- Richard Smith
Hamlin Tennis Center – Penn Quakers
Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71
Hamlin Tennis Center 240 S 31st St Philadelphia, PA 19104
Year Opened: 1973
The University of Pennsylvania, also known as Penn or UPenn, is a private Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Penn is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin is Penn’s founder.
The university has also produced many alumni, which include 14 heads of state (including two U.S. Presidents) and 25 billionaires. Penn allows undergraduates access to courses at all of Penn’s undergraduate and graduate schools, except the medical, veterinary and dental schools. Undergraduates at Penn may also take courses at Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore, under a reciprocal agreement known as the Quaker Consortium.
Penn’s sports teams are nicknamed the Quakers. Located in Penn Park, the Hamlin Tennis Center is the home of the Penn men’s and women’s tennis teams. The facility was opened in the fall of 2011. The facility has 12 all-weather courts and six of the courts can be viewed from stadium seating. It is located next door to the Multidimensional Amphitheater, Penn’s softball field. Also with Penn Park is the Hecht Tennis Center, which is the indoor home to the Penn tennis programs.
Food & Beverage 0
There is no permanent food stand at the Hamlin Tennis Center or in any other place within the Penn Park athletic field. Plan on bringing your own food.
The venue is an amazing place to watch tennis. The raised seats and viewing areas are fantastic ways to watch some fairly high quality tennis action.
The seats themselves are nice, but remind me of what you would experience at a state or national park campfire auditorium, as the floors are basic gravel.
There is no real neighborhood to the stadium as it is inside of Penn Park, a set of athletic fields for the university. You will find plenty of shops and restaurants to satisfy almost any appetite. The best bet is to find a food truck, as they will be plentiful around the campus. I was lucky to find the Insomnia Cookies truck on 33rd St between Market and Chestnut just as they had some fresh cookies coming out of the oven. There will be a lot less food trucks on weekend games, unfortunately.
Also located nearby at Drexel University is a location of Landmark Americana (3333 Market St), which is a great option for post game eating. This restaurant offers a nice choice of meals and has a large bar, as well. For Saturday games, look out for the $10 all-you-can-eat wings special. They also offer numerous drink specials at the bar. Also nearby is Wahoo’s Fish Tacos (3180 Chestnut St.), which is primarily a west coast chain, so finding them here is pretty special.
If driving, consider Philip’s Steaks at 2234 West Passyunk Avenue for traditional Philly cheesesteaks. This is not one of the more touristy spots, but is still in a safe neighborhood and offers free parking. Philip’s also has a surprisingly good cheeseburger for a cheesesteak joint. Just remember you have to buy the drinks and fries at a different window than your main entree, which is a strange and unique Philly tradition.
The majority of the fans are friends and family of the athletes. The ones in attendance all seem quite knowledgeable of the game.
There is not a lot of parking in the area. Parking will not be cheap, as this is Philadelphia and no parking is cheap. Plan on paying at least $15.
You can enter the Penn Park lots at River Fields Drive and may be able to find some cheaper parking.
Interstate 76, the Schuylkill Expressway, is right behind the university and is very busy. But it would make a convenient way to get to the game.
Public transportation is easy to find and use. SEPTA mass-transit system is right off campus, and Amtrak’s 30th Street train station is a short walk away.
Return on Investment 4
Aside, from parking, there is no charge to attend a UPenn tennis match.
The view of Philadelphia is worth the trip by itself.
Stop on your way to see the amazing Franklin Field just off to the side of the softball field and Penn Park. The stadium has been open since 1895 and is an amazing venue. Franklin Field is also the site of the annual Penn Relays track and field meet. This event gets the biggest crowds yearly for the stadium.
Also check out the Mondschein Throwing Complex, located on the old softball field, as it is also nearby and offers a great facility for field events.
There is no cost to attend this unique facility, other than parking. If in Philadelphia, you should look to see if you can fit a tennis match into your schedule.