Clem's Baseball home

Stadium Rankings
according to me



Stadiums are listed in order of best to worst, according to my own standards; see explanatory notes following the table.

Stadium Team(s) The Clem Criteria: Years when I visited
(incl. games, tours, etc.)
Field
asymm.
Arch.
design
Seat
prox.
Loca-
tion
Aesth. Overall
Ebbets Field Brooklyn Dodgers 7 8 9 8 9 8.2  
Fenway Park Boston Red Sox 9 7 9 7 8 8.0 1998, 2002
PNC Park Pittsburgh Pirates 7 8 7 9 9 8.0 2000 u.c., 2009
Wrigley Field Chicago Cubs 5 7 9 9 9 7.8 1963, 1998, 2008, 2012
AT&T Park San Franciso Giants 7 8 7 9 8 7.8  
Forbes Field Pittsburgh Pirates 9 8 6 7 8 7.6  
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Baltimore Orioles 7 8 6 9 7 7.4 2005, 2006, 2009
Target Field Minnesota Twins 5 8 8 8 8 7.4 2010
PETCO Park San Diego Padres 6 7 8 8 7 7.2  
Marlins Park Miami Marlins 6 7 8 7 7 7.0  
Progressive (Jacobs) Field Cleveland Indians 6 8 6 7 8 7.0 1998, 2012
Nationals Park Washington Nationals 5 8 7 7 8 7.0 2006 u.c. -- 2012 (17)
Citi Field New York Mets 6 8 6 5 8 6.6 2008 u.c.
Busch Stadium III St. Louis Cardinals 3 7 6 8 9 6.6 2009, 2011 (T)
Great American Ballpark Cincinnati Reds 5 7 7 7 6 6.4 2002 u.c., 2004, 2009
Citizens Bank Ballpark Philadelphia Phillies 5 9 6 4 8 6.4 2005
Coors Field Colorado Rockies 5 7 5 7 8 6.4 1998, 2009
Safeco Field Seattle Mariners 5 7 6 6 8 6.4  
Minute Maid Park Houston Astros 7 6 7 5 6 6.2  
League Park Cleveland Indians 7 5 7 5 6 6.0 [ 1998 ]
Kauffman Stadium Kansas City Royals 3 7 7 4 8 5.8 2002 (T), 2009, 2011
Turner Field Atlanta Braves 5 6 6 5 7 5.8 2001
Crosley Field Cincinnati Reds 7 6 6 4 6 5.8 '1969', [ 2009 ]
Yankee Stadium II New York Yankees 5 7 6 4 6 5.6 2008 u.c.
Tiger Stadium Detroit Tigers 6 5 7 4 6 5.6 2004
Polo Grounds New York Giants 7 6 3 6 6 5.6  
Griffith Stadium Washington Senators 7 4 6 6 5 5.6 [ 2009 ]
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Texas Rangers 6 6 7 3 6 5.6  
Yankee Stadium New York Yankees 5 7 5 4 6 5.4* '1987', 2004, 2008 (T)
Wrigley Field (L.A.) Los Angeles Angels 2 6 8 5 6 5.4  
Shibe Park* Philadelphia Athletics & Phillies 3 8 5 5 6 5.4  
Seals Stadium San Franciso Giants 4 6 6 5 6 5.4 -
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles Dodgers 2 6 5 7 7 5.4  
Angels Stadium of Anaheim Anaheim* Angels 5 5 6 5 6 5.4*  
Chase Field Arizona Diamondbacks 4 5 6 7 5 5.4  
Comerica Park Detroit Tigers 5 5 5 6 6 5.4 2004 (1)
Miller Park Milwaukee Brewers 5 6 7 3 5 5.2 2010 (L)
Memorial Stadium Baltimore Orioles 3 7 4 5 6 5.0 1979, 1981, 1982, 1986
Braves Field Boston Braves 5 5 3 7 5 5.0 -
Jarry Park Montreal Expos 2 3 8 6 6 5.0  
U.S. Cellular Field Chicago White Sox 3 5 5 4 8 5.0* 2008, 2010
Sportsman's Park* St. Louis Browns & Cardinals 6 3 5 5 5 4.8 [ 2011 ]
Rogers Centre (Skydome) Toronto Blue Jays 2 6 4 8 4 4.8  
Busch Stadium II St. Louis Cardinals 2 5 4 7 6 4.8 2002
Baker Bowl Philadelphia Phillies 7 4 5 4 4 4.8 -
Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh Pirates 2 4 4 8 5 4.6 1998, 2000
Municipal Stadium Kansas City Athletics & Royals 6 4 5 4 4 4.6 [ 2002 ]
Milwaukee County Stadium Milwaukee Braves & Brewers 3 4 6 4 6 4.6 [ 2010 ]
Astrodome Houston Astros 1 8 5 3 6 4.6  
Mile High Stadium Colorado Rockies 6 4 3 5 5 4.6 1989
Jack Murphy Stadium* San Diego Padres 3 5 5 4 6 4.6  
Comiskey Park Chicago White Sox 2 6 5 3 6 4.4 '1969'
Robert F. Kennedy Stadium* Washington Senators & Nationals 1 6 5 5 5 4.4 1987 -- 2009 (8)
Sick's Stadium Seattle Pilots 3 3 7 5 4 4.4 -
Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles Dodgers 7 6 2 4 3 4.4  
Metropolitan Stadium Minnesota Twins 3 5 5 3 6 4.4 -
Arlington Stadium Texas Rangers 1 4 6 4 5 4.0 -
H.H.H. Metrodome Minnesota Twins 4 4 3 7 2 4.0 '1987', 2010
Tropicana Field Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3 5 4 5 3 4.0  
Riverfront Stadium Cincinnati Reds 1 4 5 7 3 4.0 2002
Cleveland Municipal Stadium Cleveland Indians 3 5 4 5 3 4.0 -
Kingdome Seattle Mariners 4 4 4 6 1 3.8 '1987'
Shea Stadium New York Mets 2 5 4 4 4 3.8 2008
Olympic Stadium Montreal Expos 1 8 3 5 2 3.8 1987
Oakland Coliseum Oakland Athletics 3 5 3 4 4 3.8  
Exhibition Stadium Toronto Blue Jays 1 3 4 7 3 3.6 -
Veterans Stadium Philadelphia Phillies 2 4 4 4 3 3.4  
Candlestick Park San Franciso Giants 3 5 2 3 4 3.4  
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Atlanta Braves 1 5 2 5 4 3.4 [ 2001 ]
Sun Life (Dolphin) Stadium Florida Marlins 5 5 3 1 2 3.2  
Colt Stadium Houston Colt 45s 2 3 4 4 3 3.2 -
KEY: Stadiums marked with red vertical bars are the ones I have seen in person, from a reasonably close distance. . Asterisks in the overall ranking column denote that the ranking applies to the latest version of the stadium, for those that underwent major modifications. underline: I saw a game.
(T), (L) : Guided tour or lunch inside
'single quotes' : From a distance.
"u.c." : under construction.
[ brackets ] : Already demolished.
For RFK Stadium and Nationals Park, only the first and last years are shown, with the total number of games in parentheses.

Explanation

What makes a truly magnificent baseball stadium? For me, the most important considerations are field asymmetry, which makes the game much more interesting (and argument-prone), and aesthetic harmony, which is of course quite subjective. Each of the great early-20th century stadiums had some funky distinguishing feature: Brooklyn's Ebbets Field and Cleveland's League Park both had very tall fences to make up for short distances in right field, not unlike the 37-foot "Green Monster" in left field of Boston's Fenway Park. Pittsburgh's Forbes Field had extreme variations in dimensions in both fair and foul territory, Cincinnati's Crosley Field had a banked slope in left field, and Chicago's Wrigley Field still has that curving ivy-covered brick wall where balls often get lost. Both the Polo Grounds and Detroit's Tiger Stadium had upper decks that extended out over the playing field. Prior to the 1974-1975 renovation, New York's Yankee Stadium had the enormous left field ("Death Valley") as well as a magisterial facade along the roof. The "retro" stadiums built since Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in 1992 have often been pretty good imitations of the classics, but in other cases they are either too artificial and antiseptic (Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix) or too contrived and phony (the Ballpark at Arlington). Minute Maid Park in Houston has a splendid banked, deep center field and other quirks, but the steam locomotive above the left field wall is a mismatch with the Astros' team identity. Anyway, here are the five criteria I use to rank stadiums, with brief descriptions:

The overall ranking for each stadium is a simple weighted average of these five factors. Note that, in contrast to other such ranking systems, my criteria do NOT include "fan amenities" such as food service, skyboxes, kids' playpens, or bar/lounges. As a staunch traditionalist, I look down on such "bells and whistles" that distract attention from what's happening on the field. Note that the table includes separate line entries for stadiums that went through two or more distinct "phases." For some stadiums such as Yankee Stadium, the "classic" configuration was much different than it is today. That page and several others have two or more rows of data to reflect major renovations in the stadiums. Some of the capacity figures are rounded to the nearest thousand; the official numbers often fluctuate from year to year.

Notwithstanding the pretentious, pseudo-scientific methodology used to derive these rankings, the following caveat is in order: the rankings are subject to occasional change, based on further thoughtful reflection or just a whim. For objective data on field dimensions, etc., see the Stadium statistics page.

NOTE: This page no longer shows the stadium rankings of two other sources: The Sporting News Baseball 2001 and Dodger Dogs to Fenway Franks: The Ultimate Guide to America's Top Baseball Parks, by Bob Wood (1988). Many other publications have had similar rankings as well.


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