Here it is – the last part in my series ranking the MLB parks from 1-30.
5 – Safeco Field (Seattle, WA; 4 games attended) – Safeco is just a fun place to take in a game. The location is downtown Seattle is great, the concessions are some of the best you’ll find at an MLB park, and the atmosphere is definitely baseball oriented. More so than any other park, Safeco really invites fans to roam around and take in the game from different vantage points as the concourses have plenty of counters and tables to hang out at. While Safeco does have a retractable roof, you would never know when the roof is opened. Other than the high prices, there is little not to like about Safeco Field.
4 – Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL; 5 games attended) – I realize that many people think Wrigley is a dump, but for a baseball purist like me, it doesn’t get much better than this. Wrigley still offers a very pure baseball experience with a very exuberant fan base. There are no video boards and the ads are very minimal Mostly what you see when you look out at the field is just green. Seats are all close to the action, though some are obstructed. Clearly some renovations could be done to Wrigley (and may be coming in the next few years), but it is still one of my favorites ballparks to see a game in.
3 – AT&T Park (San Francisco, CA; 2 games attended) – Simply put, AT&T Park has the most majestic setting of any ballpark. If you go here, sit in the upper deck and enjoy the beautiful view of the bay. But it’s not just the setting that makes this park so great. The exterior is immaculate, the interior is intimate and very festive and there are tons of good concessions. Yes, it is probably the most expensive ballpark to attend a game at, but it is well worth it.
2 – PNC Park (Pittsburgh, PA; 5 games attended) – In my book, this is the finest of the “new” era ballparks. It is intimate and has a setting that is second only to San Francisco. Sitting on the third base side and enjoying the view of the river and city skyline is like looking at a painting – sometimes it does not seem real. I love that the upper deck is so low and that they decided to put the press box at the top of the ballpark instead of on a middle level. It’s a shame that the Pirates have not had more success as PNC Park is probably the most unheralded ballpark there is. Maybe 2012 will the year which the whole country gets to see it.
1 – Fenway Park (Boston, MA; 28 games attended) – Yes, I grew up in Massachusetts and went to many games here as a kid, so I’m probably biased. Without the extensive renovations (including the Monster seats) over the past decade, I probably wouldn’t have Fenway ranked #1. But all the money the Red Sox have poured into Fenway have definitely enhanced the experience. The seats are tight and some sightlines are poor, but you just can’t beat the overall experience of seeing a game at Fenway. It truly is a baseball cathedral and I feel very lucky to have seen more games here than any other MLB park.
So there you have it – my top five MLB ballparks. Hope you have enjoyed reading my rankings.