Rank Em’: MLB Ball Parks

There are three factors I use to determine the rating for a park: Aesthetics, Atmosphere, and Location.  What I look for in grading a venue’s location is its accessibility via public transportation and the area surrounding it. When looking at Aesthetics, I’m looking at the overall vibe of the venue from the lighting, general eye test, and its uniqueness setting it apart from others. And lastly, when it comes to the Atmosphere I’m looking at all the intangibles including the “fun factor”, fan intensity/involvement, and food.  These are my rankings of the Major League Baseball parks around the country.

Note: All photos are mine and I only rate the venues that I’ve actually attended a game in.  Stay tuned as I will be adding to this list as I progress.

1. Yankee Stadium – New York Yankees

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Yankee Stadium has everything you need in a baseball park.  The championship history of the franchise oozes throughout the venue and gives it a vibe unmatched.  A very clean and entertaining park that has enough for people of all ages to enjoy while they relive the memories of their favorite player/teams to play under the stripes.  The Yankee Museum in the park is totally cool and filled with all types of memorabilia including a “Ball Wall” with baseballs signed by every player to play in NY.  Accessible by all modes of transportation, this park does little to none in ruining your experience at the old ball game.

Location: 10/10

Aesthetics: 10/10

Atmosphere: 10/10


2.  PNC Park – Pittsburgh Pirates

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PNC Park is one of those parks that was preceded by a reputation as one of the best out there and it certainly lived up to the hype.  My favorite feature of the park was its gorgeous skyline view of downtown Pittsburgh over the outfield stands accompanied by steel bridges and the river.  Food selection was another plus in the venue in variety and taste.  Be sure to snap a pic with Roberto Clemente’s statue out front.

Location: 10/10

Aesthetics: 10/10

Atmosphere: 10/10


3.  Wrigley Field –Chicago Cubs

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One of the most popular parks in the world, Wrigley Field, has all the makings of a classic baseball game experience.  Wrigley is the second oldest standing baseball park in the league and it shows in the nostalgic aura that accents my favorite architectural city Chicago. I’m not the biggest fan of the sport of baseball but after attending a game here I definitely wouldn’t mind coming back for more.

Location: 10/10

Aesthetics: 8/10

Atmosphere: 10/10


4.  AT&T Park –San Francisco Giants

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Even the casual fan can’t help but to appreciate the wonderful views that AT&T Park have to offer. Much like PNC Park, this venue sits right on the water which is almost an oxymoron in the sport of baseball historically played in large fields. Very clean park, with much to offer in beer selection, food, and fun.

Location: 9/10

Aesthetics: 9/10

Atmosphere: 10/10


5.  Target Field – Minnesota Twins

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Much like my experience with the Target Center, downtown Minneapolis has much to offer in bars, restaurants, and fun.  Target Field is very clean and modernized.  Highly recommend taking a few drinks at the bar in the outfield with a very open view of the game.  I stumbled upon a bar called “Cowboy Jack’s” which is in walking distance of the venue for some pregame activity.  They had one of the greatest game day happy hour specials I’ve seen, $3 beers and $5 for 2lbs of wings.  Yes you read that right, $5 for a big ol bucket of wings (approx. 20+).  I was so amazingly overwhelmed by the price to portion ratio that I could barely finish my bucket.  This deal is good for one hour before and after all Vikings and Twins games.

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Location: 10/10

Aesthetics: 9/10

Atmosphere: 9/10


6.  Petco Park – San Diego Padres

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Always great when I’m able to cheer on the hometown team (Atlanta Braves) on the road, even better when the away team has a park as nice as Petco. Fairly new and still reeking of freshness, this park was a site to see. Accessibility is no issue as the transit takes you right on in to the front gates to enjoy. Can’t say much about the surrounding area as much was in construction but inside the park there was plenty of selection to choose from.

Location: 9/10

Aesthetics: 9/10

Atmosphere: 9/10


7.  Safeco Field –Seattle Mariners

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Catching the game on a rainy day can be quite a bummer if you don’t have an umbrella or a poncho. However, if the park just so happens to have a retractable roof it’s game on! Safeco Field was a fun experience. I was able to catch them play the Yankees in 2014 during Jeter’s farewell tour which also included an Ichiro appearance in the city he made in his stateside name. Hometown kid, Macklemore also performed postgame on his bobble head night. Can’t say much about the food in Safeco as I took the bait on the many smells vendors outside along the way to the park.

Location: 10/10

Aesthetics: 8/10

Atmosphere: 8/10


8.  Busch Stadium – St. Louis Cardinals

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Great location, great view, great food, great view, and did I say great view? Busch Stadium was a pleasant experience.  Ballpark Village is a fairly new, very hip, plaza of restaurants and bars right across the street from the park.  Just about one mile from the stadium you’ll find the famous St. Louis landmark, The Gateway Arch.  If you’re not up to the walk you’ll be happy to know it’s very visible inside the park alongside a wonderful view of the St. Louis skyline.  The brats and Budweiser were plentiful and the atmosphere was vibrant.

Location: 10/10

Aesthetics: 8/10

Atmosphere: 8/10


9.  Suntrust Park – Atlanta Braves

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Photo Cred: ballparksofbaseball.com

Hometown bias had much to with my top 5 ranking of the Philips Arena in the NBA arenas, not so much here.  As an ATLien, I know of the convenience of the Brave’s former home in Turner Field and was one of the many that was opposed to the move outside the city.  If you are traveling to Downtown Atlanta without a rental car be prepared to pay for an Uber journey to the park.  Location aside, this park is a great one.  As the newest ballpark in the league, the aesthetics are off the chart.  There’s plenty of games and fun for the kids throughout the stadium to enjoy.  One recommendation I have is a visit to H&F burger, very tasty and unique.  The surrounding and developing area of restaurants and bars called “The Battery” make for great postgame activities before your trek back home.

Location: 6/10

Aesthetics: 10/10

Atmosphere: 9/10


10.  Miller Park –Milwaukee Brewers

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I’m not a big fan of sporting venue’s that aren’t located in their city’s downtown area, but Miller Park is a small exception.  Just about 10 minutes outside the downtown area, Miller stands alone.  As a beer and baseball advocate, Miller brewing offers a large variety of choices throughout the venue.  Plenty of fun watching the mascot Bernie slide down a huge slide in the outfield following Brewers homers.  The fun factor is there and the park is very clean, just wish it was around the downtown area with all the cool bars.

Location: 7/10

Aesthetics: 8/10

Atmosphere: 10/10


11.  Chase Field – Arizona Diamondbacks

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Attending a baseball game in the Phoenix desert in the middle of the summer doesn’t sound like a great idea, until you do it.  Chase Field is one of the few parks with a retractable roof, not for rain protection but for heat protection.  The weather was too hot for comfort so we took in the entire game under the roof.  Kinda takes away from the full experience in the beautiful sun but comfort always trumps beauty.  Big fan of the food selection, largely favoring the ‘tex-mex’ culture of the southwest.

Location: 9/10

Aesthetics: 7/10

Atmosphere: 8/10


12.  Guaranteed Rate Field – Chicago White Sox

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Every story has two sides and Chicago is no different.  Unlike Wrigley which is located in the Northside of Chicago amongst bars and city life, GRF is located in the Southside amongst well…nothing.  The first thing I noticed was the lack of scenery offered inside the park with the outfield facing away from the magnificent skyline of downtown Chicago (pictured above).  Maybe I’m too picky to suggest but it makes sense to me to open up the park the opposite way.  Other than the view, I just couldn’t get into much else the park had to offer.  Team success has much to do with fan support and those obviously went hand in hand on this particular day as much of the game was quiet and dull reflecting the White Sox’s record.

Location: 7/10

Aesthetics: 6/10

Atmosphere: 6/10


13.  Nationals Park – Washington Nationals

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Nationals Park is your stereotypical park if you ask me, nothing more nothing less.  Nationals Park is in the “middle of nowhere” kinda like my experience in Miller Park and there was a lot of construction going on in the area to prepare for the upcoming 2018 All-Star Game.  I am disappointed in myself in missing the fact that there is a Shake Shack, my favorite burger joint, in the park.  Fun factor wasn’t there but the park is very clean and appealing, nice enough size where there doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house.

Location: 5/10

Aesthetics: 7/10

Atmosphere: 7/10


My Top 5 Ballparks I Wanna Get To Next:

  1. Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox
  2. Citi Field – New York Mets
  3. Oriole Park @ Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles
  4. Minute Maid Park – Houston Astros
  5. Comerica Park – Detroit Tigers

Where is your favorite MLB venue? Where do you think I should go next?  Comment your suggestions below

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