Each Major League Baseball stadium has its own unique characteristics that make it special. The following list of MLB ballparks was made taking into account the look, feel, history, attendance, and food. Take a look and see if your hometown team’s stadium made our top 10 list.
10. Globe Life Park
This retro-style stadium in Arlington, Texas first opened up in 1994. The four-story office building that encloses the stadium offers a classic and unique look. The huge archways and brick exterior make Globe Life Park one of the more traditional looking ballparks in the Majors.
Globe Life Park finished 12th in average attendance in 2017 (30,960 per game). The Rangers traditionally have had solid attendance at their home games. Their average attendance should improve in 2021 when their new stadium with a retractable roof is scheduled to open and shield fans from hot Texas summers.
While the look and attendance of Globe Life Park are above average, what really pushes this park into the top 10 is the food. They say “Everything is bigger in Texas” and the food at Globe Life Park is no exception. One of the more popular food attractions at Globe Life is ‘The Boomstick’, a 24 inch, 1 pound hot dog topped with chili, nacho cheese, grilled onions, and jalapenos. You may also want to try a couple Texas Snowballs if you ever make it out to Globe Life, brisket balls dipped in funnel cake batter, deep fried and covered in powder sugar.
9. Target Field
This new stadium in Minneapolis, MN opened in 2010. Target Field has a very modern look featuring limestone with glass and metal helping round out the structure.
Target Field finished 21st in average attendance in 2017 (25,640). This lack of attendance may have more to do with a lack of popularity for the sport of baseball in Minnesota rather than a poor stadium. With an improving team on the field, expect the average attendance to trend upwards in 2018.
As with many ballparks, the unique food options are a big draw for fans. Target Field, like others, has a strong selection of ballpark dining options. Crispy Belly Bacon Sandwiches with jalapeno jelly as well as sriracha brats are two of the favorites in Minneapolis. If you make it out to a game at Target Field, make sure to get your hands on one of those items.
8. Yankee Stadium
The new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009 after 85 years at the old Yankee Stadium. The new Yankee Stadium strongly resembles the old one. However, with so much history in the old Yankee Stadium, it is nearly impossible to fill those shoes.
Yankee Stadium finished 4th in average attendance in 2017 (39,835). New York has some of the most passionate fans in baseball and their attendance shows that. Play well and they’ll love you, play poorly and you will not be loving life. It takes thick skin to play in New York, but the opportunity to play for such a historic franchise is well worth it.
Yankee Stadium has some of the best food options in baseball. The ‘Barnyard Wedding’ is a burger featuring a hash brown on top of a fried chicken cutlet on top of a cheese-covered patty. Another one of their burger options is the ‘Double-Double’, a double-cheeseburger with grilled cheese sandwiches for buns.
7. Petco Park
Petco Park has been open since 2004. In beautiful San Diego, CA, Petco Park features some of the best weather in the world. The stadium borders the Pacific Ocean in downtown San Diego. With a backdrop of the San Diego skyline, Petco Park is one of the most visually appealing stadiums in baseball.
Petco Park finished 18th in average attendance in 2017 (26,401). This may be in large part to the countless options of things to do in Southern California in the summer. A lackluster team could also be a contributing factor. With the Padres improving on the field, don’t be surprised if the attendance numbers at Petco Park start to improve.
Petco Park features foods that reflect the Southern California lifestyle, fish tacos and surf & turf burritos. With the ocean right next door, there is no shortage of fresh seafood. The stadium is located just miles from the Mexican-American border helps to provide the fans in San Diego with some of the best Mexican food in America.
6. Dodger Stadium
Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine is the third oldest ballpark in baseball as it opened in 1962. The stadium has the largest capacity in baseball with the ability to hold 56,000 people. Similar to San Diego, this stadium in Los Angeles features incredible weather. While the stadium is old and outdated, the history and nostalgia of the park make it a special place to catch a game.
Dodger Stadium finished 1st in baseball in average attendance in 2017 (46, 492). The high-capacity stadium, great weather, highly-populated area, loyal fan base, and celebrity influence all combine to help the Dodgers fill their seats every season. The only real drawback to going to a Dodger game is the relentless Los Angeles traffic.
The food at Dodger Stadium is classic. There is no baseball food more famous than a ‘Dodger Dog’. These 10 inch hot dogs are sold by the millions to loyal Los Angeles fans each season. While other stadiums strive to come up with the most intricate food creations, Dodger Stadium takes pride in the simplicity of a Dodger Dog.
5. AT&T Park
AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA opened in 2000. The ballpark sits right alongside the San Francisco Bay and features the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance beyond the left field bleachers. While the weather may feature a little more rain and cold days when compared to Southern California, the weather in San Francisco still makes for a great baseball environment.
AT&T Park finished 3rd in attendance in 2017 (40,785). Similar to Los Angeles, the highly-populated area combined with a quality team and loyal fans help the Giants fill this stadium up year after year. The San Francisco Bay out beyond right field offers seats for kayakers hoping to catch home runs hit into the bay.
There is no shortage in the food options out at AT&T Park. One of the top attractions in the stadium is CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me). Here you can find cookie ice cream sandwiches with an unlimited amount of toppings and options to help create your perfect desert. San Francisco crab sandwiches on sourdough bread are another option that can help someone get into the San Francisco spirit.
4. Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium out in St. Louis, MO opened in 2006. Downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch, help to make the backdrop of the stadium one of the best in baseball. The stadium offers a classic feel with statues all around representing Cardinal greats Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith and many others.
Busch Stadium had the 2nd best average attendance in baseball last season (42,567). With hot summer months, the Cardinals rely on an extremely passionate fan base and a high-quality team year after year to fill their stadium.
Along with a quality team, quality food surely helps pull fans into the ballpark. The ‘Redbird Chicken Sandwich’, fried chicken tossed in buffalo chicken sauce and served on a bun with melted provolone cheese, is a fan favorite in the ballpark. Other popular items include bacon-wrapped brats, Italian beef sandwiches, and nachos of varying complexities.
3. Wrigley Field
The second oldest ballpark in baseball, Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL opened in 1914. Wrigley Field is located in cub-crazy Wrigleyville. Cub fans are some of the most loyal and passionate fans in the sport. The ivy covering the walls in Wrigley is one of the most iconic features of any ballpark.
Wrigley Field had the 6th highest average attendance in 2017 (39,500). It is no surprise the Cubs nearly averages a sellout every season. The loyal fan base as well as tourists coming to see this historic park help fill the seats every season. With the recent success of the Cubbies, they have emerged as one of the most popular teams in baseball.
Chicago is famous for their pizza and hot dogs. Wrigley Field delivers on both. There are several options around the ballpark where you can fulfill your craving for both Chicago-style hot dogs and pizza. On top of those options, Wrigley offers anything from tacos to barbeque, along with all the classic ballpark options.
2. Fenway Park
The oldest ballpark in baseball, Fenway Park in Boston, MA opened in 1912. Along with Wrigley, Fenway Park is tied to an unbelievable amount of history. The history of the ballpark can be felt and seen in every aspect. The Green Monster in left field is the most iconic feature of any ballpark in baseball.
Fenway Park had the 9th highest average attendance in 2017 (36,020). Like most historical franchises, Boston has a passionate fan base that expects a winning team every season. For the most part, Boston delivers. The history of Fenway along with quality baseball year after year, helps fill Fenway’s seats.
If you’re in the New England area watching baseball, why not indulge in some of Fenway’s New England cuisine. Fenway offers Lobster rolls, fish and chips, and fried clams at every game. The meatball cones are another unique food offered at Fenway that are sure to fascinate fans. This ballpark snack features an enormous meatball placed on top of a chewy bread cone.
1. PNC Park
PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA is our choice as the best ballpark in baseball. The park opened in 2001 and is still as visually appealing as ever. The Roberto Clemente Bridge beyond center field as well as Downtown Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh’s three rivers are sure to take your breath away.
PNC Park had the 25th highest attendance in 2017 (23,696). It’s quite a shame that arguably the nicest ballpark in baseball doesn’t have one of the highest turnouts every season. Hopefully the Pirates can improve their play on the field and help fill this world-class stadium.
The food at PNC helps contribute to its number one ranking. From barbeque to chicken wings to sandwiches with fries in them, PNC has endless options of adventurous food options as well as all of the traditional ballpark foods. Pittsburgh’s favorite sandwich is made by Primanti Brothers. This sandwich is packed with your choice of meat, French fries, tomatoes, and coleslaw. While PNC Park lacks the attendance you would expect, the ballpark is without a doubt one of the best in baseball.