Stadiums are listed in chronological order, according to when they were first used in the major leagues, not necessarily when they were built. There is only one line of data per stadium, even for stadiums that went through two or more distinct "phases." Data generally pertain to the longest phase for each stadium, e.g, the 1937-1973 era for Yankee Stadium. NOTE: The first four columns of data formerly shown on this page (years of construction, demolition, etc.) now appear on the new Stadium milestones page.
MLB lifetime is the number of years the stadium was used by a Major League Baseball team, up to and including 2012. In some cases, there was a hiatus during which no baseball was played, and in other cases, the stadium was abandoned and remained in a state of Limbo for several years.
Capacity figures are broadly representative of the stadium's entire period of use; they are often rounded to the nearest thousand, reflecting the fact that the number of seats fluctuated from year to year.
Overhang / shade is an estimate of how much the upper deck and lower deck were covered by a roof or higher-level deck. For domed stadiums (including those with retractable roofs), the upper deck is automatically considered to be 100% covered, while the lower deck is treated as normal, i.e., only the portion covered by higher-level deck is counted as "in the shade." For purposes of making overhang estimates, only the main portion of the grandstand situated relatively close to the infield is counted.
Orientation indicates the compass direction from home plate to center field. The third paragraph of the Official Baseball Rules says, "It is desirable that the line from home base through the pitchers plate to second base shall run East-Northeast." Indeed, that is the most common orientation, so as to keep the sun's glare out of the batter's field of vision. No MLB stadiums are oriented toward any direction between south-southeast (150 degrees) and northwest (315 degrees).
Backstop is simply the distance from home plate to the fence in the rear.
Outfield dimensions likewise fluctuated over the years for some stadiums. Figures above are generally the current dimensions (for ballparks still in use) or else represent the stadium's "typical" dimensions over the course of its lifetime. (The main exception is Yankee Stadium, in which case the "classic era" dimensions are used.) The figures are the actual distances to the outfield fences, not necessarily the same as the marked distances. Figures in parentheses diverge from the official dimensions, based on my own estimates or the estimates of experts, as published in Lowry's Green Cathedrals. There are various reasons for such discrepancies, such as markers being placed at non-standard outfield locations. Discrepancies are explained on the respective stadium pages. If the discrepancy was less than feet or so, the official dimensions are used. NOTE: The power alleys are defined on this Web site as the angular midpoint between the foul lines and center field. Some other sources use a line drawn through the linear midpoint between second base and first or third base, which yields higher measurements. Standard reference locations are as follows, with the "normalized" compass directions:
- Left field down the line (315 degrees)
- Left-center power alley (337.5 degrees)
- Center field, straightaway (360 / 0 degrees)
- Right-center power alley (22.5 degrees)
- Right field down the line (45 degrees)
For more information, see the Outfield trigonometry page.
Lowry (2006), Ritter (1992), ESPN Sports Almanac