Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Veterans Stadium relic is changing

The old Veterans Stadium "Theme Tower," which partially blocked some views of Center City from the stands at Citizens Bank Park, is being lowered.

A Veterans Stadium relic is changing

This sign that obstructs Phillies´ fans view of the Center City skyline from Citizens Bank Park will be lowered and renovated so that it isn´t in the way. (Matt Rourke/AP file photo)
This sign that obstructs Phillies' fans view of the Center City skyline from Citizens Bank Park will be lowered and renovated so that it isn't in the way. (Matt Rourke/AP file photo)

A large crane hoisted an American flag beyond centerfield at Citizens Bank Park during the last homestand. The crane is temporary, but it is there to fix what fans have long regarded an eyesore at an otherwise beautiful ballpark. Yes, the Veterans Stadium "Theme Tower" is being lowered.

You know it, the white structure that lines I-76. It was constructed with Veterans Stadium in 1971 and currently stands in a parking lot. The Phillies used the electronic board as another way to generate revenue while advertising ballpark promotions. When Veterans Stadium was razed, the tower remained.

There was one problem: It partially blocked some views of Center City from the stands at Citizens Bank Park.

The tower will remain in a different form, a team spokesperson said. It will be lowered in height — from 157 feet tall to 115 feet — and become a two-sided message board. Construction began this week.

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The electronic board was not functional in recent seasons. The tower's white casing was stripped within the last year. The team sought a solution for years while negotiating with neighbors on how the structure would be demolished.

Nine years after Veterans Stadium imploded, one of its last relics will be modified.

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