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Orange & Black Breakdown

Hockey Thoughts from a Baseball Field

Today was the first day I was able to take in the scene first hand at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia, and it did not disappoint. If it hasn’t hit you yet, it is official: The Winter Classic is back.

The view from Section 317, Row 1. Beautiful.

Pictures, Panoramic images and more after the jump!

A panoramic view from underneath the scoreboard at CBP

Upon arriving this morning, I plopped down in the familiar Right Field seats of Citizen’s Bank Park. It was a view I’ve seen before having attended several baseball games in it’s brief but memorable history, but I was completely taken aback by the hockey that had developed on the field below. Before my eyes, figures were gliding effortlessly down the 2nd base line rounding third, at a speed only achievable with the assistance of skates. The house that Utley built is now where one will go to feel shame. And dugouts? Who needs dugouts when you’ve got benches. Hockey has arrived at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Weather: For yet another year, the story has once again become the weather. With the sun beating down on the ice at midday today with the temperature around 50 degrees, it was clear that the ice was starting to sweat a little bit. It ended up pushing the entire day’s events back, and also led to an adjusted start time of 3:00 PM for the Alumni game tomorrow. A slightly overcast sky would solve any problems here, but the weather is a definite cause for concern involving any midday activities on the ice.


The sun looming over the field

Sightlines: This being the first hockey rink I’ve ever seen in the middle of a Major League Baseball stadium in person, it actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Even the seats in the lower levels should be able to distinguish play pretty easily except when it goes up against the boards closest to them. The best seats in the house were in the 200 and 300 level, with section 317 Row 1, Seat 1 taking the cake for me (see the picture above).

Atmosphere: One of the best things I noticed would have to be the amount of detail that goes into turning CBP into a winter wonderland. Every square inch of blank canvas has been manipulated for the aesthetical benefit of the NHL, down to the tiniest of details. Even in 50-degree weather, ‘snow’ was being unrolled to mask the green playing surface below. Kiosks usually covered in Phillies gear have been replaced with a different beloved ‘P’ synonymous in Philly (along with *yuck* Rangers gear as well).

When you take the overall scene into consideration, the message is clear: If you didn’t know any better, you might actually think this was a hockey rink, not the temporary home of a mere 60 minutes of meaningful NHL hockey – and that is what makes this event so magical.

Even if your actual view of the game may not be worth writing home about, it’s obvious that the experience is far more than worth its weight in gold. And though this may ultimately be just another regular season matchup over the course of a tedious, 82-game stretch, you will always be able to fondly look back on it as something so much more than just another game.

Well done.


Another Panoramic view, complete with city skyline

Conflicting idealisms..

The Host City, Philadelphia

Check back tomorrow and throughout the weekend for more coverage of the Alumni game and upcoming NHL Winter Classic!


Continue the discussion with us on twitter (@marcs797 and @thevintern), email (theobbreakdown@gmail.com), or in the comments below

Lets Go Flyers!


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SYF's avatar

Outstanding!  Definitely a great read and it just helps with the hype surrounding the WC.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 12/30/11 at 08:23 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar


Posted by Marc Siciliano on 12/31/11 at 03:46 AM ET

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About Orange & Black Breakdown

The Orange & Black Breakdown looks to be the ultimate, around the clock source for news and information on the Philadelphia Flyers organization and it’s ever-present quest for the Stanley Cup. Focusing on what the team can do to achieve success is the ultimate goal.

The OBB is written and maintained by myself - Marc Siciliano. I’m a college graduate and media production professional in the sports industry with credits on projects like Hard Knocks: Bengals and 24/7 Penguins vs. Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic. A man of many hobbies, I always seem to find a way to spend a disproportionate amount of my daily routine with two things: Flyers hockey and social media (much to the dismay of my hockey impartial friends on twitter).

So what does this mean for you? The plan is to combine these time-wasting habits passions with my love for writing to provide you with complete coverage of the Flyers from both my head and around the web, 24/7.

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