: I was able to gather a little more information about the pricing, and what’s included. From what I understand, the $25 includes access to the warning track for the pre-game “cocktail party.” I’m not sure if the cocktails–and what that might be–are included. A food ticket in this area is $25 and an “open bar” ticket for four hours is $20, bringing your total luxury experience to $70. The wait staff will be uniformed in “League of Their Own” -type outfits to complete the retro feel.