Athlon Sports has polled 10 experts from around Major League Baseball in an effort to find the best place to watch a game.
Based on criteria like fan support, home field advantage, amenities, tradition, surrounding area, facilities, gameday atmosphere and more, our 10 experts have ranked all 15 American League parks for 2015.
Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Tyler Kepner, NY Times
Andy Baggarly, AndrewBaggarly.com
Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
John Tomase, WEEI
Juan Rodriguez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun Times
Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register
C. Trent Rosencrans, Cincinnati Enquirer
Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Jack Magruder, FoxSportsArizona.com
Scoring: A first-place vote is worth one point, a second-place vote is worth two points and a 15th-place vote is worth 15 points. The lowest score is voted the best stadium in the American League.
Minute Maid Park
Globe Life Park
U.S. Cellular Field
Fenway Park dominates
Four different parks got first place votes but The Green Monster ran away with top billing in the American League. The third-smallest park in the majors seats just 37,499, but brings it strong with character and tradition. The neighborhood is great, the team is constantly competitive (normally) and the fan support is as good as any in the sport.
Underrated small markets
The other three first-place votes went to “small market” parks Safeco Field, Target Field and Kauffman Stadium. Traditionally, these three teams haven’t won a ton of baseball, but have had their moments (SEE: 2014). But all three scored very high with the experts. In fact, the Mariners' home park ranked No. 2 in the AL while the Twins' new building finished fourth.
Polarizing Yankee Stadium
Some love the façade, location and enormity of the new Yankee Stadium — it got six third-place votes. And some hate the cavernous, corporate expanse in the Bronx — it got a 12th- and a 13th-place vote as well. Love it or hate it, it’s still a bucket list item for any baseball fan.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
A tip of the cap to the Orioles' home stadium as it finished third in the AL in our voting. When it was built, it was considered a first of its kind and has led the way in reinventing the way MLB built stadiums. Now, with the team winning, Camden Yards is one of the best spots in the league to catch a game.
Trop edges O.co for last
Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay is considered the worst stadium in the AL and has spurned plenty of relocation discussion for the Rays. But it’s only slightly worse than Oakland’s O.co Coliseum. The Trop landed four last-place votes and was ranked no higher than 13th by any voter. O.co got six last-place votes, but scored an 11th- and 12th-place vote, keeping it just barely ahead of Tampa Bay. For me, being outdoors alone makes it better.