It costs a family of four an average of just under $235 to go to a major league baseball game in 2019, including refreshments, parking and souvenirs, according to Team Marketing Report. That can put a serious dent in the family checking account.
At those prices, you want good value and a good experience. Some ballparks give it, others do not.
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.
Follow us on Twitter: @moneywisecom