MLB Power Rankings: Which Team Has the Top Stadium in Baseball?January 5, 2012
MLB Power Rankings: Which Team Has the Top Stadium in Baseball?
It's hard to believe it, but in less than three months, MLB stadiums across the country will be filled with fans eager for the 2012 season and all the hope it brings along with it.
Of course, some stadiums will be more full than others, as some teams fail to have the personnel, and in other cases—the facilities, to attract a large following.
While I'd love to make it to all of them at some point, in reality I haven't been to many MLB stadiums during my lifetime, making it somewhat difficult to judge which are the best.
Keeping that in mind, I'm basing my findings largely on what I've heard about the stadiums from friends and family, as well as what I've seen watching games on TV.
Since I'm sure most of you have insight on your own home ballparks, I'll be interested to hear what makes your stadium stand out among others.
30. Tropicana Field
Despite having a competitive team year after year, the Tampa Bay Rays have failed to draw fans into Tropicana Field.
The facility itself isn't overly baseball friendly, with the catwalks above the field coming into play from time to time.
29. Overstock.com Coliseum
With nearly as much foul territory as there is fair territory, Overstock.com coliseum (if that's what it's still even called) provides a less than ideal fan experience compared to many newer stadiums that put fans much closer to the field of play.
28. Rogers Centre
The Rogers Centre has seen it's share of great memories, with World Championships being won there and a number of elite players having donned the Blue Jays uniform.
The once state of the art stadium is quickly aging and despite a number of amenities it still doesn't give fans the true ballpark feel.
27. Chase Field
The first retractable roofed stadium in America, Chase Field certainly has the look of an airplane hangar.
The Diamondbacks made noise this past year with a postseason run, but even that barely filled the stadium halfway on a nightly basis.
26. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
One of the least pitcher friendly ballparks in baseball, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington does have a unique look and feel to it while still maintaining some aspects of a classic all-American ballpark.
But upon it's construction there was some criticism for not including a retractable roof that could protect fans and players from the extremely uncomfortable heat that has likely forced some free agent pitchers to shy away from the Rangers.
25. Kaufmann Stadium
The home to this year's All-Star game, Kaufmann stadium boasts a classic stadium design that was somewhat surprising given that it was built during the "cookie cutter era" when multi-purpose stadiums were the norm.
With a $250 million renovation recently completed, Kaufmann stadium stands to be the home of the Royals for decades to come.
24. U.S. Cellular Field
Since replacing Comiskey Park in 1991, which was at the time the oldest ballpark in baseball, U.S. Cellular Field has hosted an All-Star game, World Series, and seen a number of great players call it home.
The Cell boasts a great history of White Sox baseball, with a number of statues on the premises, including those of Carlton Fisk, Harold Baines, Frank Thomas and more.
23. Dodgers Stadium
Chavez Ravine has been in operation since the beginning of the 1962 season and has seen some of baseball's greatest players call it home since then.
At 330' in both left and right field, it's the only stadium in the national league and one of only four in baseball with symmetrical dimensions.
22. Nationals Park
Opening in spring of 2008, Nationals Park is more modest in size, seating around 41,000 fans on a daily basis.
I don't have any knowledge of the possible sites for the venue, but it seems like having outfield views of D.C. monuments would've been a great touch for the park.
21. Progressive Field
Opening to much fanfare in 1994, Progressive Field (then known as Jacobs Field) set attendance records in the 90s, selling out 455 consecutive games.
In 2011 the Cleveland Indians drew less than 23,000 fans per game, but with the team's newfound ascent in the AL central that number should be on the rise in 2012.
20. Minute Maid Park
After spending so many years in the once modern Astrodome, the Houston Astros moved to Enron Field in the spring of 2000.
After a PR nightmare stemmed from Enron's downfall the stadium was re-named Minute Maid Park and is now commonly dubbed "The Juice Box".
19. Great American Ballpark
Not even 10 years old, the Great American Ballpark is carved out of a piece of land that gives a great atmosphere.
With the Ohio River just outside the ballpark and the power stacks in action during Reds games it makes for a great game day experience for fans in Cincinnati.
18. Angels Stadium
With the trademark rocks in the outfield, Angels Stadium has been in operation since the late 1960s and has at times housed teams such as the Los Angeles Rams and the Southern California Sun.
Despite it's age the ballpark has undergone multiple renovations that have modernized the game day experience for fans.
17. Turner Field
Constructed for the Summer Olympic games, the Atlanta Braves began play in the stadium in 1997 after having it retrofitted into a baseball only complex.
Further renovations were made starting in 2005 to modernize the field and add amenities that allow the Braves to still draw more than 30,000 fans on a daily basis.
16. PETCO Park
Despite it being one of the newer parks in baseball, PETCO Park was constructed with a touch of retro styling, as the brick facades and subtle touches in seating give it a look and feel of past stadiums.
The stadium has been awarded for it's design as it's positioning allows for beautiful views of surrounding scenery including the San Diego Bay and Balboa Park.
15. Coors Field
Coors Field may be best known for it's hitter friendly confines, but the park also boasts a number of great brews and centerfield landscaping including waterfalls and pine trees that can electrify crowds after home runs or wins.
14. Comerica Park
Replacing historic Tigers Stadium in 2000, Comerica Park was a part of a plan that included the building of Ford Field for the Detroit Lions, an effort to stimulate the struggling economy.
Many different aspects of the park showcase the franchise's rich history including a statues of Tiger greats Ty Cobb and Al Kaline among others and a tribute to long-time broadcaster Ernie Harwell.
13. Safeco Field
After utilizing the Kingdome for many years, the Mariners threat of relocation was enough to have Safeco Field built for the team to enjoy for years to come.
As is the case with many newer stadiums constructed, the Mariners utilizes a retractable roof and added a multitude of unique dining options and high end accomodations to draw fans.
12. Wrigley Field
Nearly 100 years old, Wrigley Field is one of the oldest operating parks in baseball and is entrenched in history.
The ivy covering the outfield fence is recognizable by any sports fan and the rooftop experiences are second to none.
The stadium has gotten criticism for it's lack of renovations and somewhat uncomfortable confines, but the history alone makes it almost impossible to not love Wrigley.
11. Busch Stadium
Replacing the old Busch Stadium, a revamped stadium currently housing the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals opened prior to the 2006 season.
The stadium still has features of old Busch, while opening the outfield concourse to bring the St. Louis skyline into view.
10. Camden Yards
Opening to much fanfare in 1992, Camden Yards may have had an entirely different look if alternative plans had been put into play.
The view of the historic B&O Warehouse is one of the most recognizable outfield views in all of baseball, but during construction it was talked about demolishing the warehouse rather than leaving it in place.
9. Miller Park
The home of the sausage races and the hebrew hammer has been providing an enjoyable game day experience for Milwaukee fans for 11 seasons now.
Miller Park's retractable roof can close in 10 minutes to shield from the midwest elements and Bernie the Brewer can be seen meandering around the outfield when a Brewer goes deep.
8. Citi Field
Opening less than three years ago, Citi Field is a modern stadium that boasts all the amenities that a fan could want.
It hasn't been without criticism however as fans have voiced displeasure over some obstructions within the stadium. Whether or not it's a direct result of the criticisms, the Mets have failed to fill the stadium as it sits less than 75 percent full on a nightly basis.
7. Fenway Park
Many sports fans and probably all Bostonians would consider Fenway Park to be superior to all stadiums in baseball due to the history that it has been home to during it's 100 year history.
The Green Monster is a sports icon and Fenway has been the center of national attention time and time again.
But as is the case with Wrigley Field, the lack of modern amenities are one of the only drawbacks. Still - Sox fans are clearly undeterred as the Red Sox represent one of the hottest tickets in sports.
6. Citizens Bank Park
Home to the Philadelphia Phillies, Citizens Bank Park is an immense upgrade over Veterans Stadium, which was so much like many other stadiums constructed during the same era.
It's seating allows for close proximity to the field of play and a number of concessions boast food that resembles the best Philadelphia has to offer.
5. Marlins Ballpark
As much as I can appreciate historical elements of the game of baseball, I also tend to gravitate towards all things new so naturally I'm very excited to see what Marlins Ballpark has to offer.
While completed pictures of all aspects of the ballpark are few and far between, construction of sports venues have excelled to the point where it's virtually impossible to go wrong.
4. Yankee Stadium
As one of the most historic stadiums in baseball, old Yankee Stadium is still very much alive in the new construction of Yankee Stadium that has taken the classic Yankee gameday experience to a new level.
The team did an amazing job in maintaining the history that makes the organization among the best in baseball, while still updating all facets of the park to provide for a great day at the ballpark.
3. Target Field
After spending the better part of my childhood watching Minnesota Twins games in the Metrodome, I had no idea what I was missing out on by not having outdoor baseball.
With the opening of Target Field in 2010, I found a second home. The stadium has so many aspects that make it light years ahead of the dome, all while doing so on one of the smallest footprints of any stadium in baseball.
Much like Citizens Bank Park, the close proximity to the field and spacious concourses make for an atmosphere that's second to none.
2. PNC Park
Since opening in 2001, PNC Park has been widely considered one of the best constructions in all of baseball.
Utilizing beautiful limestone in the construction and taking advantage of scenery nearby, the open views in the outfield really give the stadium a unique feel.
The history of both the Pirates organization and the city of Pittsburgh show in the work devoted to the concourses, concessions and points of interest.
1. AT&T Park
In today's world it's almost unheard of, but the fact that AT&T Park was built without utilizing public funding is an accomplishment in itself.
The result of the hard work is a park that highlights the San Francisco Bay with McCovey Cove in right field and as is the case with many new stadiums, a place to pay homage to past Giants.
They wouldn't leave left field alone though, adding a giant Coca Cola bottle in the Coca Cola Fan Lot and old fashioned glove that is impossible to miss.
As stated in the open, I'd love to make it to every ballpark in baseball, but since it's opening in 2000, AT&T has been on top of the list.