2021 MLB Ballparks Rankings: Best Places to Catch a Game

I’ll come right out and say it, I have yet to be inside all the parks, fields, yards, coliseums, centers, or stadiums, where Major League Baseball is played. My list isn’t complete. Right now, it’s just a work in progress. I have been lucky enough to have been in more than half, with exactly 16, and I’d love to share with you my 2021 MLB ballparks rankings.

What’s your favorite ballpark? Have I been to it? If so, where does it rank on my list? Tell me what makes your park truly special. Until the COVID-19 pandemic is in our rearview, and we can once again smell the freshly cut grass, listen for the snap of a fastball in the catcher’s mitt, and bite into an overpriced hot dog, our memory is our best friend.

2021 MLB Ballparks Rankings: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

So Ugly, It’s Bad…

16. Rogers Centre – Toronto, Ontario

Team: Toronto Blue Jays

Opened: June 3, 1989

Cost: $570,000,000

Capacity: 49,282

To like, or not to like?

I absolutely love the city of Toronto! I’m a millennial that grew up knowing rapper Drake as Aubrey Graham, when he was on the beloved Canadian television teen drama, Degrassi. I’m very attached to Toronto, and I hate to admit that I disliked Rogers Centre. Toronto was my first inside baseball experience, and it made me honestly feel claustrophobic, and I’m in no way a claustrophobic person, and the sterile, concrete walls didn’t help. There’s just no pizazz to this particular ballpark. Nothing truly entices me to want to go back to Rogers Centre.

I also found the food to be overpriced, as expected, but the prices at Rogers Centre felt more like Fenway Park, which is notoriously high. There are many amazing places to eat right outside Rogers Centre. I suggest, Steam Whistle, they have a Biergärten, great food, and the pilsener the only brewery is right next door. People say judge a brewery by its pilsner, and that’s all Steam Whistle does, and they do it to perfection.

The area in which Rogers Centre resides is one of the best parts of the city, the view of CN Tower from inside the Centre is breathtaking. I had third baseline seats, and once the roof was open, the majestic nature of the tower was on full display.

A Pretty Good Time…

15. Progressive Field – Cleveland, Ohio

Team: Cleveland Indians (New Name TBD)

Opened: April 2, 1994

Cost: $175,000,000

Capacity: 35,014

To like, or not to like?

Honestly, as I go on with this list, it’s going to be less hate and more love. Most of these rankings are based on my own personal enjoyment. Your own enjoyment might vary, and that’s amazing, as I truly hope everyone gets something out of every ballpark they visit.

Now, as for where the Cleveland Baseball Team plays their games, I attended Progressive Field when it was Jacobs, in 2007, a pretty great season for Cleveland, up until October 21, 2007. CC Sabathia was on the mound the night I went, and he was dominating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and back in 2007, those Devil Rays were awful.

The seats I had were amazing. They were Club Seats, all you can eat, first baseline. The food was rather delectable, everything from high-end cuts of meat to normal ballpark fare. I’m a Red Sox fan, and when attending other ballparks, Fenway Park is my usual barometer, and these seats seemed like quite the steal. I assume the seats are more expensive 14 years later, but at the time they clocked in at less than $100.

14. Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum – Oakland, California

Team: Oakland Athletics

Opened: September 18, 1966

Cost: $25,500,000

Capacity: 46,847

To like, or not to like?

Now, the good old Coliseum, in my opinion, gets truly a bad rap. I had a wonderful experience when I went in 2017. The evening started with my mother and I enjoying truly a great meal at the Shibe Park Tavern. Shibe is really cool spot, as it plays homage to Shibe Park where the Philadelphia Athletics called home. There’s also an amazing view from behind home plate from the restaurant tables.

What really hurts the Coliseum is that it was built mainly for the Oakland Raiders, with the Athletics clearly being an afterthought. To experience baseball the way it should be, a football stadium is not ideal for viewing. With the Raiders gone, there is no excuse for the Athletics not to have their own ballpark.

13. Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles, California

Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Opened: April 10, 1962

Cost: $23,000,000

Capacity: 56,000

To like, or not to like?

I see Dodger Stadium always up high on nearly every ballpark list. And, truthfully, I’ve never been that big of a fan of the stadium at 1000 Vin Scully Avenue. Maybe it’s because I live in Los Angeles full time. To me, the stadium just doesn’t give me the same enjoyment that other parks have.

Is the view idyllic? Undoubtedly. The San Gabriel Mountains are the perfect Instagram shot. The weather is nearly amazing. A rainout? What’s that? SoCal residents aren’t that familiar.

I will say Dodger Stadium has some awesome, Coca-Cola All You Can Eat Seats, something not every ballpark offers to fans. They’re in the right-field pavilion, and it’s pretty much eating until your body can no longer. Food-wise it’s nothing special, but if you’re looking for food and value, this is the seat for you.

As I boil it down, Dodger Stadium has just never left a lasting impression on me as a fan. I do know people love the stadium, I just know I’m not one of them. I’d rather take the 30-mile drive south to Gene Autry Way.

12. Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, California

Team: Los Angeles Angels

Opened: April 19, 1966

Cost: $24,000,000

Capacity: 45,517

To like, or not to like?

Here we are, 30 miles south of Chavez Ravine, down where Mickey Mouse will always be larger than even Mike Trout. This is Anaheim, so don’t let the name of the team fool you, this isn’t Los Angeles, it’s not even Los Angeles County. Much like Disneyland’s South East counterpart, if you’re near the house of mouse, you’re in Orange County. From 1965 to 1966 they were the California Angles, and to tell you the truth I’ve always been sweet on the name. It could stem from my childhood crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the countless rewatch of “Angels in the Outfield,” or it could just be that the idea of naming a team.

Each time I’ve been to Angel Stadium the weather has been wonderful. The fans are always engaged, the stadium filled, and the workers have always been a delight. I haven’t had a single bad experience. The stadium never feels too big, or too small. The waterfall “A” behind Trout in center field adds a nice touch.

I’ve been to Angel Stadium many more times than Dodger Stadium, and mileage-wise, I live closer to the Dodgers. I choose to drive the extra distance for the experiences I’ve had in Anaheim. And, I’m also an American League gal, and I take every opportunity I can to watch a man that could arguably be the greatest player to ever play Major League Baseball once his career ends.

11. Citizens Bank Park – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Team: Philadephia Phillies

Opened: April 3, 2004

Cost: $458,000,000

Capacity: 42,792

To like, or not to like?

I find Citizens Bank Park a joy of a place to catch a game. I was at the park when Ryan Howard hit his 100th home run, in 2007, the faster at that point to ever reach 100. The crowd was insane, and the vibe just glorious. Philly is the type of environment every baseball fan wants a chance to experience.

I’m also a stuffed animal girl, still to this day, in my early 30s, love them, can’t get enough. No shame. And, when I went to Citizens Bank in 2007, at the time, they had a Build-A-Bear Workshop right in the park. And, to this day, I still have my make my own Phanatic.

The food has always also been great every time I’ve visited Citizens Bank, and it’s way more than just famed cheesesteaks. You can however grab a cheesesteak in the park, one even owned by the Roots’ own, Questlove. I’ll tell you though, just hop in a cab, and take yourself down to 9th and Passyunk, get yourself a cheesesteak from Geno’s and Pat’s and you can take part in a decades-long battle over which cheesesteak is the best of the best in Philly.

10. Fenway Park – Boston, Massachusetts

Team: Boston Red Sox

Opened: April 20, 1912

Cost: $650,000

Capacity: 37,775

To like, or not to like?

Fenway Park. America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. Whether, or not you believe it to be the most beloved, or not, it is unequivocally the oldest and most historic, clocking in at 108-years-old. Fenway is so old that left-handed batters can say they stood exactly where Ted Williams stepped into the box. It’s so old that the 9th and 114th World Series was played in the same park. Crazy, right?

Fenway is also my home ballpark. I lived a single block from it in 2018, when I attended Boston University for graduate school. There’s a lot to love about Fenway, and there’s also a lot left to be desired.

Fenway is small, not just seating capacity wise, but it’s small concerning actual seating. I’m 5’2″, and even at times, I feel uncomfortable. There are also obstructed views, due to the 1912 infrastructure of the park. The bathrooms are honestly disgusting, and the park staff is not the friendliest.

The concessions are grossly overpriced, that I recommend eating literally anywhere else. You’re not missing anything by skipping the steamed Fenway Frank. I will give a warning to anyone traveling with individuals under the age of 21, as most local Fenway Park restaurants are 21+ on game day, starting around 6pm, so if you plan to eat before the game, make sure you get in there early if you’ve got kiddos.

Fenway Park is a must-visit for any baseball fan. The park is a working museum, it has a random 37-foot-2-inch-high wall in left field, it has crazy dimensions, it’s not modern, it’s very green, and yet, it’s wonderful.

I Think I’m In Love…

9. Citi Field – Flushing, Queens, New York

Team: New York Mets

Opened: April 13, 2009

Cost: $900,000,000

Capacity: 41,922

To like, or not to like?

Citi Field is a great place to catch a game, and given the incredible improvement it is over Shea, fans of the Metropolitans must absolutely love calling this ballpark home. One of the most intriguing aspects of Citi Field is the homage to Ebbets Field with the facade. Citi Field looks like an old, grand ballpark from the outside, but once inside, and you step through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, this place is as modern as you can get.

The park is easily accessible via the seven trains with Citi being the last stop in Queens, so you don’t have to deal with horrible NYC traffic, which is always a nice bonus. The stadium itself is beautiful, with lots of oriented details, particular to the history of baseball in New York. The seats are a forest green color, showing love for the historic Polo Grounds. A feature I love about the field is that anytime a Met hits a home run, a giant red apple pops out in centerfield, to celebrate the blast. It’s little adding like the apple that brings a sense of fun back into the sport.

8. Marlins Park – Miami, Florida

Team: Miami Marlins

Opened: April 4, 2012

Cost: $634,000,000

Capacity: 36,742

To like, or not to like?

I visited Marlins Park in 2019, and it happened to also be my first full game experience with a roof. In Toronto, the roof was only closed during batting practice and was opened before game time. In Miami, it was a scorching hot, muggy night, and the roof was closed, and we enjoyed a climate-controlled wonderful evening.

Inside Marlins Park, I never felt consumed by the roof, the ceiling felt higher than in Toronto and the wall of windows helped open the space. I loved that, as the night progressed, and a thunderstorm raged on, the game went on as planned, and not a single person felt a raindrop. I’m also the kind of person that likes the idea of every stadium having a retractable roof, to avoid any rain disturbances.

The true shame about Marlins Park is that the team, unfortunately, doesn’t have a strong fanbase. The individuals that work at the park could not be more kind, and forthcoming with any information you might have about the team.

When I went, we paid a bit more, to have some really nice seats. We sat down the third baseline, in one of the Dugout Club Seats, with private restrooms and in-game access to the Dugout Club lounge, where they had dedicated concessions. This experience was bar none. We even had a nice, older lady that worked for the team, who was seated in our to section and she acted as our own personal ballpark liaison. And, I’ll add, these seats cost less than most you’ll find at Fenway.

7. Truist Park – Cumberland, Georgia

Team: Atlanta Braves

Opened: April 14, 2017

Cost: $622,000,000

Capacity: 41,084

To like, or not to like?

Truist Park is one of the newer ballparks in MLB, and it sure is quite a nice addition to the roster. A major selling point to the Truist experience comes in the form of, The Battery Atlanta. The Battery is a place to shop, eat, live and catch a game. There are two hotels adjacent to the park, so if you’re visiting just for a game, or two, and do not want to deal with traffic, the Battery Atlanta is the place to stay.

The park is at the end of the Battery and stands out amongst the hustle and bustle. It’s modern, obviously, with big screens in the outfield, large concourses, lined with televisions, the park never feels too big, which I appreciate, and nearly every seat has a wonderful view, you feel like you’re at a classic ballpark, with all the technology and amenities that one would find in a newer ballpark.

6. Target Field – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team: Minnesota Twins

Opened: April 12, 2010

Cost: $555,000,000

Capacity: 38,544

To like, or not to like?

I went to Target Field in 2012, two years after its initial opening, and I loved everything about the field. Going to Minneapolis was, believe it or not, a dream of mine. Why you ask? Well, I love malls, and Minneapolis is home to, well, The Mall of America. Going to the Mall of America was something I had wanted to do, ever since I was a little girl, and it did not disappoint. And, since I come from a rabid baseball family, we had to of course make a detour to Target Field.

I’m sure Target Field was a welcome sight for fans of the Twins because I can only imagine what a game was like in the Metrodome. Now, fans of Minnesota baseball experience the home town team outside, and in some months, cold and all. The night we went, it was a beautifully May evening, and the ballpark was buzzing with fans.

Target Field has a great view of the city, it’s in the Warehouse district, where it’s close to clubs, bars, restaurants, for lots of opportunities before or after the game. The Blue and Green Metro lines drop you right off at the park, that’s how we got there, and it was simply a breeze.

A very cool aspect of the field is the Tradition Wall, which lists every player to have played for the Twins. So, if you need some quick Twins player history, this wall is a really cool feature.

5. Oracle Park – San Francisco, California

Team: San Francisco Giants

Opened: April 11, 2000

Cost: $357,000,000

Capacity: 41,265

To like, or not to like?

I’m sure Dodgers fans don’t want to hear it, but man, oh man, is Oracle Park one of the best places to catch a ballgame. I love, love, love ballparks on the water, there’s something so satisfying about a nice breeze off the water on a hot summer day.

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been to the park in San Francisco, back when I went it was Pacific Bell Park, and a guy named Barry Bonds was still playing the outfield. But, I remember having dazzling seats with an immaculate view of the field and a spectacular view of McCovey Cove.

The ballpark felt inviting from the moment we walked in, and the sights, sounds, and environment made the cool Northern California air seem warm.

4. T-Mobile Park – Seattle, Washington

Team: Seattle Mariners

Opened: July 15, 1999

Cost: $517,000,000

Capacity: 47,929

To like, or not to like?

Seattle, oh, Seattle. Seattle is easily one of my most favorite cities. The people, the culture, the weather, the Space Needle, Puget Sound, the rich history of grunge music, to Seattle Underground. The city feels like an enigma.

Enough about how much I love the city, let’s talk a little more about T-Mobile Park. I went to a Mariners game in 2006, when it was Safeco Field, and it was a beautiful day, so the roof was wide open, and the Seattle sunshine warmed our skin. It’s hard to believe Seattle gets the bad rap it does about the weather, as the week I was there, the weather could not be more beautiful.

The only issue I had with my experience, and it wasn’t an issue with the park, as the park is wonderfully modern, with some nods to ballparks of the past. The issue I had, was the particular section we sat in, some fellow fans did not like our excessive cheering for the Mariners. I don’t know what they expected for a day at the ballpark, as while we revere these ballparks as cathedrals of the game, they’re anything but church quiet venues.

Drum Roll, Please…

3. Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore, Maryland

Team: Baltimore Orioles

Opened: April 6, 1992

Cost: $110,000,000

Capacity: 45,971

To like, or not to like?

We’ve made it! We’re finally at my top three ballparks. Coming in at number three is Camden Yards. And, my oh my, what a beautiful ballpark they have in Baltimore. First off, I don’t know if there is anything cooler than the warehouse beyond the fence in right field. The warehouse truly transforms the whole scenery beyond the outfield fences for the better. It’s truly a breathtaking sight to behold.

I love the small feel of Camden Yards as well, as there isn’t really a bad seat in the house, and it’s just a great spot to watch a baseball game.

Beyond the fence in right, and just before the warehouse is Eutaw Street. Whenever a home run is hit on Eutaw Street, a baseball-sized plaque is put down in the exact spot with the player’s name, team, date, and how far the ball went. There has only ever been on record one on the fly hit of the warehouse, and that came off the bat of Ken Griffey Jr., in the 1993 All-Star Home Run Derby.

If you’re looking for a very unique, beautiful ballpark to visit, look no further than Camden Yards.

2. Petco Park – San Diego, California

Team: San Diego Padres

Opened: April 8, 2004

Cost: $450,000,000

Capacity: 40,209

To like, or not to like?

What is there to say about San Diego that hasn’t already been said? San Diego is one of the nicest cities in the United States, with arguably the best weather. Maybe only anywhere in Hawaii will you find better, because quite frankly there just isn’t better weather in the contiguous United States than in San Diego.

One of the best aspects of Petco Park is small, but clearly, a lot of thought went into the decision. The seats in the park are all slightly shifted for better visuals, so the fans do not need to fully move their body to have the best view of the field. A small, but rewarding detail for the fanbase.

One of the most unique parts of Petco is the can’t miss Western Metal Supply Building in left field. The building was a preexisting historical landmark on the site where Petco Park makes its home and was incorporated into the park, making for quite the cool spot to catch a game. The Park at the Park is a three-acre picnic area inside the park with mini baseball diamonds, and a place where a blanket can be set up, and a game can be enjoyed.

San Diego is the beach city of the USA, and of course, Petco Park wouldn’t be true for San Diego without a beach. You’ll find the beach in center field, complete with chairs for lounging while catching the game, and plenty of space for the kids to play.

Petco Park is truly baseball heaven, and should be tops on the list of true die hards.

1. PNC Park – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Opened: March 31, 2001

Cost: $216,000,000

Capacity: 38,747

To like, or not to like?

I have not had a more complete baseball experience in my life than when I visited PNC Park on a beautiful evening in 2007. PNC truly has everything I look for in a ballpark. It checks all the boxes.

Box Number One: A grand view! Quite frankly there is nothing grander than the view of the Pittsburgh skyline, the aptly named Roberto Clemente Bridge, and the Allegheny River. The seats that I had when I attended in 2007 looked directly upon this view, and until you see it for yourself, no adjective will do the view justice.

Box Number Two: A wonderful seating experience. The seats I had were above home plate, and while it wasn’t an all you could eat experience, the seats were in the PBC Club area, which included premium vending services, and wider, more comfortable seats. This was a truly one of a kind seating experience.

Box Number Three: The overall feel at the ballpark. The park is on the smaller side, under 40,000 people, and unfortunately, when I went, fans weren’t in abundance, so it felt more like my parents and I had the whole ballpark to ourselves, which was truly a unique experience.

Box Number Four: Convenience. When it comes to traveling, well, I’ve never been closer to a ballpark than in Pittsburgh. The Holiday Inn in Philadelphia is a short walk from the ballpark, and I thought that was great, but the Springhill Suites, where I stayed in Pittsburgh is less than 500 feet from the park. I haven’t experienced a more convenient hotel to ballpark commute in my travels to 16 of them. I could not highly recommend the Springhill Suites more.

So there you have it, my 2021 MLB Ballparks Rankings. I hope you enjoyed the read, and I hope it helps you in choosing your first post COVID ballpark.

Follow me on Twitter at @fraulein89 for more of my content! Don’t forget to join our OT Heroics MLB Facebook group, and feel free to join our new Instagram –  @overtimeheroics_MLB, and listen to our baseball podcast, Cheap Seat Chatter! We’ll see ya there!

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