Baseball, Travel

MLB Ballpark Reviews: Rankings at Half-Way

We have reached the half-way mark of our journey to visit all the MLB baseball stadiums! Since we’ve hit a major milestone, we thought it was time to give an update on our current rankings of the ballparks we have visited. Right now we’ve decided to omit Busch Stadium from our rankings since we are obviously biased, and we’d like to leave you all in suspense. 😉 Without further ado…

Current Rankings

The following are the tabulated results of our current rankings and Camden Yards is on top!

# STADIUM TEAM FACTOR SCORE OVERALL SCORE DATE VISITED
Design Location Concessions Amenities Culture
1 Camden Yards** Baltimore Orioles 5.0 4.0 5.0 4.5 4.5 4.58
2 Target Field** Minnesota Twins 4.5 4.0 5.0 4.0 4.5 4.36 05/06/15
3 Petco Park* San Diego Padres 4.5 5.0 4.0 4.5 3.5 4.28 04/11/15
4 Wrigley Field Chicago Cubs 3.8 4.5 4.3 3.0 4.8 4.09 08/05/12
5 Safeco Field Seattle Mariners 4.5 4.0 4.8 4.5 3.0 4.01 08/15/12
6 Angel Stadium of Anaheim Los Angeles Angels 3.8 4.0 3.8 3.5 4.0 3.83 04/12/15
7 Yankee Stadium New York Yankees 4.0 3.0 4.0 3.8 4.0 3.76 04/13/15
8 Kauffman Stadium Kansas City Royals 4.0 2.5 2.3 4.5 3.8 3.54 05/24/15
9 Turner Field Atlanta Braves 3.5 2.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 3.48 05/31/11
10 Nationals Park Washington Nationals 3.0 3.3 4.0 3.8 3.5 3.42 06/17/15
11 Citi Field* New York Mets 3.5 2.8 5.0 3.3 3.3 3.39 04/12/14
12 Coors Field* Colorado Rockies 2.8 3.8 4.5 3.8 3.0 3.37 09/27/11
13 Dodger Stadium Los Angels Dodgers 2.5 3.0 2.5 2.8 3.3 2.85 04/13/15
14 U.S. Cellular Field** Chicago White Sox 3.0 1.0 4.0 3.0 3.0 2.70 05/07/14
15 Marlins Park Florida Marlins 2.3 1.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 1.86 04/02/12
WEIGHT 25% 20% 10% 18% 28% 100%
*Tour only
**Visited only by one of us

As the factor weights indicate, the stadium design and culture are the most important to us when we visit a ballpark. Of these parks, Camden Yards led the design score with Safeco Field, Target Field and Petco Park close behind. Of the parks we both visited, Petco Park was by far our favorite in terms of design and location. Wrigley Field led the culture score, and the strong rivalry between the Cards and Cubs definitely contributed to the fun atmosphere. Teams with a strong fan following and/or superb franchise history positively impacted the overall cultural experience.

For the stadiums we toured or only one of us visited, we will update scores once we attend a game together. It was difficult to score the culture and concessions for stadiums we only toured. Our scoring for these items was based on research and experience watching televised games.

Check out our baseball blogs for the basis for our factor rankings. Feel free to rank each stadium yourself under the individual blogs. 🙂

Criteria & Scoring

To ensure our results reflected the entire baseball experience, we evaluated many factors when visiting the stadium. The main categories included design, location, concessions, amenities and culture. The following are the criteria we considered for each factor:

Design

  • Uniqueness of architecture and layout
  • Skyline view from the stadium
  • Depiction of team and city history
  • Functionality including ease of getting around and accessing main area
  • Scoreboard visibility and style

Location

  • Vicinity to fun activities, restaurants and venues
  • Ease to reach (via public transit or driving)
  • Safety of surrounding area
  • Parking availability and cost

Concessions

  • Food quality and originality
  • Beverage quality and variety
  • Overall value for the money (i.e. bang for your buck)

Amenities

  • Available suites/special areas
  • Family friendly activities (i.e. stuff for kids)
  • Restroom quantity and quality
  • Seating comfort including leg space and ease to reach
  • Team store and museum inclusion and quality

Culture

  • Overall atmosphere including music, sound and fan activities
  • Fan enthusiasm and friendliness
  • Integration of franchise history in game and design
  • Mascot involvement
  • Celebration of monumental moments (i.e. home runs, wins, player milestone)

For each stadium, we scored each factor similar to a 5 star system with 1 being the worst and 5 the best. We scored each stadium separately and then took the average of the scores. Check out our other baseball blogs for the basis for our factor rankings and to rank the stadiums yourself. We are working on catching up on stadiums we visited before we started this blog, but it will probably be a little while…

We assigned weights for each factor based on what we feel makes the biggest difference in the overall baseball stadium experience. Again we both assigned weights separately and then took the average of these weights. Please let us know in the comments if there are other factors we should consider and which things are most important to you when you visit the ballpark. 🙂

You may wonder why we didn’t include a Return on Investment category. It’s primarily because there are too many factors that can make this type of rating erroneous. These include whether you go to a weekday/weekend game, whether the team has been winning, team matchup or seating selection. In general, cost has not been an issue for us, and most teams offer very reasonable costs for weekday tickets if cost is an issue for you.

These same factors can also affect such things as the culture (atmosphere), but we tried to consider these when we ranked the stadium. A good fan base and franchise should not be fair-weather and should still have an engaging and fun atmosphere no matter the time of week, if your team is losing or if you are in the upper deck. I mean come on, the Cubs still have a strong following despite not winning a World Series in over 100 years. We have respect for their fans and actually are quite happy for their team when they have a winning season – it definitely makes the Cards/Cubs rivalry more fun!

Stadiums Left

There are quite a few amazing stadiums left on our list to check out (i.e. AT&T, Fenway and PNC). We expect that these will surely shake up the rankings quite a bit as these are ranked in the top three on Yelp. Please let us know in the comments which stadiums you think we should visit next!

Stadium Team
AT&T Park San Francisco Giants
Fenway Park Boston Red Sox
PNC Park Pittsburgh Pirates
Miller Park Milwaukee Brewers
Great American Ball Park Cincinatti Reds
Chase Field Arizona Diamonbacks
Citizens Bank Park Philadelphia Phillies
Minute Maid Park Houston Astros
Comerica Park Detroit Tigers
Globe Life Park in Arlington Texas Rangers
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Oakland Athletics
Progressive Field Cleveland Indians
Rogers Centre Toronto Blue Jays
Tropicana Field Tampa Bay Rays
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2 Comments

  • Reply Marty September 21, 2015 at 12:40 am

    The A’s don’t play in Orange County, but you can knock them and the Giants off the list with a Bay Area swing. For the A’s, go on a day with a good give-away.

    • Reply Scott Perdue September 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

      Good catch! Fixed. Our tentative 2016 schedule includes the Pirates/Cardinals in June and Giants/Cardinals and A’s/Astros in September.

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