Tampa Bay Rays
2019 Attendance per game: 14,734 (29th)
The only home the Tampa Bay Rays have ever known is the most undesirable place to watch a professional baseball game in America. “The Trop” isn’t even located in Tampa; it’s on the opposite side of the bay, 30 minutes and a bridge away in St. Petersburg — where all the retired Red Sox and Yankee fans live. The Rays ranked second-to-last in attendance in 2019, and the folks that do show up are too far away from the field. The playing surface is a joke, as are the catwalks that ring around the dome’s roof being in play. For a team that’s been as competitive as the Rays have been for the last decade, they deserve a lot better than their own home ballpark.
Capacity: 46,847 (expandable to 56,000)
2019 Attendance: 20,521 (24th)
The Coliseum has had a half dozen names in the last twenty years, but the A’s fielding a competitive ball club most seasons hasn’t changed. The team has been trying to move out of the Raiders’ old place since 2001, and there is optimism that ground can be broken on a new, privately-financed, baseball-only stadium in 2021. For now, the A’s and their rowdy, diehard fans have to gaze at the tarped monstrosity that is Mt. Davis and simply hope that the venue’s sewage system doesn’t break — again.
Toronto Blue Jays
2019 Attendance: 21,606 (22nd)
When the Jays are good, there may not be a louder ballpark in North America. While the team currently rebuilds, there isn’t much reason to catch a game at the Rogers Centre. At one time, the half-dome, multi-sport stadium felt ahead of its time — a modern update from the cookie-cutter stadiums of the '60s and '70s — but now it’s an architectural reminder of a time long gone. Nothing about the place really stands out in 2020. It’s just kind of... there. Canada’s only team can do better, especially in a city as beautiful as Toronto.
Chicago White Sox
2019 Attendance: 21,442 (23rd)
Aside from the goofy name, nothing stands out about the Sox home yard — even after 24 years of constant upgrading and renovations ranging from minor to expansive. Despite the constant alterations, nothing about the park is unique or quirky in any way whatsoever. It’s tall and nearly perfectly symmetrical. It’s the vanilla ice cream of MLB stadiums. The upper deck view is so steep it might as well be the top of the Willis Tower, which you can’t see from the upper deck or anywhere else in the stadium because the venue doesn’t even look toward the iconic Chicago skyline. I hope White Sox fans like gazing into the… Dan Ryan Expressway?
2019 Attendance: 26,364 (17th)
Chase Field is just old enough to buy a beer at its own concession stand, and the Diamondbacks are already trying to move on from the controversially publically funded stadium. The plus side of this titan of a stadium is the food and drink prices are the most reasonable in MLB. However, there are downfalls aplenty. The upper deck and outfield seating is way too far away from the game itself, and renovations to fan amenities are long overdue, even for such a new venue. The best part is the retractable roof that opens and closes in under five minutes, protecting fans from the merciless Arizona summer sun.
2019 Attendance: 10,016 (30th)
More people go to Indiana high school basketball games on a Tuesday night than an entire weekend series at Marlins Park. I’m only semi-joking. The Fish are last in baseball in attendance, becoming the only team in the league that didn’t attract at least 1.1 million fans last season (811,302). Derek Jeter and the new ownership regime have concentrated on making the ballpark more socially accessible and affordable as part of the franchise’s total makeover — perhaps as an olive branch to fans for the sins of past ownership. Step one: Getting rid of the 65-by-75-foot art sculpture in left-center field to make way for a new social space. The team also installed a synthetic field surface to replace the oft-dead Bermuda grass that was originally planted and moved in the outfield walls to allow for more home runs. As the team rebuilds itself and remakes the eight-year-old park to a more fan and baseball friendly venue, perhaps it will creep up the ranks on this list.
2019 Attendance: 36,090 (8th)
Twenty years ago, retractable roof stadiums were all the rage, and an argument can be made that Miller Park “saved” baseball in Milwaukee. At times, the park can look cavernous on TV, even though the roof is hardly open, and when it is, the shadows created by the retractable roof make the action hard to follow. While the stadium leaves something to be desired, Brewers fans, known for their killer pregame tailgates, have been filling the stands as the team is on the rise in recent seasons. The venue might be middle-of-the-road, but sign us up for a beer and brat with the Brew Crew any time.
2019 Attendance: 22,008 (21st)
Progressive Field has moved a few spots up the list after the club made a bevy of renovations to the park and secured the 2019 All-Star Game. Season ticket holders now have access to a newly established club lounge behind home plate, while new outfield party decks and concessions have been installed throughout the stadium. New scoreboards that really make The Old Jake pop with modernity as well. The only real knock on this ballpark is the 19-foot wall in left field that takes away the intimacy of the game from the fans sitting in the outfield. Other than that, Progressive Field ain’t a bad place to catch a game, and the view of the Cleveland skyline isn’t too shabby either.
New York Mets
2019 Attendance: 30,531 (13th)
One of the newer ballparks in MLB, Citi Field is still a work in progress. The outfield walls have already been adjusted twice since opening, the concourses have been recently renovated, and the main concourse still doesn’t wrap around the entire park. The outside facade is nice, a tribute to Ebbets Field, and the outfield seating offers a touch of nostalgia from older parks as well. The new park is certainly an improvement over Shea Stadium (anything would have been), but it seems like something is just missing with Citi Field.
St. Louis Cardinals
2019 Attendance: 42,967 (2nd)
To the Cardinals' credit, they’re trying to make the third rendition of Busch Stadium stand out more than when the place originally opened. The team recently added large social gathering spaces in the upper deck of right field that includes cabana and lounge seating. The entertainment district around the yard is more welcoming now that the dress code has been relaxed and you aren’t forced to wear a polo shirt — which, what is this?! SEC football? C’mon! Outside of the view of the Arch in center, nothing about the newest Bush really stands out. It’s a fine place to watch a game, but everything else is too symmetrical and unimaginative.
2019 Attendance: 26,333 (18th, Globe Life Park)
The $1.2 billion Globe Life Field (not to be confused with Globe Life Park) made its debut last month with zero fans in the stands, so it's hard to know where to rank baseball’s newest house of worship. What we do know is that, from the outside, the building looks like the Brave Little Toaster slipped and fell on its side in Arlington’s latest over-priced entertainment district. On the inside, the Rangers are touting an unrivaled, intimate baseball experience with club and suite seating starting at the field level and reaching foul pole to foul pole and MLB’s only completely walkable upper and lower level concourses. The new park also features MLB’s only single-panel retractable roof to protect fans and players from the merciless Texas summer heat. That’s all well and good, but from the looks of things, it doesn’t appear the park offers anything to make it stand out on the field. Everything is symmetrical. Everything is dark green or brick. There are no oddities or eccentricities, just a 111-by-40-foot video board hanging above right field.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Opened: 1966 (major renovation completed in 1998)
2019 Attendance: 37,321 (5th)
Despite having one of the oldest yards in the league and the Angels only making one postseason appearance in the last 10 seasons, Angels fans continue to pack their home ballpark. Sure, having this generation's greatest player helps, but so does the amazing year-round Southern California weather. The rock waterfall in left-center still holds up as a fun ballpark quirk. But the 18-foot wall in right field and the seating behind the bullpens in left take away some closeness from the action.
2019 Attendance: 35,276 (9th)
Minute Maid Park is another retractable roof stadium built at the dawn of the century, but unlike its other Gen Z counterparts, “The Juice Box” has some character. The very short porch/scoreboard in left field is countered nicely by an expansive left-center to centerfield area that opens up the field of play. The open-air left-field is highlighted by train tracks and the home run locomotive carrying a supply of oranges that compliments the huge video board above the double-decker right-field seating. In recent years, the park has provided quite the home-field advantage for the Astros. When the sound is just right, you can just barely hear the trash cans banging over the roar of the Houston crowd.
2019 Attendance: 22,122 (20th)
The newly dubbed T-Mobile Park is one of the biggest yards in baseball. The retractable roof doesn’t fully enclose the stadium, as just beyond left field is left open to the elements, keeping the unique Seattle weather part of the experience at all times. The view over the left-field wall of the Emerald City skyline is one of the best in baseball. The lower bowl offers solid sightlines but the action is too far away. While still young, the Mariners' home park is due for some minor upgrades to keep up with the times.
2019 Attendance: 27,898 (16th)
The glass and steel facade of the ballpark is really neat and fits in well with the rest of the classic D.C. architecture — especially at night. The Navy Yard location has been a real boon for the area, but the park itself lacks character, especially for such a new stadium. The fan experience and the sightlines could be the best in the league, but there is nothing that makes the field really stand out. There’s nothing quirky or distinguishable about the home of the reigning champs. It’s fine.
2019 Attendance: 18,767 (25th)
Comerica Park is oft-forgotten, yet underrated. The ballpark is well balanced with only two main decks behind home plate and down the baselines, meeting a hefty portion of seats in both corners of the outfield. The skyline of downtown Detroit offers a nice backdrop, as the surrounding area of the ballpark has experienced some much-needed revitalization. The only downfall to Comerica is the bitter Canadian winds coming in from the north during the early spring and fall months. Bundle up!
2019 Attendance: 33,671 (10th)
All in all, the Bank isn’t a fine place to catch a game. While the seats behind the plate and along the base paths are pretty far from the action, the outfield seating is closer to the field than most other parks. The crimson brick and the two-tiered bullpen in centerfield give the outfield backdrop a mix of modern and classic character, especially if you can see the Philly skyline peaking up in the background. The team spent a ton of cash to update the stadium in the last couple of years to feel more family-centric and socially savvy, making it one of the better places in the NL to watch some ball.
Kansas City Royals
2019 Attendance: 18,495 (26th)
The home of the 2015 World Series champs has aged like a fine bottle of vino. Although it was built in the 1970s, the park is nothing like the other cookie-cutter stadiums of its era and offers a more intimate feel than many modern parks. The outfield seating is somewhat limited, especially for an older yard, but that gripe is the only minor. If you ever make it to a game in Kansas City, make sure to hit the pregame tailgate in the parking lot. All the KC barbeque you can handle.
New York Yankees
2019 Attendance: 41,827 (3rd)
How do you follow up the classic Yankee Stadium? By building it the exact same way — but at a cost of $1 billion. The new Yankee Stadium is gorgeous and a wonderful place to catch a game. The Yankees heard the gripes of their middle-class fans and eased up on the pretentiousness by offering more social gathering spaces in the outfield, drink rails, and bar options. Still, if you want to come to the Big Apple to see the Bronx Bombers, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.
2019 Attendance: 22,329 (19th)
The area surrounding Great American Ball Park has become a haven for baseball fans. The mix of restaurants, bars, and shops has given the downtown riverfront a Ballpark Village vibe. The park itself offers an intimate feel that gives fans solid visuals at affordable prices. The outfield smokestacks in deep right-center are a tribute to the Ohio River’s famed steamboats, while the second deck bleachers in left field maintain the classic feel for MLB’s founding franchise. We’re just not sure why the expansive outfield view looks across the Ohio into Covington, Ky., instead of the revitalized downtown Cincy skyline.
2019 Attendance: 32,776 (12th, then known as SunTrust Park)
The second-youngest ballpark in the show has already been renamed after only being open for two full seasons. Newly named Truist Park (formerly SunTrust Park) is located northwest of the metro Atlanta area, just south of Marietta, in a new entertainment district called The Battery. The home of the Braves is loaded with fresh amenities and luxury, peaking with The Chop House in right field. The new ballpark is much more intimate than its predecessor and offers fans brilliant sightlines from anywhere in the park. But for as great as the new yard in Cobb County is, the fact that there is no direct route for public transportation to and from Atlanta is shameful.
2019 Attendance: 36,953 (6th)
It might make sense for a baseball stadium located in Denver to have a retractable roof, but thankfully Coors Field is open to the Colorado skies year-round. Thanks to the mile-high altitude, the ball really flies out of the yard, making the on-field action must watch. But the stadium itself is just as easy on the eyes. A recently installed rooftop party deck high above right field gives fans the chance to mingle and sip on local craft brews while taking in the ball game as the majestic Rockies show off in the distance. Coors is easily one of the more underrated yards in the country.
2019 Attendance: 28,322 (15th)
It was a bold move to build an open-air baseball cathedral in the heart of The State of Hockey, but the Twins did it — and they did a pretty darn good job too. The team found ways to make fans comfortable during the cold spring and fall months by adding climate-controlled restrooms, restaurants, concessions, and lounge areas. The exposed Kasota limestone in left field is a nice hat-tip to the geology of the region. And the overhanging outfield seats are an ode to a bygone era of baseball stadiums like Tiger Stadium and Ebbets Field. The illuminated Minnie and Paul logo looming over center field is one of the coolest traits for any yard in MLB. In 2021, Target Field is slated to host its first NHL Winter Classic.
2019 Attendance: 16,347 (28th)
It’s a shame that the on-field product has been so poor in recent years because since it’s opening in ’92, Camden Yards has set the standard for a modern ballyard. This place is an absolute gem in the heart of Baltimore. The centerfield view offers a glimpse of the Baltimore skyline, while right field is blockaded by the old B&O Warehouse that gives the venue a tinge of nostalgia.
San Diego Padres
2019 Attendance: 29,585 (14th)
Petco is the most underrated and one of the best parks in all the land. The ballpark, located in the revitalized Gaslamp Quarter, melts perfectly into downtown San Diego just beyond centerfield. The Western Metal Supply Co. building serving as the left-field foul pole is one of the best quirks in baseball. The stadium is said to represent the best of San Diego: “the sea, the sky, natural beauty, cultural diversity, and unique spirit of the region.” Yeah, they nailed it.
Los Angeles Dodgers
2019 Attendance: 49,065 (1st)
Trailing only Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in terms of longevity, Dodger Stadium is as timeless as a Vin Scully radio broadcast. While the old girl is starting to show some age, the tequila sunsets dipping below the mountains of Chavez Ravine just beyond the outfield walls are a California-sized slice of baseball heaven. If it weren’t so hard to get in and out of the parking lot, this national treasure might make the top of the list. That being said, I’ll have a Dodger Dog with Larry King any day of the week.
Boston Red Sox
2019 Attendance: 36,106 (7th)
Is Fenway the perfect park? No. Far from it. The place is cramped, views can be obstructed, the sightlines are off, parking stinks, and Boston fans can be... well, Bostony. It’s part of the charm. Although flawed, Fenway is still the crown jewel of New England that has withstood the test of time and remains a true slice of Americana, dripping with baseball history. The team has done its best to update the park over the last decade-plus: adding seats atop the Big Green Monster, reconfiguring seats in right field, and adding modern social gathering spaces where they can. Sure, Fenway isn’t perfect, but that’s kind of what makes the place what it is. She is still one of the most special places in all the land.
San Francisco Giants
2019 Attendance: 33,429 (11th)
There is so much to adore about this place, it’s hard to name it all. The obvious is McCovey Cove lingering beyond the brick outfield wall in right field. But the view of San Francisco and the Bay from the upper deck is majestic as well. Oracle is one of the most accessible and fan-friendly stadiums for any American sport. And in recent years, Giants fans have turned this place into one of the toughest venues for opposing teams to play in — especially when the unpredictable climate of the Bay area is less than ideal.
2019 Attendance: 38,208 (4th)
Ah, the Friendly Confines — the pinnacle of professional baseball in America. The ballpark was in dire shape when the Cubs' new ownership group took over a decade ago, and to their credit, the Ricketts family promised to modernize and preserve Wrigley Field and the surrounding area — which they did to the tune of approximately $500 million. The Confines are now nearly a perfect mix of modernism and nostalgia, with LED scoreboards in left-center and right-field, better seating and sightlines, and expanded concourses intertwined with the outfield ivy and hand-operated scoreboard in center field. But modernity comes with a cost. The updated Wrigleyville area has become gentrified and pricey, which takes away some of the old ballpark’s charm in favor of the spoils of capitalism. But underneath the influx of all the new bells and whistles, Wrigley is still Wrigley.
2019 Attendance: 18,412 (27th)
This is how you build a modern yard. The Steel City skyline sits across the Allegheny, connected by the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which peaks into the outfield like overlooking steel mountains. It’s the best view in all of baseball. With only two decks, PNC Park is more intimate than most other stadiums, while the field itself has enough character to be different without being gimmicky. The Pirates' commitment to updating the park annually put this park on the cutting edge while also giving fans top-notch amenities year after year. Bravo, Pittsburgh.