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If there is one thing we universally know as Major League Baseball fans, it's that every MLB stadium is different than the other. They're different in terms of sight lines, features dimensions and quality. Bigger doesn't always mean better and the behavior of the fan base can greatly contribute to a ballpark's atmosphere. Here are the ten largest stadiums in Major League Baseball and all ten are worth checking out this summer.
10. St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium. 46,861.
Now that Ballpark Village has been completed adjacent to Busch Stadium, the ballpark has become the ultimate Major League Baseball experience. Ballpark Village is a neighborhood of bars and restaurants outside of the stadium; somewhat similar to Yawkey Way outside of Fenway Park. Busch Stadium was showcased when it hosted the 2009 MLB All-Star game, also known as the Midsummer Classic. The St. Louis Cardinals are as historic of an organization as it gets and are very generous with their standing room only tickets, granting almost 3,000 tickets per game. The stadium offers a gorgeous panoramic sight line of downtown St. Louis including the iconic Arch in the distance. The Cardinals decided to venture away from the old cookie-cutter style that so many MLB stadiums had adopted during the 1970's and 1980's. Among the many amenities include the Champions Club that features a full bar and buffet creating a unique fan experience.
9. Seattle Mariners - SafeCo Field. 47,116.
Located in the SODO section of Seattle, Washington, SafeCo Field is one of the more unique and scenic MLB stadiums out there. SODO is an acronym for south of downtown and is also home to CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. The main aspect that distinguishes this venue from other MLB stadiums is definitely the retractable roof in which it was one of the first to adopt. The roof is a necessity in Seattle due to the high frequency of rain from the breezy Pacific Ocean. There are five levels of seating at Safeco Field including two bleacher sections in center field. The upper levels of Safeco offer a nice view of the Seattle skyline. Due to it's location in the Pacific time zone, Safeco Field may be unfamiliar territory to most Major League Baseball fans but make no mistake about it; it's a gem.
8. Baltimore Orioles - Camden Yards. 48,876.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is considered one of the first retro ballparks introduced to Major League Baseball when it was erected in 1992. Camden has plenty of attributes that make it a wonderful place to watch a professional baseball game. Not only are you close to Baltimore's Inner Harbor which features tons of fabulous dining but the downtown skyline is in sight as is the rustic B&O Warehouse in right field. Just beyond the outfield gates is Eutaw Street, a pregame block party. While in town, schedule a pre or post game visit to Dempsey's Restaurant, a staple hangout for Orioles and Baltimore Ravens fans. Also, while you're in town, be sure to check out the Babe Ruth Museum just down the street. Baltimore Orioles tickets are also among the most affordable in Major League Baseball. Add all of this to a loyal and dedicated fan base and you have one of the best atmospheres in Major League Baseball. Don't forget, Baltimore is only 45 minutes from Washington, DC, which makes the possibility of seeing Camden Yards and Nationals Park on the same trip very easy.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks - Chase Field. 49,033.
Like Kaufmann Stadium’s fountains in Kansas City, when you hear Chase Field's name mentioned, the first symbol that comes to a fan's mind is usually "the swimming pool". After years of public outcries and government headaches, Chase Field was finally completed in 1998. The city had fallen on hard financial times and the venue ended up costing the city many millions more than estimated. In 2011, the franchise decided not to implement a humidor system for the baseballs which would cut down on the number of home runs hit in the ballpark. Chase Field's retractable roof protects Diamondback fans from the scorching and deadly summers in Phoenix, Arizona. The design, layout and feel of Chase Field is very similar to Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.
6. Texas Rangers - Globe Life Park 49,110.
Globe Life Park is maybe one of the most unique MLB stadiums with it's combination of features that can be found in other classic and historic ballparks. The most recognizable feature would be the home run porch in right field that pays tribute to the old Tiger Stadium in Detroit. In center field, you will find private suites that local corporations often occupy. The ballpark was strategically constructed in Arlington, Texas between both Dallas and Fort Worth to allow easy access from all parts of the metro area. Easy access as the owners believed would allow for better attendance. The ballpark is also down the street from AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
5. Atlanta Braves - Turner Field. 50,096.
The Atlanta Braves had previously played in the Fulton County Stadium until Atlanta was chosen as the site for the 1996 Summer Olympics. The city of Atlanta had not originally intended for the Braves to play in a new ballpark but weren't willing to let the venue go unused. Following a year of renovations, the Braves moved into Turner Field in 1997. Thanks to the stadiums original construction, the outfield dimensions are larger than most MLB stadiums. 2016 will mark the final season for the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The team will begin playing at Suntrust Park in suburban Atlanta in 2017.
4. Colorado Rockies - Coors Field. 50,445.
When the league expanded with the addition of the Colorado Rockies during the 1990's, the ball club's inaugural season was played at the old Mile High Stadium. Coors Field is one of the more home run friendly ballparks out there due to the thin Colorado air. However, the Rockies now use a humidor for the baseballs which makes the balls drier and harder to hit at a further distance. All the same, the air is still very thin in Denver. As a result, the field was constructed with deep dimensions to cut down on the number of home runs. The center field area also resembles Colorado's Rocky Mountain landscape.
3. Toronto Blue Jays - Rogers Centre. 50,515.
The Rogers Centre was the first MLB stadium to have a hotel inside the ballpark (located in upper right field). A number of the rooms actually overlook the field. Adding to the ballpark's beauty is the CN Tower that can be seen when the stadium's roof is open. Also known as the Skydome, the venue is also home to the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. And in fact, inclement weather at a CFL game is when the city got the idea to erect a domed playing field. Rogers Centre is the only Major League ballpark in Canada.
2. New York Yankees - New Yankee Stadium. 52,325.
Yankee Stadium is perhaps the most famous ballpark in Major League Baseball and is on pace to achieve all of the lore of the old Yankee Stadium. Many Yankees fans, however, have been priced out of the ticket market to attend games at the new stadium. The average ticket price stands at $34. The closest seats to the field are now called Legend Seats and are essentially private suites and club sections. A beer is $14 while a hot dog is $7. Yes, this is New York City but the prices have really hurt the chances of many fan's ability to attend games in person. We all recall the events following Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit and the fan that caught the ball; poor guy. Still one of my favorite places to see a game in person.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodger Stadium. 56,000.
And lastly, we have the King Kong of all 30 Major League Baseball Stadiums; Dodger Stadium. With 56,000 seats, Dodger Stadium is actually closre in stature to an NFL stadium. The mixture of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Elysian Hills in the nearby area add to the stadium's beauty. Dodger Stadium was the first ballpark to host more than 3 million fans in a season. The only real headache with attending a Los Angeles Dodgers game is battling the traffic to get there and then parking. The parking lots open at the exact same time as the stadium gates which some say is in an effort to discourage tailgating, which is now illegal at Dodger Stadium. The best fanfare for Dodgers games take place when the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants are in town.
In 2012, 96% of the ballpark's seats were priced at less than $20 per ticket. Chavez Ravine, where Dodger Stadium is located, has been given a terrible reputation these last few years following violent acts by thug Los Angeles Dodgers fans. In actuality, fights occur at every professional venue, you just may or may not hear about it. I have spoken with a number of baseball fans who have been to Dodger Stadium and experienced no problems.
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- MLB Ballparks - Construction Cost Rankings
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- Life in the Minor Leagues: The Grind.
- Minor League Baseball's Top Ten Best Ballparks