Part five of my series will break into the top 10.
#10 – Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA; 5 games attended) – While some will argue that the location of The Cit is uninspired, it does have a distant view of the skyline – something that The Vet didn’t have. The atmosphere here is one of the best around as Philly fans pack the place on a nightly basis and outside of New York these may be the most passionate. The ballpark is big, but somehow still feels intimate. Ashburn Alley is one of the best outfield concourses in baseball as it features great concessions and views of the field. In addition, this was the first ballpark with a split upper deck which allows for standing room.
#9 – Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City, MO; 2 games attended) -For a park built in the 1970′s, it was way ahead of its time. It is intimate, has concourses which are open to the field, and the outfield fountains are one of the best ballpark features ever. While recent renovations have somewhat taken away from the serene feel of the ballpark (especially in the outfield), Kauffman Stadium is still a gem.
#8 – Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore, MD; 2 games attended) – The original “retro” park, OPACY was clearly the inspiration for many ballparks which came after it. The warehouse in the outfield is obviously the distinguishing characteristic – the way they incorporated that and Eutaw street into the design of the ballpark is just wonderful. However, Camden Yards does have it’s flaws – most notably the seats are a bit cramped and the concourses are not in view of the field. I know many ballpark lovers think the original is still the best, but I’m not one of them.
#7 – Minute Maid Park (Houston, TX; 1 game attended) – This is how you build a retractable roof ballpark – too bad that the folks in Milwaukee didn’t take a lesson. With the summer heat of Texas, this is definitely a place that needed a roof, so was very pleased that they did it right. It is cozy, quirky, and just a fun place to see a game. I particularly love they way the incorporated the old train station into the ballpark and continued the train theme inside. Some have complained that the quirkiness feels too contrived, but to me it feels right. My only complaint here is that they put the press box on the concourse level. Otherwise, Minute Maid Park is just about perfect.
#6 – Coors Field (Denver, CO; 2 games attended) – A downtown setting with a great view of the Rocky Mountains, Coors Field is pretty cool both inside and out. It is in no way intimate like many of the other newer parks, but for some reason that doesn’t matter here. Maybe because everything else about the park just feels right. I love the full wraparound concourse featuring perhaps the best array of concessions you will find anywhere. Simply put, Coors Field is a majestic ballpark.
Stay tunes for the 6th and final part of my series where I’ll rank the top five ballparks. Thanks again for reading.