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A TALE OF TWO CITIES

10/07/2009
DENVER AND PHILADELPHIA (October 6, 2009) – As the Philadelphia Phillies and the Colorado Rockies prepare for the first round of playoffs in the road to the World Series, here is a comparison of the cities, stadiums, food and fans, as coordinated by the cities’ respective tourism organizations:  The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau.

POPULATION  

Philadelphia – City: 1.4 million; metro: 3.8 million
Denver – City & County: 600,000, metro: 3 million

HISTORY

Philadelphia – The “City of Brotherly Love” is the birthplace of freedom and independence.  The Declaration of Independence was signed here, after all, not to mention the bell…the famous one with a crack in it.
Denver – “The Mile High City” was founded as a gold mining camp in 1858, and, in its first few years, was destroyed twice by a fire and a flood.  Denver’s first business was a saloon, and the city boasted saloon hall performances of Macbeth before it had a school or a hospital.

STADIUMS

Philadelphia – All of Philadelphia’s stadiums are right next to one another, including Citizens Bank Park (Phillies); Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles); Wachovia Center (76ers and Flyers); and Wachovia Spectrum, which is awaiting demolition to make way for a brand-new entertainment complex.
Denver – Coors Field has 50,000 seats and is located in downtown Denver within walking distance of all 8,300 downtown hotel rooms.  President Barack Obama was nominated for President in one of Denver’s sports stadiums (Pepsi Center); he accepted that nomination in another Denver sports center (INVESCO Field at Mile High).  Denver has a record six professional sports stadiums for eight professional sports teams.

ATTRACTIONS NEAR STADIUMS

Philadelphia – The city’s stadium complex is a short, 10-minute subway ride from City Hall, the largest municipal building in the United States.  William Penn, whose statue sits atop City Hall, was once believed to be the curse of Philadelphia sports teams. Guess who broke the curse last October? Citizen’s Bank Ballpark is its own attraction, with the beloved Phillie Phanatic topping the 2008 Forbes list as the top mascot.
Denver – The 50,000-seat Coors Field is in the heart of LoDo, Denver’s downtown hip historic district that boasts 90 brew pubs, sports bars, music clubs and rooftop cafes.  It’s a short walk to the Tattered Cover (“best bookstore in America,” The New York Times), or Rockmount Ranch Wear (where the snap-button Western shirt was invented, or the 16th Street Mall (a mile-long pedestrian promenade designed by I.M. Pei and lined with 26 outdoor cafes).  Fans don’t even have to leave Coors Field to “sit” in an attraction – the stadium’s row of purple seats is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level – one mile high.

WHERE TO GET A BEER BEFORE THE GAME
Philadelphia – Denver has the Great American Beer Festival, but Philly upholds its claim to be America’s Best Beer Drinking City.  Philly Beer Week is June 4-13. That’s a 10-day “week” of beer, celebrating a history dating back to 1680, when William Penn (the city’s founder) started his own brewery.  Today, Phillies’ fans like to get to the game early and hang out at McFadden’s Ballpark, a spacious indoor/outdoor bar with 33 plasma screens and two huge projectors, or grab a post-game Belgian beer at Monk’s Café, Beneluxx or Eulogy.
Denver – There’s only one authority on measuring beer festivals, and that, appropriately, is the Guinness World Records, which ranked Denver’s Great American Beer Festival, September 24-26, 2009, as having the greatest assortment of beers available for tasting ever assembled on planet Earth – some 1,900 tap beers and 400 bottle beers.  And the state winning the largest number of medals?  Why Colorado, of course.  Before the game, grab a beer at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, founded by current Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as the state's first brewpub.  Or visit El Chapultepec, picked by Esquire as one of the top 50 bars in the nation.  Frank Sinatra once sang here, President Clinton played his sax on stage - and Sting was thrown out.


WHERE TO EAT AFTER THE GAME

Philadelphia – In 2007, The Food Network – thanks to Philly traditions like Chickie’s and Pete’s and Tony Luke’s – was honored with the “Best Ballpark Eats”. And for the veggie-friendly types, Citizens Bank Ballpark was named the No. 1 vegetarian-friendly ballpark in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by PETA.  For those still hungry, Misconduct Tavern is just steps from the Broad Street subway, or a plentiful amount of outdoor tables along Market Street in Old City are sure to appease.
Denver – The city is renowned for its steak houses – and just a stone’s throw from Coors Field is one of the best, The Chop House, located in the historic Union Pacific building.  For street food, pedestrians can pick up a breakfast burrito on any corner or stop by Biker Jim’s on 16th and Arapahoe streets for the famous reindeer sausage hot dog.  For those a little squeamish eating Rudolph, Biker Jim also has dogs made of elk and buffalo.
 
OTHER SPORTS TEAMS

Philadelphia – Philadelphia Eagles (football); Philadelphia 76ers (basketball); Philadelphia Flyers (hockey); Philadelphia Kixx (indoor soccer); Philadelphia Wings (lacrosse); and the newest additions to the bunch – Philadelphia Union (men’s soccer) and Philadelphia Independence (women’s soccer)
Denver – Colorado Avalanche (hockey); Denver Nuggets (basketball); Colorado Rapids (soccer); Denver Broncos (football); Denver Outlaws (lacrosse); Glendale Raptors (rugby); Colorado Mammoth (lacrosse)

TRIVIA  

Philadelphia – If Spike Jonze’s film adaptation has visitors wanting to know more about Where the Wild Things Are, visit the Rosenbach Museum and Library, where Wild author Maurice Sendak’s illustrations and personal collections are housed.  And with Halloween looming, pay homage to Bram Stoker’s notes for “Dracula,” another Rosenbach prize.
Denver – The conquering spirit should be with the Rockies this October, since the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is hosting a groundbreaking Genghis Khan exhibit.  And one of Denver’s most famous residents, Molly Brown, will be lending her “unsinkable” attitude to the team as well. The Titanic survivor's Denver mansion is now a museum.

PLAYOFF POKER   
Every coin in America has a small “P” or “D” under the date, indicating whether it was made in the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia or Denver.  Talk about flipping a coin!

THROUGH THE AGES
The Phillies franchise was founded in 1883. By contrast, the Rockies didn’t start playing until 1993.  But the Rockies’ history actually stretches even further back: during construction of Coors Field, workers discovered several dinosaur fossils. This later led to the selection of a dinosaur as the Rockies’ mascot, “Dinger.”

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About The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.
For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit gophila.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to Hear Philly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.
Note to Editors: For high-resolution photos of Greater Philadelphia, visit the photo gallery of gophila.com/pressroom.
Press inquiries, contact:
Cara Schneider, (215) 599-0789; cara@gptmc.com
Jeff Liebreich, (215) 599-0230; jlieb@gptmc.com

About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes.  Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, generating $3.1 billion in annual spending in 2008, while supporting 65,000 jobs. For more information on Denver call 800-2-DENVER or visit Denver’s official Web site at VISITDENVER.com.      
With press or photo inquiries, please contact:

Rich Grant: (303) 571-9450 or rgrant@visitdenver.com
Jen Elving: (303) 571-9451    jelving@visitdenver.com

 

 

 

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