I’m a sucker for various rankings. Here’s Maury Brown’s MLB ballpark rankings for Forbes.com. Supposedly last year he had Turner Field ranked higher than he has SunTrust Park. I’m not sure. Also not sure how the two new ballparks in New York rank so high. Must be the amenities.
Indeed we are in a second golden age of ballparks. Most teams have nice stadiums. Some rise to the top and a few could stand to be replaced, but most are pretty nice. Being at a baseball game at the worst stadium is better than most alternatives.
To anyone with an open mind who looks at the details, SunTrust Park is far superior to Turner Field for several reasons – including Brown’s own criteria. Turner was surrounded by a sea of parking lots and a slum. The stands offered a glimpse of downtown Atlanta, but not a breathtaking view. From the SunTrust stands you can see downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, the Perimeter and Cumberland areas, Stone Mountain, and Kennesaw Mountain. One of the best views in north Georgia. And the surrounding development certainly adds to the experience: several of the nicest restaurants in Atlanta. Not an Applebee’s in sight.
Brown lists his methodology for his ranking. If indeed he went by his listed criterial then good for him. I shall attempt to assign points based on his criteria to see which stadiums have the most. Seems to me that some of Brown’s criteria overlaps. One criteria he failed to mention: is it a nice ballpark?
Brown: “For my methodology, I looked at the overall aesthetics of the ballpark design, including (A) integration with additional structures, such as in Baltimore and San Diego; (B) its setting; (C) the visuals from within the seating bowl or surrounding views; (D) the amenities offered at the facility; (E) historic relevance; and (F) external development that adds to the experience.”
A “integration with additional structures” not many stadiums qualify.
B “setting” the area of town the ballpark is in – is it nice? How does the Bronx and Queens rank higher than rivers and trees?
C “the visuals from the seating bowl or surrounding views” Can you see more than just the ballpark?
D “amenities offered at the facility” Did Brown visit every park? Since most all stadiums make an effort to relieve the paying customer of as much cash as possible, I checked this box off for everyone.
E “historical relevance” disqualifies most parks, including new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.
F “external development that adds to the experience”
By Brown’s criterial here’s my rankings, with SunTrust ranked twelfth (up from Brown’s 18th).
5 = SD BALT BOS CHI MIN
4 = SF STL LAD PITT COL SEA ATL HOU DET PHIL ARIZ CLE CIN TOR
3 = TEX MIL WSH OAK
2 = NYY NYM MIA LAA TB
1 = KC CWS
1. AT&T Park SF 2000 A B C D = 4
2. Oriole Park 1992 A B C D F = 5
3. Busch Stadium StL 2006 B C D F = 4
4. Dodger Stadium 1962 B C D E = 4
5. PNC Park Pittsburgh 2001 A B C D = 4
6. Coors Field Denver 1995 B C D F = 4
7. Fenway Park Boston 1912 B C D E F = 5
8. Kauffman Stadium KC 1973 D = 1
9. Petco Park SD 2004 A B C D E = 5
10. Wrigley Field Chicago 1914 B C D E F = 5
11. Safeco Field Seattle 1999 B C D F = 4
12. Yankee Stadium NYC 2009 C D = 2
13. Citi Field NYC 2009 C D = 2
14. Globe Life Park Rangers 1994 B C D = 3
15. Comerica Park Tigers 2000 B C D F = 4
16. Target Field Twins 2010 A B C D F = 5
17. Miller Park Brewers 2001 B C D = 3
18. SunTrust Park Atlanta 2017 B C D F = 4
19. Citizens Bank Park Philly 2004 B C D F = 4
20. Progressive Field Indians 1994 B C D F = 4
21. Minute Maid Park Astros 2000 B C D F = 4
22. Rogers Centre Jays 1989 B C D F = 4
23. Great American Ball Park Reds B C D F = 4
24. Nationals Park 2008 B C D = 3
25. Angels Stadium 1966 D F = 2
26. Marlins Park 2012 C D = 2
27. Chase Field Phoenix 1998 B C D F = 4
28. Guaranteed Rate Field CWS 1991 D = 1
29. Oakland Alameda Stadium 1966 B C D = 3
30. Tropicana Field Rays 1990 B D = 2