Renovation of 'Theme Tower' begins

This sign that obstructs Phillies' fans view of the Center City skyline from Citizens Bank Park is being lowered and renovated. (Matt Rourke/AP file photo)

Construction started this week on an advertising board known as the "Theme Tower" outside Citizens Bank Park, and the project will be completed by the Phillies' home opener April 7.

The tower, long controversial because it blocked views of Center City from the stadium's seats, will be lowered by more than 50 feet. The original structure was installed adjacent to I-76 in 1972 to complement the building of Veterans Stadium.

When the Vet was razed, its tower remained. 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.

The team hired TMC Philadelphia, LLC, an local advertising firm, to install new LED message boards and manage the tower for the duration of a 10-year contract. The boards "will be used for community and team messaging as well as general advertising," according to a press release.

The renovation will take "about three weeks," the firm said, and will be fully operational sometime in April.

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