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That ugly Phillies tower sign is finally coming down… sort of

Sep 24, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

click on the above images to enlarge

Good news! That eyesore of a sign between Citizens Bank Park and the lovely Philadelphia skyline is finally coming down after all of these years. Well, it’s not coming down entirely, but they are going to chop part of it off and make it a bit lower so that the skyline view will be somewhat improved.

Friend of the Level Brad Maule wrote a great post about the sign for us way back in 2007. It’s worth a quick click back to get some of the history of the sign. Remember this nugget?

The 2005 Opening Day ticket painted — or should I say photoshopped — the Phillies’ embarrassment of The Sign. The ticket design featured a photo of the skyline, for which some poor intern was probably assigned to remove The Sign from the view. Except, well, they didn’t finish the job. As you can see below, the photoshop job was left only half done, and 45,000 tickets were printed with half of The Sign.

And the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb has the lowdown on the coming changes:

The tower will remain in a different form, a team spokesperson said. It will be lowered in height — from 157 feet tall to 115 feet — and become a two-sided message board. Construction began this week.

So the sign will be lowered. But it’s not entirely gone. Which is a bummer.

  1. Kevin McGuire - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    They can’t put a message board somewhere else?

  2. ofeydofey - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Honestly, what is the reason that sign is still there. There is not a single person in the city that has ever said anything positive about that sign. Is there some weird legal reason it has to be there? That is the only explanation.

  3. GeorgePhan - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    it always looked like someone’s great idea for ad-space with all kinds of stats and scores lit up on one side. then it just went away. they had to repaint it because it faded. i always wonder what people from other towns think of it?! thank goodness they’re lopping it off.

  4. shyduck - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    The sign also got a 10 year contract extension worth $95 million.

  5. 2sentz - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    My guys had to travel up the elevator in that sign pole (yes, there’s an elevator that holds exactly two 185-lb dudes with many body parts touching BACK TO BACK) during The Vet demo in 2004. It took like 15 minutes to get to the top, I was sure we’d step out onto the moon. Pitch black, rickety noises, really scary “If-this-thing-breaks-we’re-fucked” ride. Once out on top no railings or even a lip, just a tiny 60-sq ft triangle of a roof with straight drop-off. Windy day, nuts in throat the entire time.

    They’ll never remove it because it’s a paid-for permitted advertising video sign and you know how big a hassle it is to get those approved these days?

    • locustst - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      that’s an amazing story. i *never* would have guessed there was an elevator in the pole

      and you’re absolutely right- they will never remove the sign completely because doing so would risk their ability to construct a non-accessory (aka digital billboard) sign there in the future. i’d actually be shocked if the shorter version wasn’t 1/3 phillies, 2/3 unrelated digi advertising.

      • locustst - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        1/2 phillies, 1/2 unrelated advertising, that is.

  6. rushfan3 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    I thought that maybe the sign was a clever way of covering up the fact that it’s a cell tower? Like they usually do in some spots with making a cell tower look like a pine tree.

  7. Shaun - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    That sign back in the day was a actually a working video board with Phillies ads on it, my parents told me at one point it was a scoreboard also. Its a eye sore that they should get rid of. The funny thing is that sign is actually is in the game MLB The Show!

  8. The ump - Sep 24, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Yes, back in ye olde days that tower was a working electronic billboard that would flash scores, pimp upcoming games, etc. Obviously, since it was built in the 70′s it is not modern at all. Think the original Vet scoreboard, before Phanovision.

  9. BJ Massa - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    BOO ! ! Take it DOWN ! !

  10. Harry - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Slow news day, huh.

  11. Another Dom - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Oh, come on. It’s nostalgic (and ugly, like a lot of nostalgic things are in Philly). I loved seeing the scores on the sign with numerous burnt-out bulbs back in the day. If anything, it’s a reminder of what a shit-hole the Vet was, and how lucky we are to have the best stadium in MLB now.

    • Jamie's Thumb - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      I don’t know. I kind of like it. A reminder of the Vet location when I go to the park.

    • 2sentz - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Great memory A-Dom, for years there were so many burned-out bulbs you couldn’t read the words. Remember when Phillies made World Series in ’80, they tried to replace the dead bulbs to spruce things up? But they replaced them with orange-ish instead of yellow, so within a few years it was a worse un-readable mess of orange, yellow, and burned-out bulbs. A perfect accessory to The Vet….

  12. Hiccup - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Save the sign!


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