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Making 'A Pitch' for Taking SEPTA to the Ballpark

Heather Redfern
SEPTA Press Officer

It's April and the Phillies are back in town, ready for another sold-out season at Citizens Bank Park.

To mark Opening Night 2012 and the convenience of taking SEPTA to the ballpark, the Authority and the team hosted a celebration at Walnut-Locust Station on April 11th with a special guest, the Phillie Phanatic. Excited fans packed the Broad Street Line station, getting pumped up for that night's game with Phillies giveaways and music and to catch a ride with the Phanatic on the specially decorated Phillies Express train bound for AT&T Station.

In many cities across the country, public transit is now becoming the way to get to a game because new ballparks are often constructed in crowded city neighborhoods with little parking. In Philadelphia taking a bus or the subway has been the most convenient and cost-effective method of traveling to a game for decades. AT&T Station, the last stop on the Broad Street Line, is located in the heart of South Philadelphia's Sports Complex. The subway is a just an 11-minute ride from Center City (or eight minutes on a game-night Sports Express special), taking fans to within just a short walk to their venue.

"Nothing beats the feeling that comes from seeing the Phillies win a big game, until you get stuck in traffic outside of the ballpark," said SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey. "The team attracts more than 43,000 fans every night. Add to that almost 20,000 people attending a hockey or basketball game or concert at the same time and road construction projects and you have gridlock at the Sports Complex. But when you take the train to the game, the thrill of victory isn't ruin by the frustration created when you're delayed getting home."

In 2011, fans made an average of 7,400 trips on the Broad Street Line to and from the ballpark each game day - a total of nearly 600,000 trips during the 81-game regular season.

"That's thousands of people being in their seats in time for the first pitch because they are not stuck in pre-game traffic. They're also able to stay past the seventh-inning stretch to the very end of the game because they don't have to worry about being trapped in the parking lot long after the game is over," said. Casey.

And SEPTA isn't just convenient for people who live within city's boundaries. The Broad Street Line is accessible from a number of the Authority's other services, including the Market-Frankford Line, Regional Rail and bus and trolley routes. South Jersey residents can also access the Broad Street Line from the PATCO High Speed Line.

Because SEPTA makes it easy for his fans to get to the ballpark, the Phanatic is fanatical about taking public transit to the ballpark. If he could talk, he would tell fans to use the Broad Street Line.

Phanatic tries to squeeze through turnstile at Walnut-Locust Station.

Phanatic greets his waiting fans.

Phanatic eads a parade through the concourse towards the waiting Phillies Express Train.

Phanatic and SEPTA GM Joe Casey board the train.

From left: Phillies Public Address Announcer Dan Baker; the Phanatic; Phillies Communication Director Scott Palmer; and former Phillie Greg Luzinski, aka "The Bull".