Monday, August 3, 2015

Phils viewing party being planned for Game 1

The Phillies will be announcing that they are going back to Penn's Landing to hold a viewing party for Game 1 of the World Series.

Phils viewing party being planned for Game 1



It will be the Phillies at Tampa on the big screen at the Great
Plaza at Penn’s Landing on Wednesday night, the opening game of the World Series.


The Phillies are expected to announce sometime Monday that they plan to duplicate the free viewing party they held last Sunday night for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series between the Phillies and Dodgers. “We considered a couple of different locations,” Michael Harris, director of marketing and special projects, said Sunday night, the Red Sox-Rays game on in the background. “But we decided, why fix it if it isn’t broke, for lack of a better term. We had a fantastic turnout and actually received wonderful feedback from our fans, so it was really an easy and natural decision to replicate the template at Penn’s Landing.”


So fans are encouraged to come down as early as possible to the Great Plaza, located between Walnut and Market streets, where festivities are expected to be under way well before Game 1's first pitch is thrown at 8:35 p.m. Harris said he’s expecting capacity to cap out at around 2,000. “We probably won’t have room to accommodate everyone who wants to go down there,” Harris said.


Fans who arrive will find food and beverages, including beer, available for purchase. Unlike last week, they will not be allowed to bring in their own alcoholic beverages. The Phillies ballgirls will be there again, but this time the Phanatic will be unavailable. He'll have a more important duty: Torment the Rays players and support the Phils from his spot on the floor of Tropicana Field in Tampa .


The game will be broadcast on a 17’ by 27’ LED video display. Those who attend are encouraged to bring along blankets and chairs.


Harris said they’ve already decided not to hold a viewing party on Thursday night for Game 2. The series comes back to Philly for games Saturday, Oct. 25, through Monday, Oct. 27, then returns to Tampa for Game 6 on Oct. 29 and Game 7 on Oct. 30. There could be viewing parties for one or both of those games, and there’s a chance that Citizens Bank Park could serve as the host for those. With work ongoing to prepare the park for the weekend, going back to Penn’s Landing for Game 1 made a lot more sense. Plus, as Harris said, there are other reasons for sticking with the same site as the last time.


“Having it at Penn’s Landing allows us to integrate the fabric of the city in some fashion,” he said, “and again, the feedback was wonderful, so we decided to go there. And we’re just going to do it for Game 1. We definitely want to have something for the first game to signify and acknowledge the moment and it’s possible we’ll have another event if the series extends to Games 6 and 7. But we’ll just have to evaluate that and make a determination at a later date.”

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About this blog
Paul Vigna still has the seat he wrestled out of the concrete at Connie Mack Stadium parked in the finished basement, a 1980 Phillies championship mirror hanging above it. Now, why he’s kept an autograph of former Flyer Bruce Gamble on a sheet of Hockey Hall of Fame paper is another story. A native of Philly who grew up in Lansdale, he’s an assistant sports editor at the Daily News in charge of special projects who has written two columns related to sports and consumers: View From the Seats and Savvy Consumer.

Athletic contests were, for a long time, simply fun and games. Nowadays they’re just a small part of a sports entertainment industry that puts billions of dollars into play and a number of issues into motion. Moneyball indeed. You might be closer to the action than ever before, but that privilege comes at a price - and often it’s beyond what you can afford.

With that as the backdrop we’ll use this blog to dig out stories and swap advice about how the fan experience is changing and what it’s costing you now and in the future. Some of it will educate, some will let you vent. And in a sports panel format, it should allow for a consensus of opinion that can carry some weight.

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Paul Vigna
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