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R-Phils Prepare For Offseason Facelift Of Ballpark

By Dwayne Parker
Published On: Aug 24 2011 12:45:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 02 2010 05:28:29 AM CDT
READING, Pa. -

Renovations will get under way at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading after the last out of the season's final home game.

But team officials said the essence of the ballpark will not change and the upgrades are only meant to enhance the experience of watching a baseball game.

The front office staff will have to move their offices into trailers as the stadium undergoes $10 million in renovations.

Some of the lights will be replaced, the food court will be renovated, and the cement under the stands will be fixed up.

"We'll cover it with a non-slip coating so that the main grandstand will be ready for another 50, 60 years," said Scott Hunsicker, Reading Phillies general manager.

The main entrance will also be relocated to the first-base side of the stadium.

"It's still the same concourse and you still come up that tunnel and you still have the same smells and sights, and lighting that have really become part of the culture of this place," said Hunsicker.

Part of creating lasting memories includes being able to walk away with memorabilia, so the renovations will also include a souvenir shop.

"We don't have a souvenir store," said Hunsicker. "They didn't think about a store in 1950. So, just the simple gesture of building an air-conditioned, walk-in store sounds like completely mundane to people, but we never had one."

Family bathrooms will also be installed.

"Mom and dad can go in together with their infant," said Hunsicker. "Dad can go in with his daughter, mom can go in with her son."

Officials said no changes will be made to the field or the baseball experience.