The Phillies are going on the defensive. At least when it comes to the architecture of its South Philadelphia ballpark. By this time next year, a hedge of waist-high metal pillars will surround Citizens Bank Park.
“They are building an apparatus around the Phillies stadium in the event that any type of terrorist activity may occur,” said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who introduced enabling legislation at City Council on Thursday. “If something wants to drive through with a trash truck or another type of automotive vehicle to try and harm people, well, now they can’t get to the people.”
“We see things that are happening domestically and abroad, and we want to make sure that everyone who comes to our facility is safe,” said Phillies spokesman Sal DeAngelis. “So we are introducing a new security system, a perimeter hardening project.”
The new defensive perimeter will follow the existing sidewalk line so there will be no negative effect on tailgating, according to DeAngelis.
The Phillies plan to landscape around the metal pillars with grass and shrubs to beautify the installation, he explained.
Johnson’s bill enables the team “to construct, install, own and maintain” the series of bollards and barricades encircling the ballpark. The legislation specifies that the bollards will be set eighteen inches from the face of the curb.
DeAngelis says planners are still determining the right materials for the bollards and the best plants to use.
Assuming the enabling legislation moves swiftly through City Council, the Phillies expect construction is expected to begin this summer.
“We will be among the foremost stadiums in the nation that stepped up to the plate to address this,” said Johnson. “We weren’t required to do this; this is just the Phillies being proactive in protecting their fans.”