Foul! The Worst Ballparks in Major League Baseball
Going to a game isn't peanuts. In 2019, these stadiums give the least for what you pay.
Forbes has ranked all 30 MLB stadiums, taking into account design, amenities and the views. Here are the ballparks with the most strikes against them — the ones in the lower half of the ranking, counting down to the worst of all. Yeeeeer out!
16. Comerica Park, Detroit
The Motor City lost its baseball identity when the Tigers decided to move on from iconic Tiger Stadium after the 1999 season. Comerica Park has tried to model itself on the great cathedrals of baseball but lacks their character and well-thought-out design.
The seats are smallish, and over 90% of them are exposed to the elements. Overall, Comerica is very average when it comes to MLB ballparks.
"What kind of took me by surprise is that I found the ballpark to be very simple," writes one fan, on Yelp. "It was 'plain vanilla' to me and nothing really stood out."
15. Target Field, Minneapolis
The Minnesota Twins' 9-year-old ballpark is a huge improvement over the old Metrodome, but it's still rather average compared to others around the league.
Fans complain about bad acoustics and seats that seem too far from the field. Some also say that the concessions are lacking.
"The stadium seems older than it is. It is in need of a facelift," writes one Yelp reviewer.
14. Miller Park, Milwaukee
The home of the Brewers is unique in the MLB, but that doesn't necessarily mean good. When the roof is closed, it feels like the game is happening in a giant cave.
"From outside, the building is as impressive as any ballpark, but inside all I could think was that this was a great big bowl that had its own cover for inclement weather. It's lacking character," says a Yelper.
Here's a tip: Choose seats down the first base line, as third base seats have an obstructed view of the scoreboard. And here's another: Find a great savings account and save up for your next baseball adventure.
13. SunTrust Park, Atlanta
The Braves play in the newest stadium in the majors — it opened just before the 2017 season. The ballpark looks gorgeous, with bars and restaurants lining the entry, and there are some great sightlines.
However, designers seemed to forget that the place is in Atlanta. There's little shade for fans, so in August you need to bring some sunscreen and a hat, preferably one with a big brim.
Fans on Yelp gripe about traffic, parking and the difficulty in getting to SunTrust Park by public transit.
12. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
The 15-year-old ballpark where the Phillies play has a solid retro-modern design, but doesn't have all the modern amenities — particularly if you're trying to watch a game on a chilly April night.
The lack of cover is not ideal during spring and fall in a northern climate.
Fans on Yelp are mostly positive, though one writes: "There were too few vendors walking the aisles so (I) had to keep getting up for beer, peanuts etc..."
11. Progressive Field, Cleveland
Retro-modern Progressive Field has been the Indians' home since 1994 and has great views and some of the best lower-bowl seats in the league.
But for all its charms, the park leaves some unimpressed.
"It helped usher in the era of sterile modern ballparks. Nothing terribly special here," says one guy on Yelp. Another writes: "It doesn't stand out with any redeeming qualities or modern features compared to all the new ballparks out there today."
10. Minute Maid Park, Houston
Home to the Houston Astros, 19-year-old Minute Maid Park mixes retro aesthetics with a modern retractable roof. Most home games are under the roof, so if you head to the "Juice Box," be prepared for some indoor baseball.
Some diehard fans still lament the loss of the legendary Astrodome.
"As a native Houstonian, Minute Maid is a major league embarrassment," says one Yelper. "The whole place looks like it had not been painted since 1962. Come on Astros. All the money this city has given you, I would expect a little better treatment of the fans. A disgrace."
9. Rogers Centre, Toronto
As an avid Blue Jays fan, I refuse to call this stadium Rogers Centre. It's the Skydome and always will be! The park also needs an uplift.
The food is due for a revamp, the bathrooms could use some renovation and the seats need replacing.
More than one Yelper complains about the tight quarters. "The seats are a little small and there are no cup holders," writes one.
8. Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Reds' riverfront ballpark is yet another retro-modern park built in the mid-2000s. It's fairly average, though it can be a fun place to watch a game when the stadium is full — which has not been the case for a while.
"The general overpriced nature of the ballpark will always be a thing — but Cincinnati, if you look at price per income capita compared to other larger metropolitan cities, is actually wayyyyyy overpriced," a fan complains on Yelp.
Know one way to squeeze some savings out of your next baseball outing? Use a cash-back credit card.
7. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
The Nationals got a new home in 2008, but the rather sterile stadium — meant to resemble a national monument — lacks character. When the park opened, you could see the U.S. Capitol from most seats, but new development has blocked those views.
The food can seem average, and fans should brace for long lines at security and the concessions.
On Yelp, some reviewers complain about bored, disinterested fans on business outings who chatter away during the games and ruin the experience for others.
6. Angel Stadium, Anaheim, California
Angel Stadium is one of the oldest parks in the league: It opened in the mid-1960s, and it seems to struggle to get out of that decade.
The food options are equal to what you'd find in a mall food court, and the lines rival those at nearby Disneyland.
Fans of the Los Angeles Angels (the team's official name) say watch out for partial-view seats. As one Yelper puts it: "There is such a thing as a bad seat here."
5. Marlins Park, Miami
The Miami Marlins really missed the mark with this modern, retractable-roof stadium that opened in 2012.
The experience is "more tacky than grand," says Forbes — though some changes have been made for the 2019 season to class the place up. The notorious $2 million home run sculpture is gone!
"The worst part was the horrible traffic trying to park and leaving the area," says one Yelp reviewer. "Took us an hour to find parking."
4. Chase Field, Phoenix
The modern and ginormous home of the Arizona Diamondbacks "feels more like an airplane hangar inside," according to Forbes.
Watching a game here, it can seem like you are a million miles away from home plate.
The retractable roof keeps out the often stifling heat, and Yelpers rave about the AC. But some say the food is only so-so — and overpriced. You may want to pack your own.
3. Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago
Home of the Chicago White Sox, Guaranteed Rate Field is something of a trendsetter — but that's not a great thing. Though it was the first of the retro-modern stadiums when it opened in 1991, it "never had any charm," Forbes says.
It's hard to compete with the Chicago Cubs' historic Wrigley Field.
"The ballpark just seems to lack personality, says one Yelp reviewer. "The ballpark feels eerily empty by comparison to many others I've visited."
2. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California
The Oakland Athletics play in a park with an "aging, cookie-cutter design" that lacks views of the surrounding Oakland Hills, Forbes says.
If the 53-year-old stadium doesn't seem totally baseball-friendly, that's because it's also home to the NFL's Oakland Raiders.
"The Oakland Coliseum probably should have been demolished and replaced over 20 years ago," writes one fan, on Yelp.
1. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
In the cellar on this list is the Tampa Bay Rays' ballpark, the majors' only remaining stadium with a dome that doesn't retract. That "makes the ballpark experience call to mind being inside a fluted cow pie," Forbes says.
Another negative is that "crowd" sizes can be about the same as what minor league clubs draw.
"Ugh! Thats how I feel anytime I go into this stadium," writes one Yelper.
Now that you've read about the worst stadiums, we wanted to contrast them with the most valuable teams in the MLB. The White Sox, have one of the worst stadiums—but one of the most valuable teams! Go figure.
Follow along as we count down the 15 most valuable baseball franchises of 2018.
15. Seattle Mariners
Value: $1.45 billion
The Pacific Northwest team has seen its worth grow by 4% in the last year.
The Mariners have a young squad and should see their financial standing continue to improve as the team starts to gel.
Attendance and TV ratings have been dropping for the last few years. But if the team can turn their record around, the gate and TV revenues should increase.
14. Chicago White Sox
Value: $1.5 billion
Though not nearly as high on the list as that other Chicago ball club, the White Sox have earned a spot despite their struggles to attract fans at Guaranteed Rate Field and on TV. The team's value is up 11% from last year.
The White Sox are in the bottom third in the league for attendance, with fewer than 2 million fans coming through the gates last season. And Forbes says their TV ratings were second-worst in the majors.
But the young team now in place could make for a brighter future.
13. Texas Rangers
Value: $1.6 billion
After a losing season in 2017, the Texas Rangers have seen their worth increase by just a slight 3% compared to last year.
A partnership with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters — one of the best teams in Japan — could bring some star players across the Pacific to play at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The Rangers do well when it comes to TV ratings. If they can ever win a championship, they might be able to overtake their cross-state rivals, the Houston Astros, in the value ranking.
12. Atlanta Braves
Value: $1.63 Billion
The Braves enjoyed a big jump in attendance when they moved into SunTrust Park last season, and that contributed to the franchise's 8% rise in value.
The team had some of baseball's best sales numbers during 2017, and those stats are likely to improve as the Braves put some of the expenses from the new stadium behind them.
They've set themselves up for future success by developing a strong farm system.
11. Houston Astros
Value: $1.65 billion
Thanks to their very first World Series win, the Astros have seen their value surge 14% compared to a year ago.
Houston ranked in the top five for revenue in 2017, and attendance hit an eight-year high.
Owner Jim Crane’s next challenge is to grow the number of season ticket holders at Minute Maid Park. There were 13,000 last season; the goal is 20,000.
10. Washington Nationals
Value: $1.68 billion
The team that used to be the Montreal Expos has seen its fortunes rise dramatically since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2005.
The Nationals' value is up by 5% over last year, thanks largely to strong play on the field. The team won the NL East the last two seasons.
However, their payroll exceeded Major League Baseball's luxury tax threshold, resulting in a $1.2 million penalty and leading to some uncertainty coming into 2018.
9. Philadelphia Phillies
Value: $1.7 billion
The Phillies have seen a 3% rise in valuation from last year. Their strong financial standing is partly due to a rich deal to keep the Phillies on local TV screens.
The 25-year contract with Comcast SportsNet began in 2016 and is worth more than $5 billion!
The team made some good free agent additions in the off-season and is hoping to stay out of their division cellar, where they wound up in two out of the last three seasons.
8. Los Angeles Angels
Value: $1.8 billion
The Angels — who still play in Anaheim, about 30 miles from downtown L.A. — recently landed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, and with this signing came a major sponsorship from Japan's Funai Electronics.
It's the kind of landmark deal that should keep the Angels gaining in value from year to year.
Their current worth represents a 3% increase from 2017.
7. St. Louis Cardinals
Value: $1.9 billion
Though the Cardinals missed the playoffs the last two years in a row, baseball fans keep coming to Busch Stadium in droves. The team ranks second in attendance, pulling in more than 42,000 per game, on average.
St. Louis hopes a big drawing card throughout the 2018 season will be Paul DeJong, an electric rookie who was secured for six years during the off-season.
Although their TV numbers have been dwindling, the Cards saw a 6% year-over-year increase in their value.
6. New York Mets
Value: $2.1 billion
Though the Mets are often regarded as the "other team" in New York, they're still a financial powerhouse. In 2018, they'll be looking to build on their 5% rise in valuation over 2017.
They saw drops in attendance and their TV numbers during an injury-ravaged season last year.
But a couple of factors should guarantee a good financial performance in 2018: The team is healthy, and the Mets recently signed a hefty sponsorship deal with New Balance.
5. Boston Red Sox
Value: $2.8 billion
One of the most iconic teams in MLB, the Boston Red Sox saw the already high value of their franchise go up by 4% over the last year.
The team has been successful on the field, too, though they fell to the Astros in the 2017 AL Division series.
However, for the first time since 2014, the Red Sox didn't go over the luxury tax threshold. They avoided a $1.5 million penalty, and the savings should help the Sox build a successful team and continue to draw big crowds and bigger TV numbers.
4. San Francisco Giants
Value: $2.85 Billion
The Giants have seen an 8% year-over-year increase in their valuation — and there are tons of reasons why.
The team has 31,000 season ticket holders and the third-highest attendance in the league, so it's no wonder that visiting teams feel a lot of envy when they're at AT&T Park.
The Giants have been dominant in the 2010s, winning three World Series trophies, and they're on pace to build another successful team that should keep their financial numbers solid.
3. Chicago Cubs
Value: $2.9 billion
The Cubbies — it's hard not to love them! Thanks to one of the strongest fan bases in baseball, the Cubs were able to raise ticket prices by 20% last year and lost only 1% of their season ticket holders as a result.
Replacements weren't hard to find: More than 100,000 other fans are on a waiting list. The franchise's enduring popularity has helped its value rise 8% over last year.
The team is currently in the midst of dealing with its complicated TV coverage. The Cubs hope to score a very lucrative contract when their current deal runs out in 2020.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Value: $3 billion
The Dodgers were just one out away from winning another championship in 2017 but couldn't close the deal. The team's strong postseason performance contributed to an impressive 9% gain in value for the franchise, vs. last year.
With a great slate of players and some top prospects in the pipeline, the Dodgers should be a juggernaut on and off the field for years to come.
The club is considering selling naming rights to Dodger Stadium for $12 million per season, which will only add to the Dodgers' growing revenues.
1. New York Yankees
Value: $4 billion
Love 'em or hate 'em, the Yankees are the most valuable team in baseball — for the 21st year in a row!
Thanks in part to a rise in attendance and a big jump in TV viewership, the Bronx Bombers have seen their overall worth climb 8% over the last year.
Led by Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, the Yankees look ready to cement their No. 1 spot on this list for years to come.