Tampa Bay Rays
Opened: 1990, Capacity: 40,473
2013 Attendance (per game): 18,646 (30th)
There is no debating which building is the worst in major league baseball and it’s partially why the Rays have long threatened to leave the Bay Area. The domed building has little character inside or out, has an awful playing surface and catwalks can even interfere with the play on the field. The Trop is horrendous and the building doesn’t come close to matching the success and entertainment value of the baseball being played inside.
Opened: 1966, Capacity: 37,090
2013 Attendance (per game): 22,337 (23rd)
It’s old. It’s a football stadium. It’s had five names since 1997. It’s in the bottom third of attendance. And the Raiders forced the Athletics to close in centerfield with a monstrosity of an upperdeck. The A’s need a new ballpark soon.
Toronto Blue Jays
Opened: 1989, Capacity: 54,000
2013 Attendance (per game): 31,316 (14th)
One of the worst playing surfaces in the league hails from North of the border. The building formerly known as the SkyDome has slowly and steadily gone out of style. The amenities and features were ahead of their time when constructed but are now viewed as antiques. The Blue Jays have done little to improve their home stadium.
Opened: 1996, Capacity: 50,096
2013 Attendance (per game): 31,465 (13th)
The is really nothing at all about this park that sets itself apart from all of the parks built since the mid-'90s — either on the positive or the negative side. The location was a horrendous choice and that is why after less than 20 years, the Braves will move to the Northside of Atlanta. Attendance in the postseason has also been an issue in the past. It’s very… average.
Opened: 2012, Capacity: 36,742
2013 Attendance (per game): 19,584 (28th)
Fans don’t come out for the Marlins but, then again, unless LeBron is playing, fans don’t really support sports at all in Miami. The aquatic disaster in centerfield takes any chance of this place being charming away instantly. Otherwise, if you like having the run of an brand new ballpark, you’d like watching a game here.
Los Angeles Angels
Opened: 1966, Capacity: 45,050
2013 Attendance (per game): 37,278 (7th)
It’s one of the oldest venues in the league and it certainly has some uniqueness to it. The rocks in centerfield are one-of-a-kind and the Angels have done a good job of upkeep over the years. However, the team is toying with a new location, new park and new vibe after nearly 50 years in their current digs.
Opened: 2000, Capacity: 40,950
2013 Attendance (per game): 20,394 (27th)
Fan support is lacking and the building is a dome some of the time. The short porch in left can be a blessing and a curse and the totally bizarre grassy hill in centerfield is extremely polarizing. If you love that quirk, then you likely enjoy this building because it is fairly new and well built. If you don’t love those quirks, then this isn’t the place for you.
Photo By: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Raheem Moore/Released
Opened: 1998, Capacity: 49,033
2013 Attendance (per game): 26,355 (22nd)
This is a solid park to watch a game — especially when the roof is closed in 110-degree temperatures. There are good sightlines and an overall fun atmosphere. However, many dislike the pool in centerfield and most can’t stand the massive billboard ads that have been hung in the outfield. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder in Arizona. And frankly, the fans didn’t really support what was a competitive team the last two years.
Chicago White Sox
Opened: 1991, Capacity: 40,615
2013 Attendance (per game): 21,832 (24th)
When it opened it wasn’t nearly as welcoming as it is today. The White Sox spent over $100 million to renovate the building over a several years. When it was finally finished in 2007, the top few row of seats had been replaced with the roof fans see today. It still sits near the bottom of the league in attendance but this place has slowly but surely been improved since opening more than two decades ago.
Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Thomas Miller/Released
Opened: 1994, Capacity: 49,115
2013 Attendance (per game): 38,759 (5th)
Other than the ruthless Texas heat in the summertime, there is a lot to like about attending a game in Arlington. The fans are extremely supportive, the building is in good shape and there are a few quirks that make it “retro.” The big knock is that it stole too many design ideas from other parks and the supposed tributes don’t play as well as baseball enters 2014.
Kansas City Royals
Opened: 1973, Capacity: 37,903
2013 Attendance (per game): 21,614 (26th)
It hasn’t seen a winner in quite some time (see George Brett) and it’s one of the oldest buildings in the league. Instead of tearing it down and building another park, Kansas City renovated Kauffman in 2009. It is on the smaller side, matching the charming Midwest attitude of the area with the vibe inside the stadium.
Opened:1994, Capacity: 42,241
2013 Attendance (per game): 19,419 (29th)
Finishing next to dead last in attendance is a bad sign. That said, this building is much more enjoyable than the attendance numbers indicate. It is well designed and the views of the city are excellent but the building has slowly lost its edge since opening in the mid-'90s.
Opened: 1999, Capacity: 47,476
2013 Attendance (per game): 21,747 (25th)
Retractable roofs are extremely practical but normally not all that picturesque — be it open or closed. That said, Safeco does the retractable thing better than most every other park in the league. The Seattle skyline is always charming and the area of town (right next to CenturyLink) is excellent but the place is rarely full and hasn’t provided much of an advantage lately.
Opened: 2008, Capacity: 41,888
2013 Attendance (per game): 32,746 (11th)
The metal and glass façade is certainly unique for its time of construction. And the overall fan atmosphere has been excellent — especially as the team has improved. The interior has an excellent interior color scheme that is different than the traditional red brick and green seats. There is nothing spectacular or unique about this place but it is a solid place to catch a game due in large part to the fan support.
Opened: 2010, Capacity: 39,021
2013 Attendance (per game): 30,588 (17th)
For a small market team, the Twins pull fairly well in terms of attendance — especially, from a percentage standpoint. The building is one of the newest in the league and an outdoor stadium in the Twin Cities had plenty of doubters. But it has unique sightlines, features and loads of Midwest charm. It’s a gorgeous place to watch a game — in the summer.
Opened: 2000, Capacity: 41,255
2013 Attendance (per game): 38,067 (8th)
This isn’t an overly distinct or unique venue. There is nothing special that separates this place from most of the retro buildings constructed in the last 15 years. That said, the fans are some of the best in the league and they will show up in droves for the Tigers. The lack of advertisements is a nice plus and the view of downtown is excellent.
Opened: 2003, Capacity: 42,319
2013 Attendance (per game): 31,151 (16th)
There are few places better in the world on Opening Day than in Cincinnati. And the builders did an excellent job of bridging the old with the new when they built this park a decade ago. The view of the river is nice and the crowd has a homely feel to it despite some modern styling and design work.
Photo By: ≈
Opened: 1995, Capacity: 50,480
2013 Attendance (per game): 34,492 (10th)
One of the better parks built in the '90s, Coors Field is beautiful both inside and out. The area has slowly grown around the park in a town that most agree is one of the better places to live in America. The fans are surprisingly supportive despite the occasionally frigid temperatures.
New York Mets
Opened: 2009, Capacity: 45,000
2013 Attendance (per game): 26,366 (20th)
When it comes to amenities and charm, few can match the new-ish park in Flusing. Built on the same site as Shea Stadium, Citi Field has the old Ebbets Field façade and great sightlines throughout the concourse. It’s a swanky new building that is also somehow quaint and homely. There isn’t a bad seat in the house and the new wall dimensions have allowed it to play truer.
Opened: 2004, Capacity: 43,651
2013 Attendance (per game): 37,190 (8th)
It was entirely too small when it opened but the team made adjustments and now the place features a more balanced game. The fans are extremely passionate — almost to a fault — and have packed the place since The Bank opened for business a decade ago. The distant skyline is a unique twist on an old design as well. The too passionate-ness of the fans keeps it from the top 10.
New York Yankees
Opened: 2009, Capacity: 50,291
2013 Attendance (per game): 40,489 (4th)
Nothing will ever compare to the Old Yankee Stadium — even one built to replicate it. The new park is gorgeous with all the amenities, wide ranging food choices and design work that made the old version so popular. But its also cavernous, lacks intimacy and is cold on the surface in terms of design work. Fans are also further from the action here than almost anywhere else in the league. (The cost of going to a game is also a negative).
Opened: 2001, Capacity: 41,900
2013 Attendance (per game): 31,248 (15th)
Indoors isn’t an appropriate place to play or watch baseball games but this is the best retractable roof in the game. It’s uniquely designed and Wisconsin is really cold at the beginning and end of the season. The food, people and atmosphere is excellent though and the amenities are solid as well. The overall openness makes this a charming venue — at least, as charming as a pseudo-dome can be.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Opened: 1962, Capacity: 56,000
2013 Attendance (per game): 46,216 (1st)
The third-oldest park in the majors has the signature styling of Southern California. Sunsets and palm trees make attending a game more of a social event than a sporting event. Built into the side of a hill in Chavez Ravine, Dodger Stadium is both massive — the biggest in the league — and one of the more homey atmospheres in the league. Especially, considering the historic brand that calls it home.
San Diego Padres
Opened: 2004, Capacity: 42,524
2013 Attendance (per game): 26,749 (20th)
Few buildings in the majors capture a city’s personality like Petco does for San Diego. Lighter sandstone and stucco designs and colors schemes attach the park to the area very well and the unique stylings — blue seats, center field grassy noll and Western Metal Supply Co. building — set this place apart from others in the league. And the weather doesn’t suck either.
Opened: 1992, Capacity: 45,971
2013 Attendance (per game): 29,106 (18th)
Officially named Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Orioles stadium was ahead of its time when it opened in the early '90s. As MLB spent 20 years building modern style ballparks, Baltimore came along and built one that harkened back to the days of Walter Johnson. The retro styling is gorgeous, the incorporation of the old B&O Warehouse behind the right field wall. Many of the newer more popular parks have taken their design cues from Camden Yards.
St. Louis Cardinals
Opened: 2006, Capacity: 46,861
2013 Attendance (per game): 41,602 (2nd)
Few places will be packed and supportive like Busch Stadium is for the Cardinals. St. Louis was second in the majors in attendance last year and few teams have been as successful as the Redbirds. The styling is retro and has plenty of character but the view of the 600-foot Arch in center sets this building apart from others.
San Francisco Giants
Opened: 2000, Capacity: 41,915
2013 Attendance (per game): 41,087 (3rd)
Few places are as packed on gameday as AT&T in the Bay Area as San Francisco was third in the majors in attendance last year. The Giants have molded their pitching-heavy franchise to fit the larger confines of their park and it has led to major levels of success. The glistening bay waters beyond right field are as gorgeous a backdrop for a baseball game as there is in the world. Being able to hit balls into the ocean is pretty cool too.
Opened: 2001, Capacity: 38,262
2013 Attendance (per game): 27,862 (19th)
From a viewers experience standpoint, PNC might be the best in the league. The signature walking bridge and best outfield city skyline in the majors make this quaint, intimate setting one of the most enjoyable in the game today. And the fans finally had a reason to pack the seats in 2013.
Boston Red Sox
Opened: 1912, Capacity: 37,499
2013 Attendance (per game): 34,979 (9th)
The only real difference between Wrigley and Fenway is the success of the home team. And some argue the cultural significance of Fenway is greater. The area is drenched in history and the Big Green Monster is one of the most recognizable features in any stadium in any American pro sport. Fenway is the oldest stadium in the league.
Opened: 1914, Capacity: 41,019
2013 Attendance (per game): 32,626 (12th)
There is a reason its called the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Its charm and neighborhood make it one of the best places to see a game in the world. And it has been very friendly to opposing fans. Some uncertainty with renovations and the future of the location are the only semi-drawbacks for what is the second oldest park in the majors.