Citizens Bank Park dimensions
Hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park appears to be a topic again. It was mentioned in newspapers this past week and on ESPN’s spring training telecast from Orlando on March 22.
As we announced just before last Christmas, the left field wall was being adjusted after studying home runs at Citizens Bank Park for two seasons. The wall moved back five feet and the height was increased from eight feet to 10.5 feet. The 329-foot foot marker at the left field foul pole remains at that number with the wall angling back five feet from there. The 369-foot mark that was on the left field wall for two seasons is now 374 feet.
It is a fact that Citizens Bank Park ranked third among all Major League parks in home runs hit in 2004. The number was 228, trailing two Chicago ballparks, Wrigley Field (233) and U.S. Cellular Field (272). Seven different ballparks topped 200 home runs that season.
Last year, five parks surpassed 200 homers: Citizens Bank Park (201), Yankee Stadium (206), U.S. Cellular Field (213), Ameriquest Field (233) and Great American Ball Park (246). Citizens Bank Park climbed over 200 when seven homers were hit in the final home game.
It all means that there were 27 fewer homers at Citizens Bank Park in year two.
Our video survey estimates the new dimensions will subtract another 15-18 home runs in year three. One of the goals in building the park was to have a fair park for pitchers and hitters. It didn’t play that way the first two seasons but an adjustment was made. Correcting wind patterns is unsolvable, unless we put a dome on the place. Don’t count on that happening.
Physical changes in ballparks are not unprecedented.
The outfield wall at Veterans Stadium was raised from eight feet to 12 feet after the first season (1971) to eliminate the frequency of ground rule doubles.
After one year at Minute Maid Park in Houston (then Enron Field), an adjustment was made to make home runs to left-center more difficult. The distance in the power alley remained at 362 feet, but the height of the yellow line indicating a home run increased from 10 to 25 feet. The 315-foot distance to the left field foul pole remained, keeping it the shortest left field in the National League. As I recall, there were two or three "cheap" home runs hit to left field in Houston during last year’s postseason, but no fuss was made over the fact of the short porch there.
In Detroit, the Tigers moved the left-center field power alley from 395 to 370 feet following the third season at Comerica Park. The San Diego Padres shortened Petko Park’s right-center fence from 411 to 402 feet after last season.
See what’s new at Citizens Bank Park in 2006.