Power Ranking Wrigley, Fenway and All 30 MLB Ballparks Ahead of 2020 Season
It's not a given that fans will be able to attend Major League Baseball games in 2020. So for now, everyone will have to be content with imagining themselves at the league's best ballparks.
Ah, but which of them are the best?
We've endeavored to answer this question by ranking all 30 MLB stadiums. To this end, factors like age, capacity, cost and, as Paula Lavigne and Sandra Fish of ESPN demonstrated in 2018, even food safety can be quantified. However, such things don't really tell the whole story.
Stadiums must ultimately be judged on the experience they provide for fans. Location and accessibility matter, as do the park's aesthetics. Further, it definitely doesn't hurt if a stadium offers fun activities and tasty food and drinks.
This is to say that we considered as many factors as we could and ultimately made a subjective call on how each MLB stadium rates as a place to take in the ol' ballgame. Now, let's go ahead and count 'em down.
30. Oakland Coliseum, Oakland Athletics
In fairness to Oakland Athletics fans, the Oakland Coliseum isn't entirely indefensible.
There's ample parking in the lots surrounding the stadium, which is also easily accessible via BART. And while A's games generally aren't well-attended, the stadium always has a kind of festive atmosphere and can be as loud and energetic as any other park when a big game draws a capacity crowd.
Still, there are many reasons the A's are so desperate for a new home.
Despite the Coliseum's accessibility and environment, the fan experience is marred by seats that are far from the action and the vaguely oppressive feeling that emanates from Mt. Davis. And while everything is safer than you'd expect in light of its notorious sewage problems, nobody goes there for the concessions.
29. Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays
If nothing else, catching a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field won't burn a hole in your wallet.
According to Team Marketing Report's Fan Cost Index, tickets, parking and concessions at the Trop would cost a group of four only $160.12 in 2019. That was the lowest mark among American League clubs.
The tank of actual rays is a nice touch, and the food options are at least decent. Even better, Eno Sarris of The Athletic ranked Tropicana Field at No. 9 in his rankings for baseball stadiums' craft beer offerings.
The catch, of course, is that attending the Trop is like watching a baseball game in a dungeon. The field itself is drab, and the Florida sky is blocked out by the only fixed dome left among major league parks. As a result, the stadium has the kind of lighting scheme that's otherwise only found in seedy Mos Eisley cantinas.
28. Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays
Even more than three decades later, the Rogers Centre can still be appreciated for its innovations.
Namely, it was the first North American stadium ever built with a retractable roof for a major team sport. Its proof of concept clearly made an impression as quite a few of the parks constructed over the last 31 years followed its fine example.
The Rogers Centre also has the largest capacity of any American League stadium. The effect of that can be heard in many of the Toronto Blue Jays' greatest highlights, including Joe Carter's World Series walk-off from 1993 and Jose Bautista's epic bat flip from 2015.
The big problem with Canada's only major league stadium, however, is that it hasn't changed much since 1989. The problems with that include a dated aesthetic and food and drink options that aren't liable to make anyone go out of their way to attend a Blue Jays game.
27. Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels
Though Angel Stadium is one of the oldest parks in Major League Baseball, it deserves its due credit for not feeling that old.
It helps that, unlike the multisport abomination in Oakland, the home of the Los Angeles Angels was originally conceived as a stadium for baseball. The rocks beyond center field are a cool point of interest, and the Angels have been good about upgrading (i.e. new video displays in 2018) the park over the years.
Apart from these things...well, there's really not much else to say about Angel Stadium.
There are certainly prettier ballparks out there, as well as ones that offer more things to do and better foodstuffs to consume. So if anyone is planning on attending in the future, they're advised to keep their attention focused on baseball's best (Mike Trout) and most talented (Shohei Ohtani) players.
26. Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks
It's ironic that one of baseball's newest teams now plays in one of the league's oldest ballparks, yet Chase Field isn't without its merits.
For one thing, the Fan Cost Index found that it offered the cheapest stadium-going experience of any major league ballpark in 2019. For that, fans can hide from the Arizona sun, scarf down a Churro Dog and perhaps even take a dip in the pool beyond right-center field.
But as looks go, baseball fans can do better than Chase Field. Its design has begun to feel dated, and though the Diamondbacks had good excuses to pursue a change, something was lost when its natural grass field was swapped out for synthetic turf.
Factor in that the stadium supposedly needs hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of repairs and upgrades, and it's little wonder that even the D-backs want out of Chase Field.
25. Marlins Park, Miami Marlins
When it first opened eight years ago, Marlins Park was brimming with character.
As opposed to the minimalist, nostalgia-infused designs of other modern parks, the Miami Marlins' new home was built with a sleek design and a bright color scheme befitting the city's vibrant culture.
Between that and the fish tanks behind home plate, the Clevelander nightclub beyond left field and the cartoonish home run sculpture beyond center field, it was truly a stadium unlike any other.
We say "was," of course, because the sculpture and the nightclub are gone now. And while the other qualities still remain, whether they or the stadium's food and drink options are worth the trek is at best debatable—especially given that the park is in a notoriously inconvenient location away from downtown Miami.
24. Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago White Sox
Look, we just have to say it: "Guaranteed Rate Field" is the worst name of any major league stadium.
Even apart from that, there's little about the home of the Chicago White Sox that's spectacular. It just missed out on the architectural renaissance that began with Camden Yards in 1992, and one of the byproducts of that is a general lack of defining features.
It's to the White Sox's credit, however, that they've been proactive in adjusting and re-adjusting Guaranteed Rate Field in an effort to keep up with the times. That's involved improving the seating and the amenities to such a degree that the park is now arguably an underrated place to see a game.
23. Globe Life Field, Texas Rangers
By now, you might have heard that Globe Life Field doesn't look like much from the outside. It's as if somebody plopped an aircraft hangar in a parking lot and slapped a Texas Rangers logo on it.
Otherwise, it's obviously not so easy to rate a ballpark that hasn't even opened yet. That's doubly true in this case as the Rangers' desire to have fans come out to their new park in 2020 almost certainly won't pan out.
Still, Globe Life Field should be cooler than Globe Life Park. Literally, as the retractable roof will protect fans from the stifling summer temperatures that fans had to endure for a quarter-century at the Rangers' old home.
22. Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees
Compared to when it first opened in 2009, Yankee Stadium isn't such a bad place to see a game.
This has much to do with the renovations the New York Yankees implemented ahead of the 2017 season, which notably involved subtracting 1,100 view-obstructed bleacher seats. The latest iteration of the House That Ruth Built also has some good eats, including some meaty morsels from Lobel's.
Per the Fan Cost Index, however, going to a Yankees game in 2019 would cost a group of four nearly $300. That's a lot of money for a park that had the highest rate of food safety violations of any major league stadium in 2018, much less one that has a tragically inadequate craft beer selection.
And despite the improvements, the new Yankee Stadium still doesn't have the atmosphere or vibe of the original. It's the ballpark version of a cynical remake of a beloved movie.
21. Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers
To be sure, Miller Park isn't perfect.
Though the problems that used to plague the retractable roof have since been cleared up, it's still weird that the park has heat but no air conditioning. And because of its dreary color scheme and absence of city views, Bernie Brewer's famous slide only does so much to enhance the park's aesthetic.
The home of the Milwaukee Brewers deserves credit, however, for having the lowest rate of food safety violations in 2018. You can find a variety of Wisconsin food staples (e.g. bratwurst and fried cheese curds) around the park, plus a craft beer selection that will spare one from actually having to drink a Miller.
So imperfect though it may be, Miller Park is still a fun place to see a ballgame even after nearly two decades in operation.
20. Nationals Park, Washington Nationals
The best thing Nationals Park has going for it might be its location.
It's a bit south of many points of interest located in and around the National Mall, but not so much so that it's out of the way. The park has also been a boon for the surrounding area, which in normal times has plenty of restaurants and watering holes for fans to check out.
The stadium itself is one of the newer ones in Major League Baseball, and it shows in its design and amenities. The Washington Nationals also deserve some bonus points for the presidential races, which are arguably the gold standard of between-innings entertainment right now.
Despite all this, Nationals Park is nothing too special. It's largely devoid of defining features, and it isn't known as a great place for food or drinks. "Inoffensive" is a good word for it, but there are surely better ballparks.
19. Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati Reds
Great American Ball Park deserves a respectable ranking simply on the basis that it's ideally located between downtown Cincinnati and the Ohio River.
On top of these things, it's also a lovely place to take in a ballgame.
It's definitely appropriate that the Cincinnati Reds play their home games surrounded by a red color scheme, and fans are generally treated to great views of the field and the landscape beyond. Notably, the river is just beyond right field and not entirely inaccessible via the long ball.
How's the food? Well, that depends on your opinion of Skyline Chili. The craft beer selection, though, is ranked by Sarris as one of the eight best baseball has to offer.
18. Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals
There aren't many American landmarks more iconic than the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. And depending on where you're sitting at Busch Stadium, you can see it just beyond center field.
That view also comes with an ideal location. The home of the St. Louis Cardinals is smack in downtown St. Louis, where there are plentiful spots to stay, eat and drink. In particular, there's plenty to do at the Ballpark Village just across Clark Avenue.
In 2018, the park itself got an arguably much-needed social feature when the Budweiser Terrace was added. It functions as a watering hole, hangout spot and live music venue.
Alas, there are also downsides to Busch Stadium. The views are nice, but the stadium's aesthetics suffer from it basically being a carbon copy of the old Busch Stadium. Plus, neither the food nor the drinks attract rave reviews.
17. Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians
Progressive Field instantly became one of MLB's crown jewels when it debuted in 1994. Its opening also coincided with the Cleveland Indians getting good, ultimately resulting in a 455-game sellout streak.
Because many more parks have been erected over the last quarter-century, the ballpark formerly known as The Jake has naturally lost some of its luster. And yet, dare we say it's become underrated?
It's still conveniently located in Cleveland's downtown area, and one need not search for good food and beer outside the stadium. Inside, it offers a top-six craft beer selection and food options that include mouthwatering grilled cheeses from Melt.
16. Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers
Comerica Park might be the truest "ballpark" in existence today.
The Detroit Tigers have been around for 119 years, and their history is felt in the park's design and features. The brick exterior and dirt strip between the mound and home plate are decidedly old-school. The tiger sculptures at the main entrance and the statues of Tigers greats beyond left field also evoke strong feelings.
Per the lovely BallparksofBaseball.com, another crucial fun fact: In addition to offering views of downtown Detroit, Comerica Park doesn't have a single seat with an obstructed vantage of the field.
Food-wise, Comerica Park doesn't quite compare to the titans of this particular marketplace. The same is true of the beer selection, but at least the Michigan staple that is Bell's Brewery is well-represented.
15. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Phillies
If you're going to Philadelphia for the sole purpose of catching a Phillies game, you should be warned that Citizens Bank Park is barely in the city.
But while that's a hard knock against the home of the Phillies, the park thankfully does a good job of providing an experience worthy of Philadelphia.
Naturally, there are cheesesteaks. The Phillies also introduced a whole bunch of upgraded amenities ahead of the 2019 season, including the massive Pass and Stow pub, a Shake Shack with sit-down service and the Liberty Bell that used to sit atop Veteran's Stadium.
With relatively little foul territory, Citizens Bank Park puts fans closer to the action relative to other modern parks. And if you're sitting in the right spot, you at least have a view of downtown Philly beyond center field.
14. Truist Park, Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves moved into Turner Field in 1997 and probably would have remained comfortable there for a few more seasons beyond 2016.
Instead, they transitioned into Truist Park (then SunTrust Park) in 2017. That involved moving from Atlanta proper to Cobb County, which is about 20 minutes up the road. While they were at it, they couldn't even be bothered to design an aesthetically unique stadium.
Despite these obligatory criticisms, the Braves' new home does offer a relatively intimate setting with all the fixings you could ask for in a young ballpark. There's lots to do, eat and drink inside the stadium, and air conditioning is, thankfully, easy to find on hot summer days.
Truist Park is also different in that it's just one part of a larger entertainment and shopping complex known as The Battery. It's essentially a ballpark as a resort destination, and the benefits of that can't be denied.
13. Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros
Though the Astrodome was iconic in its own right, it was definitely showing its age toward the end of its run.
For its part, Minute Maid Park is more or less an idealized version of the Astrodome. It also has a roof, but this one's retractable. As opposed to turf, it has real grass. And even after the removal of Tal's Hill, it still has defining features such as the Crawford Boxes and train beyond left field.
Further, the Astros' digs are right in downtown Houston and all its accompanying lodging, restaurants and bars. Any fans that prefer to dine and drink inside the stadium will have plenty of options for food (including some inspired hot dog concoctions) and drink.
They should be warned of the cost, though. Per the Fan Cost Index, a group of four could be expected to spend more than $300 at an Astros game in 2019.
12. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals
Kauffman Stadium may be nearly half a century old, but its charms are thankfully aging well.
For starters, the home of the Kansas City Royals still has something of an understated beauty. The fountains beyond the outfield walls are one of the more unique features of any stadium, and beyond those fountains are lovely views of the surrounding landscape.
The Royals have also been good about updating Kauffman Stadium as needed, notably in 2009 and 2017. It's also well-known as a beer lover's paradise, checking in at No. 5 in Sarris' rankings for baseball's top craft beer destinations.
Now, if only Kauffman Stadium were actually located in the city and not out in the suburbs. And while you can get BBQ inside the stadium, at least one critic has argued that the options aren't nearly as good as a Kansas City park deserves.
11. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore Orioles
When it first opened in 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards showed everyone what a modern baseball stadium not only could be but should be.
It broke the longstanding mold of stadiums being big circles filled with seats in favor of a more novel approach. The home of the Baltimore Orioles was designed to pay homage to the club's rich history while also reflecting the architecture of the surrounding area.
The end result was MLB's first retro-modern stadium, and its appeal is aging well. The B&O Warehouse beyond right field remains one of the most unique features of any stadium, and beyond it is an unobstructed view of the Baltimore skyline.
Plus, any crab-loving foodies will be in heaven at Camden Yards. From crab cakes to crab sandwiches to crab waffle fries, it's all there.
10. Coors Field, Colorado Rockies
One of the best parts of going to any ballpark is emerging from the concourse and beholding the field in all its splendor.
Because of its humongous dimensions, this feeling is arguably more powerful at Coors Field than it is anywhere else. Between its vintage architecture and (if you're in the right spot) views of the mountains to the west, the stadium itself is easy on the eyes.
Ballparks also don't come much better-located than Coors Field. It's walking distance from Union Station in Denver's LoDo district, where there are more than enough places to pop in for a bite or a brew.
Alas, it's a good thing those options are there. The craft beer selection inside Coors Field isn't at all befitting of Colorado's superb beer scene. The food, meanwhile, is generally uninspired and wasn't even that safe as of 2018.
9. T-Mobile Park, Seattle Mariners
Though it might feel like it was just yesterday that T-Mobile Park first opened, that was 21 years ago, and the features that made the park special then are less special now.
It nonetheless deserves a high rank, though, in part because there are so many lovely things to consume at the home of the Seattle Mariners.
T-Mobile Park checked in at No. 1 in Thrillist's rankings of the best ballpark eats as of 2018, and it even had a relatively low rate of food safety violations that year. What's more, Sarris also has it ranked as the best ballpark destination for craft beer enthusiasts.
And while the park may be showing its age in some respects, it still has a sleek design, and there are nice views of the city on days when the roof is open. All told, it's an excellent spot for baseball.
8. Citi Field, New York Mets
The Queens-rooted New York Mets don't have many advantages over their rivals in the Bronx, but they can take pride in having the better home ballpark.
Granted, it's weird that the Mets modeled Citi Field after Ebbets Field even though that was in Brooklyn and they never actually played there. It's nonetheless far prettier than Shea Stadium, and it comes with a much more fan-friendly seating map to boot.
What's more, Citi Field has some of the best food of any ballpark. It's probably most famous for its Shake Shack, but that's just scratching the surface of the stadium's fully loaded menu.
As if all this weren't a good enough excuse to pay Citi Field a visit, it isn't even that expensive by New York standards. Per the Fan Cost Index, a group of four could be expected to pay about $50 less at Citi Field than at Yankee Stadium in 2019.
7. Target Field, Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins had some good times at the Metrodome, including World Series championships in 1987 and 1991. The park itself, however, was a multisport eyesore.
Target Field is different in all the best ways. It's just for baseball. It has grass instead of turf. And best of all, its open-air design allows for a clear view of downtown Minneapolis.
The park also features modern touches befitting of the majors' fourth-youngest stadium. There are restaurants and watering holes throughout Target Field, and the food menu is plenty diverse. To boot, the craft beer selection ranks No. 7 on Sarris' list.
In addition to offering all these qualities, a visit to Target Field is also a good value for fans. The Fan Cost Index put an average trip for a group of four in 2019 at just $210.72, making it one of the nine cheapest parks in the majors.
6. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Dodgers
Notwithstanding its troublesome history, the biggest knocks against Dodger Stadium these days are that it's really only accessible by car and that the stadium is the only entertainment option in the immediate area.
Otherwise, it's the biggest and one of the most beautiful stadiums in baseball.
To wit, it can seat nearly 6,000 more fans than Coors Field, and the views from behind home plate include rolling hills dotted with trees. And despite its age, Dodger Stadium has gained more of a modern feeling in recent years thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of renovations and upgrades.
Food-wise, there's the legendary Dodger Dog and more adventurous bites like the smoked turkey leg. The park could stand to upgrade its craft beer selection, however. Per Sarris, it's the worst of all the National League parks.
5. Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs
If nostalgia is your drug of choice, then Wrigley Field must have a spot on your bucket list.
The park has been in operation for more than 100 years, and the Chicago Cubs still keep it traditional. From the ivy-covered outfield walls to the hand-operated scoreboard in center field to the classic marquee above the main entrance, Wrigley Field is oozing with history.
Unlike in previous years, however, Wrigley Field has more than just nostalgia going for it nowadays. By way of the 1060 Project, the Friendly Confines have gotten upgrades that have made life easier for not just fans, but also for players, coaches and the media.
The catch is the cost. Per the Fan Cost Index, a group of four could be expected to spend over $370 at a Cubs game in 2019. That was the highest mark in the majors, and it's arguably too much relative to the park's unspectacular food and drink options.
4. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox tout Fenway Park as "America's Most Beloved Ballpark." Presumptuous, perhaps, yet not entirely delusional.
If nothing else, the Green Monster might be the most famous feature of any stadium in the world. That, plus many other quirks that have been a part of Fenway Park for the last 108 years, makes it feel like a living artifact.
To their credit, the Red Sox have also done a fine job modernizing Fenway over the last two decades. Adding seats atop the Green Monster was a stroke of genius, and plenty of other fan-friendly amenities can be found throughout the stadium.
Alas, it's too bad that the Red Sox charge so much—over $350 for a group of four in 2019, per the Fan Cost Index—for generally uncomfortable seats and concessions that, for good and ill, still revolve around the Fenway Frank.
3. PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates
A lot of what makes PNC Park such a great ballpark is apparent in the above picture.
There's the Roberto Clemente bridge and the Allegheny River just beyond the outfield, and beyond that is an entirely unobstructed view of downtown Pittsburgh. This, folks, is the Holy Grail of ballpark views.
Inside PNC Park, Pirates fans are treated to captivating retro design. And while the beer selection is just OK, anyone who's hungry can pop in to Primanti Brothers for a sandwich or seek out the stadium's other fine food.
It also helps PNC Park's cause that attending fans are charged neither an arm nor a leg. The Fan Cost Index put the average cost for a group of four during the 2019 season at just $182.42. That was the fourth-lowest mark in the majors.
2. Petco Park, San Diego Padres
It's never a bad idea to take a trip to San Diego. And if you do, a visit to Petco Park won't be hard to make and is also very much recommended.
The stadium is nestled in the Gaslamp Quarter, which is essentially the epicenter of San Diego's nightlife scene. And because this is San Diego we're talking about, the weather is always exactly "nice."
Petco Park itself, meanwhile, boasts one of the more fan-friendly seat maps in the majors, and the field isn't the only thing that draws one's eyes. The Western Metal Supply Company building is basically the NL's answer to the B&O Warehouse, and there are great views of the city.
Want something to eat? Well, Petco Park probably has whatever it is you're craving. And if it's your whistle that needs wetting, Sarris ranks the park's craft beer selection as the best in the National League.
1. Oracle Park, San Francisco Giants
It suffices to say that the San Francisco Giants did well when they left Candlestick Park behind.
Though it can still get chilly early and late in a given season, Oracle Park is always worth the trip. There isn't a bad seat in the house, and the park itself is marked by its marvelous architecture, wondrous views and quirks. Specifically, you never know what's going to show up in McCovey Cove.
It's also a good idea to arrive at Oracle Park with an empty stomach. You're going to want to fill it with some of the park's outstanding food—Gilroy Garlic Fries!—and maybe one or two of its many beers.
It also bears mentioning just how much there is eat, drink and do in the China Basin neighborhood in which Oracle Park is located. Altogether, it offers the majors' best stadium-going experience.