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PHILADELPHIA-Heavy equipment rolled into the Veteran Stadium North Parking Lot here last week and excavation is now under way for the new Phillies stadium.

The 43,000-seat, natural-grass-and-dirt field venue will be built just east of Veterans Stadium on the north side of Pattison Avenue, between 11th and Darien streets, on a 21-acre site in South Philly. A hole will be dug 23 ft. below street level for the recessed seating bowl at the new baseball-only park, which is scheduled to open in 2004.

The ballpark is being designed by local architecture firm Ewing Cole Cherry Brott and Kansas City-based HOK Sport & Venue & Event. A joint venture between Philadelphia-based builder L.F. Driscoll and Hunt Construction Group, headquartered in Indianapolis, will serve as construction managers on the project.

Features of the new ballpark will include family-friendly entertainment areas and open concourse concessions. A cantilevered steel structure will allow for more open-seating areas and less than one third of the seats will be in the upper deck. And to allow for a view of the downtown skyline, the field will be oriented with home plate to the south and centerfield to the north, counter-clockwise from the current Veterans Stadium orientation.

Local contractor D’Angelo Brothers Inc. is overseeing the excavation, shoring and underpinning at the site. Minority-Diverse Business Enterprise subcontractors working with D’Angelo include New Life Services (clearing and grubbing services); Road Runner Construction (hauling and various construction services); Tierra Construction Co. (erosion control services); and Paul Mass (hauling services). Alexson Supply Co., Inc. (miscellaneous construction supplier services) and Multifacet, Inc. (shoring services)–both Women-Diverse Business Enterprise (W-DBE) vendors–are also working with D’Angelo Brothers.

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