May 18, 2017
By: Steve Degler
Baseball fans in the region have two fantastic options to catch minor league action each spring and summer. FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading and Coca-Cola Park in Allentown are ballparks built in different eras but both provide a wonderful experience for the legions of fans who come through the turnstiles each season.
FirstEnergy Stadium was completed in 1951, but the Fightin Phils franchise continues to make the ballpark look and feel like it is brand new. There have been several additions to the Baseballtown experience for the 2017 season.
The Savage 61 Dugout Suite, opened last year along the right-field line, has been expanded with the addition of a club box adjacent to the Fightin Phils bullpen. The Sly Fox Power Alley Pub beyond the fence in left-center field has been renovated as well. And new safety netting has been installed behind home plate to better protect fans.
The concession menu has been upgraded. If you prefer to have an adult beverage at the ballpark, that menu has seen a huge expansion for the 2017 season. Boneless chicken wings, with six sauces available, have been added to the concession menu. Also new is the Kids Meal which is served on a Crazy Hot Dog Vendor Frisbee. The always popular Salino’s Pizza is now available at two locations inside the stadium. And you can top it all off with Yuengling’s Ice Cream which is on the menu for a second straight season.
The Tompkins VIST Bank Plaza behind first base has seen some changes as well. Phunland for the kids has an expanded autograph/photo booth and some new games and activities, including a ring toss game and a peach basket toss game. In late April, the team unveiled the Penn State Children’s Hospital Baseballtown Hall of Fame. The display features a mural that depicts some of the greatest names to play in Reading. There are also two flat-screen televisions that will continually rotate with information on inductees and franchise history. And a large wall features a photo and a list of accomplishments for each hall of fame member since the inaugural class of 1987.
FirstEnergy Stadium may be a little up there in years but the amenities and charm at the ballpark continue to make it a destination for thousands and thousands of fans each season.