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Ranking the Stadiums of Philadelphia

By Jason Bartel -- July 04, 2013 12:19 AM EDT

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The city that hosted the Second Continental Congress. That group of men authored and published the Declaration of Independence, announcing that the 13 colonies were officially becoming independent states and leaving the British Empire. Led by the likes of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration was adopted on July 4th, 1776, and gave us one of the most important sentences in the history of human rights:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

To celebrate this momentous day, Americans go out to the ballpark, have barbeques in their backyard, and shoot off fireworks. We at Stadium Journey want to commemorate Independence Day this year by celebrating the city where it all happened: Philadelphia.

Here are the complete rankings of the stadiums and teams that we have visited in Philadelphia sponsored by our friends at Aphillyated. Check out their line of Philly-inspired apparel.

  1. Lincoln Financial Field - Home of the Philadelphia Eagles

    The Philadelphia Eagles are more than simple numbers or the harassment of Father Christmas. Philadelphia is where greats like Reggie White, Chuck Bednarik and Brian Dawkins played and had their numbers retired. The Eagles’ fan base also consistently ranks among the best in the league, placing first in a 2008 Forbes survey and third in both a 1999 and 2006 American City Business Journal survey. Moreover, the 1968 Eagles team was 2-11 going into the infamous Santa Claus game. Fans had to clear three inches of slush and snow before taking their seat, temperatures were in the low 20s and wind gusts were upwards of 30 miles per hour. The fact that there were over 54,000 people at the game to boo and harass Ol’ Saint Nick despite these miserable conditions is just one example of why Eagles fans are considered some of the most loyal and passionate in the entire league.

  2. Citizens Bank Park - Home of the Philadelphia Phillies

    When Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004, the long awaited transformation of Philadelphia sports venues was complete. For the first time since 1971, Philly had a baseball-only facility again. Philly was among the last of the cities to get a new ballpark, but Citizens Bank Park was well worth the wait.

    Best of all, the Phillies managed to become a pretty good team, winning five straight division titles and a World Series championship in 2008. There’s nothing like a winning team to bring unparalleled excitement to a ballpark in a sports-crazed town like Philadelphia.

  3. The Palestra - Home of the Penn Quakers

    Opened in 1927, the Palestra remains, in many ways, the same building that it was when it hosted the first Big 5 games back in 1955, and even in the years preceding. The seats are mostly bleachers, and the building can get uncomfortably hot - even if the Philadelphia winters are dumping snow outside.

  4. Wells Fargo Center - Home of the Philadelphia 76ers

    Wherever you are sitting in the Wells Fargo Center, the first thing you may notice is the great balance that the venue has. There's the intimacy of a small venue combined with the feeling, noise-level and look of a huge stadium. You will be connected to the game and the experience wherever your seat may be.

  5. PPL Park - Home of the Philadelphia Union

    While the location of the stadium outside of Philly remains the biggest downfall of the experience, the rest of PPL Park is just about perfect. From the passionate fans to the aesthetically pleasing design and amazing view, this soccer-specific stadium remains as one of the best in MLS.

  6. Wells Fargo Center - Home of the Philadelphia Flyers

    The Wells Fargo Center is nice. It's very pretty. It has lots of fun stuff to do. But it won't ever scare anybody. Teams used to be afraid to play the Flyers in the Spectrum. Not here. It's too nice. Wouldn't want to mess anything up. I mean, you look up in the rafters, and the same banners hang, along with a couple of new ones, but it's not the same. You got your pop-a-shot basketball games and your air hockey tables and hockey-in-a-bubble style foosball games, all your modern arena doodads and hoohah, but it just ain't the same atmosphere. And that's kinda sad.

  7. The Pavilion - Home of the Villanova Wildcats

    The Pavilion offers a great intimate atmosphere to watch quality Division I basketball, and the student section behind one of the baskets is loud and proud. While the arena might be showing a little age, it has character and good sightlines.

  8. Wells Fargo Center - Home of the Philadelphia Soul

    You'll have fun here; there is a lot to do. Arena Football goes out of its way to make things fun and fairly priced. Bars and games abound; tickets and food are decently priced.

  9. Wells Fargo Center - Home of the Philadelphia Wings

    The Wings do a pretty good job of creating a fun environment for the fans. One neat feature is that all players are available for autographs after the game. One not so neat feature is that there is heavy metal music playing the whole time. I mean, like, THE WHOLE TIME. During game play, during time outs, all the time.

  10. Villanova Stadium - Home of the Villanova Wildcats

    The crowd almost feels like a high school football game, in the sense that the Villanova community has invested itself in the success of the team. Everyone seems to know each other in the home side of the stands. While there are preliminary talks to move the home games to PPL Park if the Wildcats move to the Big East, the team and fans would certainly lose the community atmosphere that makes Villanova Stadium unique in FCS football.

  11. Daskalakis Athletic Center - Home of the Drexel Dragons

    The DAC is the most unassuming gym in the city, lacking the grand entrances of the Palestra or SJU's Hagan Arena or the modern, professional feel of Temple's Liacouras Center. Seating just over 2,300 on plastic bleacher-style seating that wraps all the way around the court, there is a small and intimate feel that can sometimes lack at the city's other venues. And when you add in one of the livelier student sections in the country, a game at the DAC can be quite the experience indeed.

  12. Franklin Field - Home of the Penn Quakers

    History and tradition: two things that the Ivy League is all about. One of their members is the University of Pennsylvania and a game at Franklin Field perfectly exemplifies Ivy football. Fans watch football take place on a field that was created in 1895. Penn has had quite a storied history here and during their time in the Ivy League, they have dominated with 12 outright titles.

  13. Michael J. Hagan Arena - Home of the St. Joseph's Hawks

    With only 4,200 seats, the fieldhouse is an intimate venue with very good sightlines. The St. Joe's Hawk might be the hardest-working mascot in NCAA basketball. To go with the school slogan, "The Hawk Will Never Die", the mascot Hawk has to continually flap his wings for the entire game. If ever a mascot earned his/her scholarship, that would be the one.

  14. Liacouras Center - Home of the Temple Owls

    The Wild Cherry student section is positioned behind one basket, and while the students are into the game, the section doesn't have much in terms of unity. Having heart is one thing, but to be a really "good" student section, Wild Cherry's leaders (if there are any) need to get the section together with more unique chants and actions.

  15. Tom Gola Arena - Home of the La Salle Explorers

    The Explorers played on-campus back in 1954 at Wister Hall, but spent the next 33 years playing away from 19th and Olney, moving back to the Tom Gola Arena when it was opened back in 1998. Part of the school's Hayman Center, the home of the school's athletic department, Gola seats 4,000 in a clean, well-lit gym, though with very few bells-and-whistles.

  16. Lincoln Financial Field - Home of the Temple Owls

    The Temple Owls are lucky to have one of the best facilities in the country thanks to their partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles and their gameday use of Lincoln Financial Field. For fans, this partnership is both a blessing and a curse - while game attendees get high-quality video boards, great viewing lines, and good food, they also lose some of the collegiate charm (and lower prices) that other stadiums might offer.

  17. Hank DeVincent Field - Home of the La Salle Explorers

    Nestled in the middle of La Salle's campus, DeVincent Field is nicely separated from the surrounding city landscape. The presence of trees makes this feel almost like a Little League game but with much higher-quality baseball, which is a nice throwback to the "professional" feel that's now permeating through college baseball.

  18. Skip Wilson Field - Home of the Temple Owls

    One of the drawbacks with having a college campus located in the heart of a city is that there isn't always enough real estate to find room for a sports facility. This is apparently what happened at Temple as their baseball field is located some 15 miles north of Philadelphia on the Ambler campus of the university. Skip Wilson Field, named after the longtime baseball coach at Temple, is a very basic facility nestled into a residential setting. It opened in 2004 and has a capacity of about 1,000.

  19. Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth - Home of the Villanova Wildcats

    College baseball is not a big spectator sport in the northeast, which is probably why almost none of the ballparks are much better than your average high school field. Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth, home of the Villanova Wildcats, is no exception. It offers a very bare bones experience and its location off campus makes it hard for even students to drop by and take in the action. The park opened in 2003 and only has a capacity of a few hundred (don't believe Wikipedia which states that the park holds 25,000). Of all of the college baseball venues that we have rated, this one rated dead last at the conclusion of 2013.

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