FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Reading Fightin Phils, has once again been named America's Classic Ballpark by Baseball America in their Top 25 Best Ballparks of the Minors feature in the May 22-June 5 issue. The Fightins' stadium is the only stadium in the Top 10 to be built before 1995 and the only ballpark in the Top 25 to be built before 1994.
According to one voter in the poll, "They've (Reading) done the most with the least, for sure. Older park, but best atmosphere on most nights in the league. When it's sold out, it's a crazy place to be."
The ranking was created through a survey of over 100 minor league general managers, radio announcers, league observers, and others involved in the game about the best ballparks in the sport to help create a top 25 ranking as well as the top venues in each league.
Along with Reading, each of the Philadelphia Phillies full-season affiliates (Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Clearwater Threshers, and Lakewood BlueClaws) made the Top 25 Rankings.
The accolade follows FirstEnergy Stadium being named to Stadium Journey's "Top 100 Stadium Experiences" list in its January 2015 publication. As the no. 91 stadium destination overall, Baseballtown found itself ahead of landmark venues like Madison Square Garden and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It was also the top-ranked minor league baseball destination in Pennsylvania.
The honor is just one of the many the Fightins and their historic ballpark have received over the years. In 2013, FirstEnergy was named the third-best minor league ballpark in the United States by readers of USA TODAY Travel Media Group's 10Best.com "Best Minor League Ballpark" contest. In 2001, the ballpark was named Best Ballpark in the Minor Leagues by digitalballparks.com. Six years later, it became the first ballpark that never housed a Triple-A franchise in modern MiLB history to welcome 10 million fans through the gates.
Constructed in 1951, FirstEnergy Stadium is a throwback to a bygone era and sits as the oldest park in the Eastern League. Now in its 65th season, America's Classic Ballpark has seen the likes of Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg, and Robin Roberts call the ballpark home.
Tickets for the 2015 season at FirstEnergy Stadium are available by visiting Fightins.com, calling the Fightin Phils Ticket Office at 610-370-BALL, or by visiting the Fightin Phils Ticket Office in person at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via Facebook.com/Fightins.