Each and every team, and the fans, should want to see their stadium on a list of the most beautiful in the league.
It may sound sound insignificant on the surface, but, deep down, it should mean a whole lot. The stadium is where your team plays and where fans go to watch the team play. In a way, it is a representation of you — it is your home.
Would you want people to say your home is the worst or that it's ugly?
I think that's an obvious "no". You should want to see it at the top of every most beautiful list.
Unfortunately, it won't be. The whole idea behind a "most"-anything list is that there are clear-cut winners and losers.
Sure, I could find something endearing about all 30 Major League stadiums, but where's the interest in that? There's no discussion because most of it will be true and, thus, not up for debate.
There are certainly stadiums that may not be the best looking, but there is such an aura and history that it would put them ahead of some of the stadiums I'll list.
I'm all for great atmosphere, but if it's not pretty, it doesn't belong. I'm looking at you, Fenway.
So, with that in mind, these are five favorite stadiums in terms of beauty which, as always, is in the eye of the beholder.
Target Field just narrowly beat a few others to make it on to this list.
Firstly, kudos to Minnesota for building a park that's retro enough that it hearkens to the roots of stadiums past, but is also very modern.
It's a concept that I'm sure has been thought of quite often, but is rarely executed effectively. Target Field does just that.
The stadium, much like the others you'll see on this list, does a good job of morphing itself around the positive aesthetics of the city in which it is located.
The hole, for the lack of a better term, in the stadium design around right field provides a beautiful view of downtown Minneapolis.
Like I mentioned earlier, though, there is one aspect that gives Target Field a slight edge over some other contenders.
Target Field replaced the Metrodome. That's gotta count for something, right?
Say what you will about atmosphere or history, but the Metrodome was an absolute eyesore. It was a popular choice when listing the worst stadiums ever.
Whether you agree or not, you do have to admit that Target Field is a nice alternative.
Is there a bigger discrepancy between the beauty of a team, and the park they play in, than the Pittsburgh Pirates and PNC Park?
Apologies to any fans who disagree, if there are any, but the Pirates are not a very good team. There has been a slight improvement, but there is a long way to go in repaying fan loyalty during their years of torturous sub-.500 baseball.
Enough about the team, though, because we'd be here a while.
PNC Park was opened in 2001 after the demolition of Three Rivers Stadium. Much to the delight of those involved, PNC Park followed the trend of the time in building a retro-style stadium. PNC more resembles the beloved Forbes Field than it does the cookie-cutter Three Rivers Stadium.
The city skyline is what helps put PNC ahead of the rest.
That panoramic view of the city coupled with the Roberto Clemente bridge, appropriately renamed for the legendary Pirates outfielder in 1998, provide a beautiful backdrop.
Unfortunately, the term beauty can't be said of the team that plays there. Thank god for small miracles, though, right? (I kid, I kid)
Call it New Busch Stadium, Call it Busch Stadium III, call it whatever you really want to...so long as you call it beautiful.
Alright, I tried something there, and I apologize, but there's no denying the beauty of the stadium.
Much like PNC Park, Busch Stadium was built in 2006 by the same architectural firm to replace the old cookie-cutter Busch Memorial Stadium.
Once again, job well done to those guys.
The new stadium simplified the design of the previous one by getting rid of the excess coverings and seats. Getting rid of seats may not have been the best for business, but it was actually key to the aesthetics of the new stadium.
I doubt most of the people who sat that high up were getting the most out of the game anyway. With those seats, and other coverings, out of the way, it gave room to view the St. Louis skyline.
The skyline is actually what I love most about this stadium. There's just something about seeing that backdrop from behind home plate, with the Gateway Arch and the cityscape in the background, that just perfectly describes an "Americana" feeling.
That's the exact feeling that baseball tries to sell to its fans every year, and Busch Stadium exudes it.
Oriole Park is, by far, my favorite stadium in the major leagues. And this is coming from a Red Sox fan.
I could go on listing parks, but I feel like it would get redundant. I think it's pretty clear that I find a particular aesthetic pleasing, and it's shown in most of these parks.
That's how I narrowed the list down to four. Each place had something particular about it that set it above the rest.
Oriole Park, then Camden Yards, opened in 1992 and was the stadium that spawned the retro-style movement. Whether that was their intention or not, the HOK Sport architecture group, now Populous, knew they found a design idea that worked.
All of the parks on this list, plus a handful of other popular parks, had Populous involved in the design someway.
It's no shock, then, that they all share that similar "heart of the city" feel. They all are pretty open stadiums that allow the view of that particular city's skyline.
It's just a shame that more people don't go to Orioles games. Regardless, Oriole Park is a beautiful stadium that, whether you agree with the rest of my choices or not, should be on everyone's list.