There are few things we enjoy more than going to a ballgame. Whether it’s the hot dogs, the peanuts (keep your Cracker Jacks), the beer(s), or just getting to relax and watch some baseball, there is truly no live sporting event like it. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our ten favorite MLB venues to do what Americans do best: gorge on unhealthy food and watch other people be active.
10. Yankee Stadium
We’ll probably catch some flak for this one, but we’re suckers for shock value. It’s gaudy and the overpriced/mediocre food and drink options are a joke, but we couldn’t help but let our jaws dangle at the sight of this $2.3 billion behemoth in the Bronx. New Yankee Stadium pretty much took its predecessor, ate it, injected it with steroids and some Beverly Hills architecture, and made everything as big as physics would allow. It’s the stadium you’d create in a video game if you had unlimited cheat code money. It’s flawed for sure, but it’s still Yankee Stadium, and there’s no way it’s not in our top ten.
9. Busch Stadium
Ahh, there’s nothing like some good Busch. That’s a beer joke, guys. So juvenile. New Busch Stadium opened in 2006 and boy was it an upgrade. Featuring panoramic views of downtown St. Louis and the Arch and an attractive retro-classic design, new Busch is a phenomenal place to watch nine innings. Excellent and affordable concession options and dedicated fans make for an addictive atmosphere as well. We’d whine about how the Cardinals make the playoffs every season and seemingly get all the nice things, but then we take a step back and remember that it’s St. Louis and it’s really all they have. Fine…and good ribs, they have that too.
8. Coors Field
We’re not sure if it’s the mile-high altitude or the on-site microbrewery, but something about Coors Field has us feeling a little buzzed. Oh wait, could be the glue-sniffing. Yeah, it’s definitely that. One of baseball’s largest parks in terms of capacity, Coors is a true sight to behold when it’s a full house. It also doesn’t hurt that you’re pretty much guaranteed to see some offense and more taters than a cafeteria lunch lady when you catch a game here. To our knowledge, it’s also the only Major League stadium where dinosaur remains were found. Dinosaurs + home runs + beer = a kick-ass time.
7. Target Field
The fact that you can’t see a game here without a North Face and a heavy blanket for the first month of the season was hardly enough to distract us from the awe-inspiring sights and mandible-lowering architecture. Having opened in 2010, it’s one of the league’s newest attractions, and it feels that way. Everything is spotless and the abundant limestone still has some shine to it. The Twins haven’t christened it with many winning seasons yet, but the tides are a turnin’ for their young ball club, and Target Field could be seeing some playoff baseball sooner rather than later.
6. Camden Yards
Baseball’s first pioneer into the retro style, baseball-only, character-driven stadiums that have all but taken over the league, Camden Yards remains a gem 25 years after its opening. This is the ballpark that influenced pretty much every other ballpark in existence today. The eye-catching feature of Camden has always been the sturdy, old-school B&O Warehouse parked just beyond Eutaw Street in right field. While we docked a couple of points due to the fact that it’s in Baltimore (sorry, Baltimore) the mother of the modern baseball stadium will always have a home on our top ten list.
5. Wrigley Field
It’s where Henry Rowengartner played! Henry Rowengartner! If you don’t know who that is, we apologize on behalf of your subpar childhood. The league’s second oldest stadium is home to the once lovable losers, now reigning champion Chicago Cubs, and boy is it a marvel. Like most older stadiums, the amenities are lacking as is the comfort, but one glance at the iconic ivy-covered outfield walls and the back pain goes away. Wrigley also gets points for the Wrigley rooftops, where fans can enjoy the game from the roofs of apartment buildings just outside the stadium, and for Wrigleyville itself, the area surrounding the field that’s constantly buzzing with life on game day, providing an unforgettable experience.
4. Fenway Park
It’s not comfortable, it’s not cheap, and the fans range from belligerent drunks to belligerent racists, but make no mistake, there’s nothing like watching a game at Fenway Pahwwk. Baseball’s oldest ballpark (1912) wallops you with history from the second you enter and feels like you’re actually stepping out of reality into some alternate universe where only America’s Pastime exists. And while the fans may be obnoxious, they’re focused on every pitch, making even regular season games feel like they have playoff stakes. Sitting atop the Green Monster ranks high on our baseball bucket list.
3. PNC Park
It’s hard to beat the scenery of Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. The stadium sits on the Allegheny River and looks right at the appropriately yellow 6th Street/Roberto Clemente Bridge which leads right to a remarkable view of downtown. As if that wasn’t enough, the park manages to effortlessly blend the comforts of a new age ballpark with the feel of one of the classics. It’s kind of like the Scarlett Johansson of MLB venues. You can also enjoy some solid eats from local favorites whilst wondering how tall Josh Harrison is. He’s 5’8.
2. AT&T Park
You had us at massive Coke bottle. We’re easily amused. The home of the Giants is a baseball lover’s wet dream, equipped with a beautiful exposed brick wall in right, a gigantic glove sculpture in left, great visibility all around, and it’s directly on the water so that when you need a break from the action you need simply take a walk around and gaze out at the bay. It’s an immaculate ballpark. But it’s cold pretty much all the time. And Bay Area fans have a way of getting under your skin like little tech industry tics. We also factored in that they were probably expecting to be number one when they clicked this so for that reason alone, they get the two spot.
1. Petco Park
Nestled in downtown San Diego amongst the perfect Southern California climate is Petco Park. It was a close call between Petco and AT&T for the one spot, but the weather and the laid back atmosphere make Petco the perfect place to watch a baseball game. Granted, the product on the field is crap, and has been crap since 2011 and probably will be crap until at least 2021, but we ain’t ranking teams here. Built in 2004, the stadium is a thing of beauty, with stunning views of downtown, a welcoming, wide open feel, and lots and lots of craft beer and local food options. Do yourself a favor and treat yo’self to a Padres loss.