Citizens Bank Park

Game 1 of Phillies-Nationals doubleheader has one of the smallest crowds you'll ever see

Game 1 of Phillies-Nationals doubleheader has one of the smallest crowds you'll ever see

You never know what you're gonna see at the ol' ballyard.

On Monday, there were multiple flamethrowers in the infield.

On Tuesday, there were ... multiple fans in attendance.

The crowd for Game 1 of the Phillies-Nationals doubleheader is the smallest in memory at Citizens Bank Park. There were approximately 500 fans in their seats at first pitch. It was so quiet that you could hear most individual fans' encouragement or criticism.

Have a look.

The Phillies had 39 players, including 20 pitchers, active for the doubleheader. So there were nearly 10 percent as many people in the Phillies' dugout and bullpen as there were in the stands when Nick Pivetta took the hill.

Even though few were there to see it as the doubleheader began, this is a hugely important day for the Phillies. Because of the doubleheader, the Phils can make up more ground on the Braves Tuesday than any day the rest of the season. They entered the day a season-high five games back in the NL East.

The Phillies have split all three doubleheaders they've had this season. All were against inferior teams in the Mets, Mets and Padres.

This is the first time since 2011 the Phillies have played four doubleheaders in a season and the first time since 2006 they've had three doubleheaders after the All-Star break.

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Phillies' grounds crew forced to use flamethrowers on rain-soaked Citizens Bank Park field

Phillies' grounds crew forced to use flamethrowers on rain-soaked Citizens Bank Park field

Updated: 11 p.m.

It finally stopped raining in South Philly around noon on Monday, but the damage was already done.

Apparently, during a weekend of nonstop rain, the tarp was not down on the infield at Citizens Bank Park at all times.

The Phillies pulled out all the stops to try to prepare the infield, going as far as using a flamethrower-type device to heat and dry the dirt near the first base bag.

The opener of the Phillies' three-game series with the Nationals was eventually postponed by the muddy field conditions (see story). The clubs will play a doubleheader on Tuesday with the first game beginning at 3:05 p.m.

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Beer delivery at Citizens Bank Park via text message now available

phillies_mobile_beer.jpg
Aramark

Beer delivery at Citizens Bank Park via text message now available

Now you can order a beer to be delivered to your seat and you don't even need to download another phone app to make it happen.

The Phillies and Aramark announced a new pilot program at Citizens Bank Park in which fans in certain sections of the ballpark can order select beer and water by simply using messages on an Apple iPhone.

The best part? You don't need any cash. It will charge your order right to whatever credit card you have set up in your Apple Pay.

"Initially, as part of the pilot program beginning today, July 20, fans sitting in sections 142, 143, 144 and 145 at Citizens Bank Park will be able to purchase select beverages (beer and water) from the comfort of their seats using their iPhone. The pilot program will be conducted over the course of 10 games (July 20-25, August 2-5)," the release says.

They even include super simple instructions:

1. Open the iPhone Camera app
2. Scan the QR code on the seat back
3. Follow the prompts on the Messages text screen to place order
4. Complete transaction with Apple Pay
5. Enjoy the game while order is delivered to seat location

I'm curious about tipping. Any self-respecting baseball fan knows that when you order beers from one of the vendors walking the aisles you always toss him a dollar or so at the end of the transaction. Will there be an option to tip your delivery person via text message?

The Phillies are apparently the first team to give this new tech a shot.

“We look forward to joining Aramark in testing this mobile delivery service, an innovative use of Apple Business Chat that further enhances the food and beverage experience at Citizens Bank Park,” said David Buck, Phillies Executive Vice President. “With this new pilot program, food ordering and delivery is as easy as a text message, and we are excited to be the first sports facility in the country to try out this new technology.”

So buy lots of beers this summer so the Phillies make lots of money so they can afford Manny Machado this winter. All via text messaging!

You can watch a demo of how this will all work below.

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