Sports in Philadelphia
The reputation of Philadelphia sports fans precedes them—and not always in the most flattering manner, either. Among the most high-profile sporting cities in the country, with a professional franchise in each of the major sports, Philly has a long and storied athletic heritage, which naturally translates to a deep passion for the local teams among the populace. That passion, for better or worse, manifests itself in some blunt and at times inelegant ways, resulting in the large-scale vilification of Philly supporters.
On weekend mornings (7–noon) from April through October, the West River Drive is closed to car traffic, making this a prime spot for sports enthusiasts. In the afternoons, only the section from the Sweetbriar Cutoff to the East Falls Bridge is closed. Breathtaking trails for running, biking, and hiking thread through Fairmount Park. Walking along Forbidden Drive, a gravel trail along the Wissahickon Creek, you'll understand why artists from Thomas Eakins to Edgar Allan Poe felt inspired to immortalize the park in their work. Shafts of sunlight filter through the trees, while birdcalls complement the dense chorus of crickets bellowing from the mossy woods.
The Phillies won a World Series title in 2008. Philadelphia fans are most incensed when their arch-rivals, the New York Mets, are in town.
Camden River Sharks. The minor-league Camden River Sharks, a member of the independent Atlantic League, play late April through September at Campbell's Field. Tickets begin at $5. Campbell's Field, 401 N. Delaware Ave., Camden, New Jersey. 866/742–7579; www.riversharks.com.
Philadelphia Phillies. Since 2004 the Philadelphia Phillies have played in Citizens Bank Park, a beautiful stadium that makes for a great day or night outing in spring, summer, or fall. The season runs from April to October. Tickets start at $20. Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 215/463–1000; philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com.
Philadelphia consistently produces first-rate basketball prospects, and vigorous, competitive pickup games can be found at hundreds of courts around the city. The 76ers, the city’s National Basketball Association franchise, last won a title in 1983, and are in the midst of a loss-heavy, multi-season “rebuilding” phase that is testing the patience of some diehards.
Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers play at the Wells Fargo Center from November to April. Tickets start at $15. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19148. 215/339–7676; www.nba.com/sixers.
Collegiate Big Five basketball. Collegiate Big Five basketball features teams from LaSalle, St. Joseph's, Temple, the University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova. The season runs from December to March. Big Five Office, the Palestra, 235 S. 33rd St., University City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104. 215/898–4747; www.philadelphiabig5.org.
The Eagles, who have never won a Super Bowl but do have a 1960 NFL championship on their mantles (predating the Super Bowl era), are the most beloved team in town.
Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles can be seen in action at their state-of-the-art facility, from September through January. The stadium has a grass playing field and holds up to 68,000 fans. Many of the best seats go to season-ticket holders; individual tickets begin at $55. Lincoln Financial Field, 11th St. and Pattison Ave., South Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19148. 267/570–4000; www.philadelphiaeagles.com.
Philadelphia Soul. Philadelphia Soul is one of arena football's top franchises, playing from late January through May. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19148. 215/253–4900; www.philadelphiasoul.com.
The Flyers, Philly’s National Hockey League team, last won the Stanley Cup, the NHL’s ultimate prize, in 1975.
Philadelphia Flyers. The Philadelphia Flyers hit the ice at the Wells Fargo Center from October to April. Tickets start at $46. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., South Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19148. 215/952–7300; flyers.nhl.com.
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