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Ranking the National League Ballparks in 2015 (Expert Poll)

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers

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 National League parks for 2015.


Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The Voters:

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

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Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Jack Magruder, FoxSportsArizona.com

The Results:

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 National League.

 

Park

Team

Points (1st)

1.

AT&T Park

14 (7)

2.

PNC Park

32 (1)

3.

Dodger Stadium

48 (1)

4.

Wrigley Field

48

5.

Coors Field

60 (1)

6.

Petco Park

68

7.

Citizens Bank Park

75

8.

Busch Stadium

78

9.

Miller Park

85

10.

Marlins Park

103

11.

Citi Field

104

12.

Nationals Park

107

13.

Great American Ballpark

111

14.

Turner Field

133

15.

Chase Field

134

The Analysis:

Still Champions

Much like Fenway in the American League, the clear-cut best place to watch a game in the National League is AT&T Park where the defending World Series champion Giants play ball. A beautiful setting, competitive teams and normally comfortable summers make this West Coast shrine a must-see. San Francisco’s home park got seven of the 10 first-place votes.

Best in the West

The Giants were voted the best park in the NL but Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine also got a first-place vote and finished third. Coors Field in Denver got a first-place vote as well, finishing fifth overall. Not to be outdone, Petco Park in San Diego ranked sixth, giving the West Division four of the top six stadiums in the National League. Which brings us to…

Chase for last place

It wasn’t ranked as poorly as The Trop or O.co Coliseum in the American League, but Arizona’s Chase Field was voted the worst place to watch a game on the senior circuit. It finished just behind Atlanta’s Turner Field — which, of course, is getting replaced by a new stadium on the North side of town very soon. Interestingly enough, the worst two stadiums in the National League are two of the biggest in the majors. The Braves park is fourth with a capacity of 49,586 while the Diamondbacks' home field is seventh at 48,633.

Wrigley Field

It doesn’t boast the same charm as Fenway, which finished as the No. 1 place to see a game in the AL, but it still is well respected at No. 4 in the NL. This is likely due to the age and much-needed renovations that Wrigley is currently undergoing (Fenway has already gone through its facelift). All I know is, as a Mets fan, I went to Wrigley last summer for the first time as a 32-year-old and nearly cried when I first walked under the marquee.

East Division

While the West Division appears to be loaded with great places to watch baseball, the East Division seems to be lacking. The Mets, Marlins, Nationals and Braves all saw their home parks ranked in the bottom six. Only Philadelphia was even moderately respected, finishing seventh in the NL. So much for East Coast bias.