Baseball

MLB Stadiums: Ranking the Best MLB Stadiums

By Ryan Finklestein - April 16, 2019

One of the things that sets Major League Baseball apart from other professional sports is that the field of play varies depending on where you are.

Every ballpark has different outfield dimensions, as some parks cater to pitchers and other’s to hitters.

Baseball’s oldest stadium is over a century old and the newest one opened in 2017, giving a great variance into the architectural style of each ballpark.

While everyone has a connection to their team’s ballpark, some are just more unique then others making for a better venue to enjoy America’s pastime.

So here are the rankings of the best ballparks in the MLB.  

 

30. Oakland A’s: Oakland-Alameda Co. Coliseum

The Oakland Athletics have needed to upgrade their stadium for a long time now as the Coliseum is outdated and looks like it is falling apart. The stadium was built back in 1966 and with reported instances of sewer water in the dugouts, the infrastructure is clearly failing. Luckily, the Athletics just announced a new stadium deal which should be complete by years end. The Athletics will still have to wait until at least 2023 for the new stadium to be built but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel.  

29. Tampa Bay Rays: Tropicana Field

Tropicana Field is another one of the worst ballparks in the MLB, as the Rays are in desperate need of a new stadium. The Trop, as it has been called, has the only fixed dome in the majors and it is an eyesore. Not only is the roof ugly but it is also obtrusive, with balls frequently getting caught in the catwalks of the roof and interfering with play on the field. Luckily the Rays have an exit strategy, as they are planning to move into a new ballpark in Ybor City in 2023. The stadium is tentatively called Ybor Stadium, with Ybor City being a historic neighborhood northeast of downtown Tampa.  

28. Chicago White Sox: Guaranteed Rate Field

Originally billed as “New Cominsky Park” when it opened in 1991, the White Sox feature one of the worse parks in baseball. The stadium was built to be an homage to the old Comisky Park but aside from the outfield facade, it does not remind fans of the past. The other issue is that Guaranteed Rate Field is not a modern stadium comparable to the other ballparks around the MLB.

27. Arizona Diamondbacks: Chase Field

The thing that Chase Field is most known for is the swimming pool in the outfield, which the Diamondbacks all jumped in this year to celebrate clinching the playoffs. Other then that, there is not much to like about Chase Field as the architecture is rather bland.  

26. Los Angeles Angels: Angel Stadium

Angel Stadium was originally built in 1966, but underwent substantial renovations in 1998. The reason for the changes were that the Rams had left L.A. and the stadium was made more baseball-specific. If you have wondered what inspired the outfield rock display in center field, the Walt Disney Corporation was asked to send their “Imagineers” out to create an internal focal point for the park and that is what they came up with.  

25. Miami Marlins: Marlins Park

Marlins Park will look a lot different next year as the flamboyant home run sculpture has been removed from center field under Derek Jeter’s orders. While the sculpture was widely mocked, there now is nothing that original about Marlins Park.  

24. Washington Nationals: Nationals Park

In the heart of our nation’s capital, Nationals Park was opened back in 2008. The park was built with a glass structure so that neighboring buildings could see elements of the field. It also allows Nationals’ fans to look out on the capitol and the Washington Monument.  

23. Toronto Blue Jays: Rogers Centre

Originally called the SkyDome, the Rogers Centre opened its doors in 1989 and was the first MLB stadium to have a completely functional retractable roof. When at full capacity, they say that the Roger Centre literally rocks due to the fan noise in this dome.  

22. Texas Rangers: Globe Life Park

Globe Life Park originally opened in 1994 and is already antiquated as they are building a new ballpark in the adjacent lot in Arlington, Texas. The reason for the change of venue, as cited by the Rangers, is that weather conditions have limited attendance over the years as high temperatures and rain delays ruin the fan experience. The new Globe Life Field, will be built with a retractable roof to correct those problems.  

21. Cincinnati Reds: Great American Ball Park

Great American Ballpark has been the home of the Cincinnati Reds since 2003. The stadium has a unique 35-foot gap between the second an third decks to allow fans to get a view of downtown Cincinnati. Built along the side of the Ohio River, Great American Ballpark offers some brilliant views of the waterway.  

20. Philadelphia Phillies: Citizens Bank Park

Citizens Bank Park opened its doors in 2004 and has been the beloved home of the Philadelphia Phillies ever since. The coolest part of Citizens Bank Park is Ashburn Alley, which is named after Phillies Hall of Fame outfielder Richie Ashburn. Ashburn Alley is an open space in the outfield that features shops, restaurants and memorabilia from Phillies history.  

19. Detroit Tigers: Comerica Park

When Comerica Park opened its doors in 2000, it replaced Tiger Stadium which had been open since 1912. Comerica offers Tigers fans some of the same nostalgia elements that they had with Tiger Stadium but in a much more modern manner. The backdrop of the outfield at Comerica give fans amazing views of downtown Detroit. With public transportation taking fans right to the stadium, Comerica is truly ingrained in the fabric of the city.  

18. Houston Astros: Minute Maid Park

In 2000, the Houston Astros left the expansive confines of the Astrodome and moved into the much smaller Minute Maid Park. Minute Maid Park gave the Astros a retractable roof as opposed to the fixed roof of the Astrodome. Minute Maid Park was built on the site of Union Station, which is still in tact and used an entrance to the ballpark. Minute Maid has its own railway and train that operates on game days as an homage to the history of the site.  

17. Milwaukee Brewers: Miller Park

Built in 2001, Miller Park is the home of the Milwaukee Brewers. Miller Park has the MLB’s only fan-shaped convertible roof, which can be opened or closed faster then any other retractable roof as it take less then 10 minutes. The best part of Miller Park is Bernie’s Dugout in left field. Bernie, the Brewers team mascot, sits in his own clubhouse all game and whenever the Brewers hit a home run or win, he slides down the slide to the delight of the fans.  

16. Atlanta Braves: SunTrust Park

Baseball’s newest stadium, SunTrust Park has only been the home of the Braves since 2017. SunTrust Park is part of what is known as The Battery Atlanta, which is comprised of nine restaurants, four retail stores and a music venue for Braves fans to take advantage of before and after games. Maybe the best aspect of SunTrust Park has nothing to do with the design of the stadium itself but rather the in-game entertainment. During ever Braves home game they have the “Beat the Freeze” challenge in which fans are given a huge lead in a race from foul pole to foul pole against, “The Freeze”. Since the man in “The Freeze” costume is a track star, he usually chases down the fan and beats them.  

15. Colorado Rockies: Coors Field

The Colorado Rockies have played all but two seasons in Coors Field, as the stadium opened in 1995 just two years after the Rockies joined the MLB. Playing at the mile-high altitude of Denver, Coors Field is one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the game. One of the coolest features of the ballpark is the Blue Moon Brewery at the Sandlot, which is a microbrewery in the right field stands. The popular Blue Moon beer, which is mass-produced now by Coors, was first brewed in Coors Field.  

14. New York Mets: Citi Field

Citi Field’s architecture was build to emulate some of the great National League parks in New York’s past. The outside exterior of the stadium was made to look similar to the old home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Ebbets Field. The seats are all green as an homage to the Polo Grounds and the Mets built a bridge in right field called the Shea bridge, which was the same name as their old stadium. Citi Field is a great combination of a modern ballpark that appeals to all of the nostalgia of the past.  

13. Cleveland Indians: Progressive Field

Progressive Field is part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex in downtown Cleveland which situates the home of the Indians right next to the Quicken Loans Arena, which is where the Cleveland Cavaliers play. Progressive Field opened its doors in 1994 and has been the home to a lot of great baseball, as the Indians have made three World Series since its opening. The stadium was built to resemble the other bridges and structures on the neighboring Cuyahoga River.  

12. Minnesota Twins: Target Field

Target Field has been regarded as having the best stadium experience in baseball, as ESPN The Magazine ranked it as such back in 2010. It is a beautiful open-air park that is able to accommodate football, soccer and other non-baseball events. The biggest issue with Target Field is that it is located in Minneapolis, which can get brutally cold making for harsh playing conditions. Due to the long winters in Minnesota, it was inexcusable for them not to include a retractable roof when they build Target Field.  

11. Seattle Mariners: Safeco Field

Safeco Field opened in 1999 and some refer to it as the house that Ken Griffey Jr. built. Safeco features one of the more unique retractable roofs in the MLB as it can cover the field of play, while still keeping the stadium open-aired at all times. The park features an extensive menu of food options for Mariners fans that goes far beyond the traditional hot dog, hamburger and pretzel concessions of most stadiums. These rare foods include sushi, burritos, stir-fry and much more.  

10. New York Yankees: Yankee Stadium

New Yankee Stadium was built as near replica to the fabled old Yankee Stadium for which it replaced. The dimensions and architectural design are all reminiscent of the old park, but with the modern technology that accompanies all new stadiums.  

9. St. Louis Cardinals: Busch Stadium

Busch Stadium features the most open stadium design in all of baseball, with beautiful views of downtown St. Louis as the backdrop of the outfield. The best part of Busch Stadium is that the Gateway Arch can be seen over right-center field, which is the landmark that most epitomizes the city of St. Louis.  

8. San Diego Padres: Petco Park

Petco Park is situated seamlessly into the Gas Lamp district of San Diego, as they even use the century-old Western Metal Supply Co. building as part of their structure in left field. The historic building was supposed to be torn down to accommodate the construction of the ballpark, but it was instead renovated for stadium operation purposes and now houses a team store, private suites, a restaurant and rooftop seating. In lieu of a standalone foul pole, the building has the pole painted on it. Petco also gives fans a great view of the city with its open-air setting.  

7. Kansas City Royals: Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium has been the home of the Kansas City Royals since 1973 and it is still one of the most beautiful ballparks in Major League Baseball. The best part of Kauffman Stadium is the cascading fountains in the outfield that can put on quite the water-show for their fans. The park is one of the few modernist stadiums in baseball, despite being built nearly 50 years ago.  

6. Baltimore Orioles: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Another great example of a ballpark that has been woven seamlessly into the tapestry of a city is Camden Yards. Camden Yards sparked the current revolution of modern ballpark designs that went away from the concrete structures of the past, and instead moved toward an integration of brick and steel. Camden Yards also features the B&O Warehouse in right field, which is not directly part of the stadium but a bridge does connect the two and makes for a great social place to meet in the park.  

5. San Francisco Giants: AT&T Park

AT&T Park opened in 2000 and offers one of the most unique viewing experiences in all of professional sports due to its proximity to the San Francisco Bay. In fact, AT&T Park is the closest stadium to water in all of sports, as it is built just 27 feet away from the water. Behind the right field wall, that portion of the bay has been named McCovey Cove in honor of Giants’ great Willie McCovey and has become a popular viewing place for games. Fans take kayaks or boats onto the cove in hopes of catching home run balls and there is also a waterfront promenade where fans can watch the game free of charge through the arches of the stadium.  

4. Los Angeles Dodgers: Dodger Stadium

Built in 1962, Dodger Stadium is the third-oldest ballpark in the MLB and is one of the most unique. Built on hilly land, the stadium offers different unique views all over the park, including outfield pavilions and the Top of the Park section. At nearly 60 years old, Dodger Stadium is an architectural marvel and one of the best places to watch a game.  

3. Pittsburgh Pirates: PNC Park

Remove the nostalgia-factor from the top-two stadiums on this list and PNC Park is hands-down the best ballpark in baseball. The field is beautifully situated with views of the Roberto Clemente Bridge, downtown Pittsburgh and the Allegheny River. PNC Park is one of the smaller and more intimate ballparks in the sport, with the highest seat only standing 88 feet away from the field.  

2. Chicago Cubs: Wrigley Field

Baseball’s second-oldest ballpark, Wrigley Field is the perfect place to watch a game especially during the day. Wrigley was the last stadium to add lights as they played all of their home games during the day until 1988. The ivy-covered outfield wall is the staple of Wrigley Field.  

1. Boston Red Sox: Fenway Park

Watching a game at Fenway Park is on every true baseball fans bucket list and for good reason, as it is the best ballpark in the MLB. When you go to Fenway you are transported back in time as the aesthetics of the century-old ballpark have remained the same through all these years. The Green Monster in left field is the most iconic landmark in baseball and maybe in all of sports.