Ranking MLB Ballparks by the 'Bang for Your Buck'
Like any baseball fan, I love going to stadiums to watch games live. Yet, there's a problem. I'm a die-hard New York Yankees fan and Yankee Stadium is probably the most expensive ballpark out of the 30 in MLB.
From paying $11 or more for a beer to spending $5 on a hot dog and another $5 on a soda, going to a Yankees game has become not only an occasion for being a baseball fan, but also one in which I make an appointment with my accountant before I even buy tickets, and I won't even get into how much he charges me.
Thus, whenever I'm on the road in various cities, there are certain ballparks that I make a point of attending even if I'm not a fan of the team. The mere experience of the stadium combined with affordable prices on concessions and other perks is enough to loop me in. To anyone who thinks that's an odd practice, just go to Angels Stadium in Anaheim and then tell me it wasn't money well spent.
Simply put, going to a baseball game should be something we all can enjoy, not a financial burden. If most stadiums took a page from these parks' books, then maybe attendance would go up just a little bit and the fans would be way happier. Forget about the game. When it comes to these affordable stadiums, experience is key.
No. 5: Minute Maid Park
Apart from being a fun city in general, Houston is home to a fun baseball stadium in Minute Maid Park. The Astros may not be the best team, but their stadium provides plenty of perks for a fan passing through town.
For starters, how many people here have tried to check fantasy baseball stats on their phone while at the ballgame, but can't get online because of the thousands of others in the area trying to do the same thing?
Well, Minute Maid Park takes this into consideration as Wi-Fi is available for the cheap price of just $3.95 and fans will no longer get frustrated at the supposed lack of service and, eventually, battery power.
Yet, a fan's gotta eat, right? Astros management doles out its own version of Texas hospitality with "all you can eat" seats. For just $30, you get a seat in the mezzanine and all-you-can-eat of the following: hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, water and soda.
Throw in the home-run train, and this is a stadium too great to pass up.
No. 4: Miller Park
What do you get when you cross a beautiful stadium, a rabid fanbase, cold beer and sausages racing? Why, Milwaukee's Miller Park, of course! I have been to this ballpark just twice but I'll say this much. Whenever I'm passing through Wisconsin during baseball season next, I'll make a point to go to here just for the experience.
Simply put, despite the fans being loud and raucous, Miller Park is home to some of the nicest fans you'll ever come across. Even if you don't root for the Brewers, they'll treat you like one of their own (unless, of course, you're a Cardinals fan).
More importantly, you can go to Miller Park and not bankrupt yourself buying food. Everything here is so affordable to the point where it's kind of ridiculous. Thus, if you haven't yet been to a game here, go!
No. 3: PNC Park
Easily one of the most beautiful stadiums in MLB, PNC Park is a place every baseball fan must visit at least once. It is built right on the Allegheny River and is small and intimate, holding just over 38,000 people. The best part is that every seat is a good one and general admission ranges from $9 to $35.
Like the aforementioned Minute Maid Park, PNC also has an "all you can eat" section and, unlike most stadiums, fans are allowed to bring their own food without consequence.
I'm sorry, but a ballpark that gives you the option of not having to spend money there? Sign me up for some great seats and a beautiful view!
No. 2: Angels Stadium
Everything is expensive in Los Angeles, and the food at Angel Stadium is about on par with what you'd expect at the average ballpark. Yet, when it comes to the beer, it's hard to argue with $4.50 for 14 ounces.
Also, let's not forget that the Angels have the infamous Rally Monkey, and who doesn't like monkeys? More importantly, who doesn't like the idea of mixing baseball with monkeys?
No. 1: Chase Field
Chase Field is located in downtown Phoenix which, as we all know or imagine, can be brutal in the summer. Sitting outside watching a baseball game sounds like the last thing someone would want to do on a freakishly hot day in this part of the country, right?
WRONG!! Arizona Diamondbacks management took this to heart as the stadium's roof is retractable, providing the fans with air conditioning when it is closed. On top of that, fans are allowed to bring their own food to the game and thus save some cash.
Yet, the best part about Chase Field has to be the $4 beers. Combine those with reasonable ticket prices, the ability to bring food in without consequence, plus air conditioning, and it's just like watching the game at home. Except, of course, you're actually at the game!
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