03/27/09 4:30 PM ET
Phils host 'What's New' event at park
New merchandise, food, Red Goes Green initiatives unveiled
By Leigh Tobin / Philadelphia Phillies
Glad you asked, because the Phillies, ARAMARK and Global Spectrum hosted a "What's New" event in the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday afternoon to introduce new merchandise, food and Red Goes Green initiatives.
Phillies senior vice president of marketing David Buck began the event by introducing the new gold-outlined jerseys that the team will be wearing on Opening Night on April 5. Those game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off later in the season, but fans will be able to buy replicas of the collector's edition uniform.
In addition to the Opening Night jersey, the Phillies will be wearing the World Series champions logo patch on all their home uniforms. And as another new feature, the team will be wearing a blue batting helmet to complement its alternate home jerseys, worn during day games. A replica of that helmet will be given to all fans 14 and under on Sunday, May 31.
One giveaway that was not displayed was the McDonald's 2008 World Champion Commemorative Ring Keychain, to be given to all fans on Tuesday, April 21. Despite the mounting curiosity, the wait will continue until the actual rings are presented to the team before the game on April 8. There was a great assortment of new items on display, including Phillies Shamrock clothing, ladies merchandise, World Series champion products, and a new line of organic Phillies merchandise.
The club's green efforts seemed to be an underlying theme of the day. In addition to the clothing line, Global Spectrum is committed to increasing Citizens Bank Park's recycling rates from 15 percent to 20-25 percent. And, among the numerous efforts being made to help reduce the ballpark's carbon footprint, Global Spectrum is using environmentally friendly cleaning products and developing a recycling center for use by all departments at the ballpark.
Phil the Can, a "talking" trash can robot entertained the media and spread his message of reminding fans of the importance of recycling and keeping the ballpark clean. Despite Phil's charm, the real hit of the day was the food. Chrissy Flannigan, general manager of ARAMARK at Citizens Bank Park, introduced Campo's, the new cheesesteak and sandwich shop in Ashburn Alley. Also new is the Alley Grill, located in left field, which will feature burgers and chicken fresh off the grill, and the Bud Light Rooftop, above Ashburn Alley, which will not only feature beer and buffalo chicken sliders, but a 50-foot bar and several flat-screen TVs.
New products at familiar locations include a kid's platter at Bull's BBQ, as well as a roasted half chicken and mac and cheese. Planet Hoagie introduced its "crabfree" crab cakes in addition to its delicious Philadelphia hoagies and salads.
At various portable stands in the ballpark, there will be new items such as funnel cake fries, monster chicken nachos and chicken and veggie quesadillas.
All in all, the 2009 season should be as big a hit in the stands as the team is on the field.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.