Fans wait, some overnight, for Phillies single-game tickets
For Paula Bryan, first time was the charm.
Of the dozens of Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park early this morning as single-game tickets went on sale, the Delaware County woman was the first to arrive.
Bundled up in a pink jacket with a fluffy hood and blue scarf, she had been waiting since 7 p.m. Tuesday. It was the first time she's made the trip to the ballpark to buy single-game tickets in person.
"I just wanted to make sure I got some good seats," she said. "I never expected to be first."
She wanted to get tickets to the Father's Appreciation Day game against the Brewers, plus fireworks nights and bobble-head giveaways.
Behind her was Vanessa Whittington Roberts. A friend claimed a spot in line shortly after 8 p.m., then the Yeadon woman took over around 1 a.m.
She's waited at the park for tickets every year since 2009, when she was the sixth person. Last year, she was eighth in line.
"I just enjoy the atmosphere," she said. "You meet new friends, you're excited about the new season."
She had her eyes on getting some seats in Section 132, near third base -- the first row, if possible.
"They're expensive, but they're worth every nickel," the lifelong Phillies fan said.
About 50 people had arrived by 8 a.m., a half-hour before tickets became available, to tour the field, shop at the Majestic Clubhouse and dance with the Phanatic.
The team was expecting about 200 to 300 fans at the park throughout the day, said John Weber, vice president of ticket sales. The vast majority of the team's tickets are sold online now, he said.
That's how 22-year-old Jason Zambriczki used to buy his tickets. But for the past six years, he's made it a tradition to buy them at the ballpark.
"As soon as I got my driver's license and was able to drive, I'd skip school every year to get them," he said.
Fans said the park had been more crowded in previous years, and the team's 81-81 record last season likely reduced turnout. But most of those buying tickets this morning said they were optimistic for this year.
"Last year was a fluke," Bryan said.
Tickets are available at phillies.com/tickets, by calling 215-463-1000 or at the ticket windows on the west side of Citizens Bank Park.