The 10 Best MLB Ballparks
There’s nothing quite like visiting an MLB stadium to watch your favorite team or player. The sights and sounds of the ballpark is something that all baseball fans cherish. Let’s face it, every ballpark is special in its own way — whether it’s the plush green grass, the architectural work, the fan amenities, or the history of the stadium. As a result, baseball fans can enjoy America’s pastime in 30 unique and beautiful MLB stadiums across the country — even across the border into Canada. However, some ballparks stand out more than others and deliver an experience that will bring back even the most casual of fans.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top ten MLB ballparks.
No. 10 – Coors Field
Team: Colorado Rockies Opened: 1995 Capacity: 50,490
Coors Field is a true retro park, and its architecture blends in with the surrounding neighborhood. Some seats in the outfield are a bit far away, but that’s a consequence of having to move the fences back because of Denver’s elevation. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other seating options, as Coors Field ranks third in capacity. Amenities are always being upgraded to improve the fan experience and are among the best in MLB. And don’t forget about the stunning sunsets, the fountains in center field, and the phenomenal views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown Denver from the Rooftop in upper-right field.
No. 9 – Truist Park
Team: Atlanta Braves Opened: 2017 Capacity: 41,149
Truist Park, formerly known as SunTrust Park, offers one of the best gameday experiences for baseball fans. Not only does it feature exceptional modern amenities and fantastic sightlines around the ballpark, but there isn’t a bad seat in the house, and 60% of those seats are shaded by the “largest canopy in major-league baseball.” One of the main highlights is what’s right outside of Truist Park — The Battery Atlanta. The Battery isn’t just an entertainment district around the ballpark, it’s a community where people work, live, and play. It has become the new model for development around baseball stadiums.
No. 8 – Busch Stadium
Team: St. Louis Cardinals Opened: 2006 Capacity: 45,494
The most notable aspect of this ballpark is the incredible views of the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis. The atmosphere is also electric, as almost every game is sold out. As a result, the Cardinals have ranked second in attendance for seven straight years. Similar to The Battery Atlanta, the Cardinals added “Ballpark Village” outside of Busch Stadium, which allows fans to enjoy restaurants, entertainment, and shops before and after every game.
No. 7 – Dodger Stadium
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers Opened: 1962 Capacity: 56,000
The cavernous venue that is Dodger Stadium offers a picture-perfect view of the San Gabriel mountains. The ballpark is the third oldest in Major League Baseball, but “modern touches like upgraded concessions, group areas, and social spaces” have given it a contemporary feel. It’s the largest stadium in the majors, and it has managed to lead the league in attendance for seven straight seasons. Another plus is the weather and the fact that it seldom ever rains. Since the ballpark opened in 1962, there have only been 17 rainouts.
No. 6 – Petco Park
Team: San Diego Padres Opened: 2004 Capacity: 40,209
Perfect weather? Astonishing views of San Diego? Architecturally brilliant? Yes, Petco Park has all that and more. But it’s the historic Western Supply Co. building in left field that is the cornerstone of this ballpark. Instead of demolishing the building, architects helped bring it up to code, and now it “serves as a metaphorical handshake between baseball’s past and future.” One of the best features that Petco Park offers is the 2.7-acre “Park in the Park,” which is a grassy area located outside the outfield wall but inside the gates. The Park area offers fans an inexpensive way to watch games and provides a spot where they can picnic and enjoy the weather. There is also the neighboring Gaslamp Quarter that provides restaurants, entertainment, and shops for fans to visit before and after Padres games.
No. 5 – Fenway Park
Team: Boston Red Sox Opened: 1912 Capacity: 37,755
Whether it’s the Green Monster, the Citgo sign, Pesky’s Pole, or the single red seat where Ted William’s 502-foot home run ball in 1946 landed, Fenway Park is filled with baseball history. There’s a reason as to why former Pirates manager Clint Hurdle referred to Fenway as a “living museum.” It’s the oldest active ballpark in Major League Baseball and is considered an “official historic site” by the federal government. Although a few seats have an obstructed view and concourses are a bit cramped, this is overlooked because Fenway is more about the unique, historical experience rather than the modern amenities that newer ballparks offer. Taking a trip to Fenway should be on the bucket list of every baseball fan.
No. 4 – Wrigley Field
Team: Chicago Cubs Opened: 1914 Capacity: 41,649
Wrigley Field, the second-oldest ballpark in the majors, has much of the same historical charm that Fenway Park possesses. The Friendly Confines has seen some renovations over its lifetime, including a $550 million upgrade that was finished in 2019. However, it still has preserved the original character that makes it so special. Just like Fenway, Wrigley Field has some seats with obstructed views and cramped concourses. But the ivy-covered, brick outfield walls, the rooftop seating, the manual scoreboard, and lively atmosphere make it the masterpiece it truly is. And don’t forget about the area around the stadium, known as “Wrigleyville,” which is filled with restaurants, entertainment, shops, and plenty of die-hard Cubs fans. This stadium is an absolute treasure that every baseball fan should visit.
No. 3 – Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Team: Baltimore Orioles Opened: 1992 Capacity: 45,971
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is considered by many as the best stadium in the majors. It was the original retro ballpark and has been the benchmark for many ballpark designs since. Camden Yards gives fans a glimpse into the skyline of Baltimore, but that’s not exactly what makes this park so exceptional. Instead, it’s the signature B&O Warehouse and Eutaw Street in right field. This gives the park a nostalgic feeling that will take baseball fans back in time.
No. 2 – Oracle Park
Team: San Francisco Giants Opened: 2000 Capacity: 41,915
There is certainly a case to be made for Oracle Park to rank first on this list. The creative design work by the architects gives fans a tremendous view of San Francisco and the Bay. At first glance, the iconic Coca-Cola bottle slide and giant glove immediately stand out in left field. Beyond the right field wall is the one-of-a-kind McCovey Cove, where home runs occasionally fly into a crowd of kayakers waiting for a “splash-hit.” San Francisco’s rich baseball history is also memorialized outside and throughout the stadium. Add in the modern amenities, passionate fan base, and easy ballpark access, and you have a gem that every baseball fan should plan to visit.
No. 1 – PNC Park
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates Opened: 2001 Capacity: 38,747
This is as close to perfection as you can find in a ballpark. The home of the Pirates features an absolutely breathtaking view of Pittsburgh’s skyline and the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which spans the Allegheny River. The architectural work that was done to include this backdrop is definitely an achievement. Another characteristic that makes PNC so extraordinary is that it is the first ballpark built with fewer than three decks since Milwaukee’s County Stadium in the 1950s. Because of this intimate two-deck design, there isn’t a bad seat in the house, as the farthest seat from the field is only 88 feet away. On top of that, fan amenities are considered to be some of the best in baseball. PNC Park is truly a “must-visit” for all baseball fans.
Embed from Getty Images