Ranking the 10 Best Major League Baseball Stadiums

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2018

Ranking the 10 Best Major League Baseball Stadiums

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    If you wholeheartedly love baseball, the stadium might simply be the place to watch games. For casual fans, however, the on-field product isn't essential to enjoying a day at the park.

    Fans are more likely to return if the stadium provides an all-around good feeling. Sights and sounds are important.

    Where are the best ballparks to watch a Major League Baseball game? Every stadium can be satisfying, but there's no doubt a handful of venues are the best of the best.

    Factors in the ranking are interior features, the design of the parkwhich includes outfield dimensionsand the external view.

10. Comerica Park, Detroit

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    "But it's in downtown Detroit" is such an overblown critique.

    The Detroit Tigers' Comerica Park is easily accessible, next door to Ford Fieldhome of the NFL's Detroit Lionsand across the Woodward Avenue bridge from Little Caesars Arena, the destination to watch the NHL and NBA.

    Looking out to center field, the GM Renaissance Center stands atop the skyline. Stone tigers (and enormous bats!) adorn the entrance to the stadium, which has another terrific feature in the home-plate-shaped dirt instead of a circle for the batter's box.

    The Tigers' seven retired numbers also stand out on a brick wall beyond the left-center fence.

9. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

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    There isn't a bad seat in Kauffman Stadium, the home of a beautiful waterfall and fountain display in right-center field.

    The Kansas City Royals put a unique spin on the videoboard, forgoing the traditional widescreen in favor of a square with a crown on top. But that doesn't mean the Jumbotron is small. In fact, when installed before the 2008 season, the team claimed it was the largest HD LED board in the world.

    Additionally, there's plenty of room to move around within the park. Everyone needs to stretch their legs once in a while, right?

8. Fenway Park, Boston

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    History is undoubtedly a major draw at Fenway Park, which opened in 1912 to house the Boston Red Sox.

    The outfield is arguably the most unique in all of baseball, largely thanks to the 37-foot-tall Green Monster. The left field foul pole is only 310 feet from home plate, while the right field fence is 302 feet away. The point of the triangle in center field, however, is a monstrous 420 feet.

    Although some fans can find themselves in an obstructed view, the mystique of Fenway is both relevant and apparent when inside.

7. Coors Field, Denver

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    No, this is not Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. This beauty of a stadium is Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play.

    If you're a fan of foodlet's be serious, of course you areand adult beverages, there's a bevy of terrific state-produced options.

    Coors has a built-in disadvantage because of Denver's elevation. As a way to counteract increased ball flight, the fences are deeper than at most stadiums, so several seats can feel distant. With MLB's third-largest capacity, though, other seats are readily available.

    Besides, good luck finding a better sunset view.

6. Wrigley Field, Chicago

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    Similar to a day at Fenway, there's something extra special about taking in a baseball game at Wrigley Field.

    Where to begin? Let's start with the ivy-covered, brick outfield walls and the hand-operated scoreboard. But the home of the Chicago Cubs also features unique curves in the corners of the outfield, and the bleacher seats cannot be duplicated.

    Though recent renovations have provided much-needed improvements, the "Friendly Confines" still have the old-time baseball feel you'd desire from a 104-year-old facility.

5. Safeco Field, Seattle

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Milwaukee's Miller Park is an outstanding and hugely enjoyable place to catch a game. The retractable roof is super ugly, though. The Seattle Mariners don't have that problem at Safeco Field.

    It helps that CenturyLink Fieldwhere the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders of MLS playmatches the design beyond left field. The entirety of the stadium's umbrella extends out to center and right field and hangs over the train tracks.

    You can also observe the Seattle skyline and sneak a peek at Mount Rainier way off in the distance.

4. Petco Park, San Diego

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    Gorgeous weather? Check. Terrific outfield view? You got it. No bad seats? Can't beat that.

    Welcome to Petco Park.

    But none of those are even the most intriguing part of the San Diego Padres' home field. The Western Metal Supply Co. warehouseonce abandonedis the defining characteristic of Petco.

    "That is how we sighted the ballpark. We built from the corner of that building," architect Joe Spear told Tim Newcomb of Sports Illustrated. "We worked backwards. The tip of home plate created that 'X' dimension, and the field and grandstand went around that."

3. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    The B&O Warehouse gives Oriole Park at Camden Yards a similar aesthetic to Petco. Rather than demolish the building, architects made it a focal point of the baseball venue.

    Since the stadium opened in 1992, the warehouse provides a classic feel in a relatively modern park.

    Another appealing component of the Baltimore Orioles' digs is Eutaw Street, which separates the stadium from the warehouse. The team commemorates every home run that lands there with a bronze plaque where the ball landed.

2. AT&T Park, San Francisco

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    "Triples Alley" is a personal favorite, but the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park offers so much more than an unconventional place for bad bounces.

    Beyond the right field wall is McCovey Cove, the gathering spot in the San Francisco Bay where home runs occasionally fly. When a ball lands in the water on the fly, that's a "splash hit." Barry Bonds crushed 35 of the first 45 such homers.

    As if the surrounding water isn't pleasant enough, the Bay Bridge is easily discernible beyond the left field wall.

1. PNC Park, Pittsburgh

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Stadium views can hardly be more stunning.

    The neighbor to Heinz Field, PNC Park sits near the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. The "Three Sisters" bridgesmost notably the Roberto Clemente Bridgeare seen beyond center field, along with the Pittsburgh skyline.

    On Pittsburgh Pirates game day, only pedestrian traffic is permitted on the Clemente Bridge. It's a special thing every baseball fan should endeavor to experience. And once inside, there truly isn't a bad ticket.

    PNC Park is everything a trip to the stadium should be.