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Writer’s Roundtable: Favorite Stadiums

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 16, 2013 08:55 PM | Comments: 18
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The Phillies just returned from a trip at two of the nicer parks in baseball (AT&T Park in San Francisco and Chase Field in Arizona). With a visit to Boston’s Fenway Park coming up over Memorial Day weekend, we wanted to ask our writers: Of the stadiums you’ve visited, which is your favorite? And what stadium do you most want to check of your bucket list?

Don’t forget to check out the “2013 Phillies Nation Road Trips” page, for info on visiting some great ballparks with lots of fellow Phillies fans!

Writer’s Roundtable responses:

Alex Lee: I was at Comerica Park in Detroit last spring which was very cool. The left field seats are right on top of both bullpens and there are a couple of patio areas above the bleachers in right field that offer some nice views. For a day game in May, the energy in the park was outstanding…especially if you consider how empty and depressing Detroit has become as a city. Upon walking through the gates, I vividly remember thinking, “So this is where all the people are!”

Pat Gallen: PNC Park I think is a great stadium. It has beautiful scenes of downtown Pittsburgh in the background, with the Roberto Clemente Bridge playing a large role in the scenery. It’s also a great place to watch a game, where tickets are super cheap in the left field bleachers. Although, when it’s 95 degrees during a day game, your ass is on fire. The concourses are very nice, and overall it has almost a minor league feel to it in a major league park.

Amanda Orr: Wrigley Field was my favorite stadium that I visited so far. It was a complete baseball atmosphere. The area surrounding the stadium was all baseball oriented. The fans were friendly, despite what some might say about the reputation of Cubs fans. The old time feel just put the focus on the game, creating the Ultimate baseball experience. In my opinion, I thought it beat out Fenway. On the bucket list is PNC (Pittsburgh) and AT&T (SF). I’ve only heard great things about them.

Don McGettigan: I’ve had the good fortune of seeing quite a few stadiums over the years. I’ve seen games in Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, PNC Park, Oriole Field at Camden Yards, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and AT&T Park. Like Amanda, my favorite is Wrigley Field (in a close contest over Fenway). While I think the playing-field at Fenway is more interesting with the Green Monster, Pesky Pole, etc… the overall atmosphere with Wrigley is second to none. The home fans were friendlier, the bars seemed much more reasonably priced, and there was an excitement in the air that is simply indescribable. I will also suggest if you’re going to Chicago, you absolutely MUST do the Rooftop Bleacher Seats! I love AT&T Park and PNC Park too, but I’m a sucker for the old-time feel at the classic stadiums. (I’m heading to Boston on Memorial Day to see the Phillies at Fenway again, so I’ll see if my opinion changes after that trip.)

The one that I most want to check off my bucket list…is probably Jacob’s Field in Cleveland, though I’m not sure why.

Ryan Dinger: Like a lot of baseball fans, my passion for the ballparks around the league is almost as intense as my passion for the game. In my relatively short lifetime, I’ve made my way to 13 different ballparks as a fan, with the intention to visit many more. Thus far, the best I’ve seen is Fenway Park–it’s a slice of classic Americana. Amenities-wise, the ballpark itself isn’t particularly impressive. But Fenway’s quirky design and rich history–it opened the same month the Titanic sank!–make it a great experience. They’ve done a great job in Boston of keeping the old time feel intact, with the atmosphere around the concourse having a carnival-like feel.

As for ballparks I’d love to visit, there are two that top my list. Number 1 is Wrigley Field, for reasons similar to why I was so captivated by Fenway. The other is AT&T Park in San Francisco. A jewel by the bay, the stylistic architecture is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and, from afar, it seems like an absolute can’t-miss.

Eric Seidman: I’ve never been one to romanticize stadiums — I’d watch baseball if it was being played a dark dungeon somewhere, as long as it’s being played — but AT&T Park in San Francisco is my favorite stadium. It just has the perfect atmosphere. The weather is great, the food is great, the stadium is very open and airy, and it’s just a very laid-back experience.

Ian Riccaboni: I’m going to go off the beaten path –Toronto’s Rogers Centre (originally known as SkyDome) is my favorite stadium. Sure, it was the site of one of the most disappointing moments in Phillies history but it is one of the last remaining artifacts of the concrete-age of stadiums, has terrific sight lines, and the world’s first retractable roof is one of the most impressive sights of architecture I have ever seen. The people are friendly, the food is cheap, and the city is beautiful, an easy choice for me.

Jay Floyd: I’ve been to no less than 10 big league parks, along with plenty more minor league facilities, and of the places I have taken in a game there is none more enjoyable for ambiance, history and full fan experience than Fenway Park. It’s everything you expect a historic landmark type venue to be and yet still thrives as a tremendous stage for today’s game.

My bucket list park has got to be Wrigley Field. I’ve heard endless outstanding feedback in relation to the Cub’s home stadium and I look forward to getting there some day.

Corey Seidman: Citizens Bank Park is underrated. Rather than touch on another stadium (it’d be Safeco Field in Seattle) I’d rather just talk about our park, which must be fun for fans in other cities to look at, honestly.

The wall in center, Harry the Ks, all the aesthetics and alternate areas to watch the game…it’s a great park. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to see it only a few times a year, the way we see PNC or AT&T Park.


Take a look at USA Today’s picture gallery of all 30 MLB stadiums and tell us what your favorites are.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1684 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 5222 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I still love Oriole Park at Camden yards. I had the pleasure of going once last year, and after 20 some years, the place looks like new. There is an old saying “the place was so clean you could eat off the floor” I wouldn’t go that far, but you’d really have to look hard yo find a single peanuts shell on the concourse.

    That’s not the only reason of course. Although I can’t pin it down to one thing, maybe it’s the warehouse, the crabcakes, or the sight lines of the game. It’s just a great park.

    And I agree with Corey, we’ve grown used to it now, so maybe it’s become a little bit taken for granted, but CBP is a really nice ballpark experience too.

     
    • Posts: 0 brooks

      CBP is the best – I have not been to many, Chase, Arlington, the Nationals stadium, the New Yankee stadium – Camden Yards is a very close second.
      CBP, you just feel at home (I’m all for the Eskay dogs too!)

       
  • Posts: 0 jake

    Old Yankee stadium. It was baseball history. Nothing held a candle to it. New yankee feels like an airport however.

    Still standing stadiums- CBP would be my favorite if it was 30 blocks closer to downtown (i.e. over the rail yards along the river). I think PNC in Pittsburgh is the best current stadium.

     
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards – I’ve see quite a few games there and love it still to this day. Although the open concourse at CBP is much nicer.

    Fenway park – What can I say??…

    Old Yankee Stadium – been there a few times and it was like being in a cathedral. I have NO desire to go to the new one.

    Old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore – talk about a cool place. Yeah, it was one of those horseshoe-shaped football/baseball stadiums and wasn’t the most conducive for watching baseball but I still loved the homey feel.

    Coors Field – went there last summer and thought it was great. The people were super friendly, too!

    Nationals Park – The place sucks. Lousy neighborhood, too.

    Shea Stadium – That park was pretty terrible as well!

    Three Rivers Stadium – Just like the Vet only 300 miles to the West. Saw the Pirates play there when I was a kid.

    Jacobs Field (Now Progressive Field)- Don, that’s a great park. Go if you can.

    Fulton County Stadium – Saw the Braves there when they were a lousy team…BEFORE all their 90s success. Don’t remember much about it so I guess it must not have been all that great.

    Other than the Vet and CBP, of course, I THINK that’s my list of MLB parks that I’ve been too.

    My “bucket list” ??? …. Wrigley, PNC, AT&T, Dodger Stadium, Kaufmann Stadium (for some reason, not sure why), Miller Park (for the sausage races!), I’m sure there are others…basically, I’ll go to a baseball game just about anywhere!

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I forgot Comerica Park AND old Tiger Stadium, too. Both were great but the experience at Tiger was awesome! Another one of those old parks where you feel/felt the ghosts (Cobb in this case) of the past!

       
  • Posts: 0 bigdaddy

    PNC in Pittsburgh has the best location, site lines and food

    Oriole Park has the best surroundings with hotels, inner harbor and Little Italy

    Boston is great if you like “OLD” I like Wrigley better

    CBPARK definitely in the top 5 because of sitelines, and food choices

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I forgot that Jacobs field was now Progressive Field.. And I still call the one in Arizona “Bank One Ballpark”… There are many that I would like to see. I really want to see Houston’s Minute Maid Park, the Ballpark in Arlington (Rangers),… Seattle, KC, Minn, Milwaukee, Dodger Stadium… I even want to catch a game from the Warehouse balconies in San Diego…

    It’s hard to pick from the newer stadium, having been to Camden Yards multiple times, clean, good sight lines, and the wafting smells from Boog’s BBQ! I was hooked immediately, and I feel like PNC is right up there for those same reasons. I like PNC more, but Camden Yards came first… And while I love CBP, I was initially a little disappointed that it wasn’t quite Baltimore or Pitt… Both of which I still like more. AT&T was awesome, and while it doesn’t have that same jaw-dropping view of PNC, it almost feels a little classier, maybe a little more “major league stadium” to go off of what Pat Gallen said above. Anyway, I hope to one day see them all, and I’m 1/3 of the way complete at age 30… Wish me luck!

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    I’ve only been to a handful:
    CBP and the Vet; Fenway; Camden Yards; and yes, DOLPHIN/SUN LIFE STADIUM.

    I think CBP is by far the best one –it’s the complete package. Fenway was really good despite a terrible ballgame. Ditto for the Orioles park.

    The Marlins one was awful but we had amazing seats and everyone there was a Phillies fan… it was a big game we won thanks to a controversial call down the third base line ha!

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Oh and how could I forget… Nats Stadium (both the new one and the old RFK). I do despise the new one… it feels too open to the point where it distracts from the actual game –it’s too wide/spacious and doesn’t make you feel involved at all with what’s going on in the game. Sometimes it feels like they built it exclusively for rich people from VA haha… too many VIP seats and fancy things/bars/lounges. Also, too much concrete. It does have pretty good food options….

      Honestly, I actually enjoyed going to the old Nats stadium more; much better atmosphere and Nats fans seemed feistier and involved.

       
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Forgot about Target Field. Looks pretty nice on TV. Yeah, and that old warehouse in San Diego would be cool. I love it when ballpark architects include old existing structures like that in their plans. Like Camden Yards.

    So which is better?? .. Boog’s or Bull’s? I haven’t had Boog’s in awhile but I think I’d have to give it the nod. Crabcakes at Camden Yards are pretty good as well.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I was at the old Nats park, back in Sept 2006 … it was a dump (like Vet, 3 Rivers), I have no real interest in seeing their new park.

    I just liked that Boog’s is so close to the field, and the wind carries some of that smoke around the stadium … Bull’s is almost outside of CBP, and doesn’t add to the atmosphere at all.

    Anyone that really loves CBP, should definitely go check out PNC Park in Pittsburgh (July 2,3,4 this year)… it’s a nice city to visit too, because it’s a fairly young crowd, there are a few bars around, and they aren’t expensive .. Tell me this isn’t the coolest backdrop for a game: http://jdbaseball.com/pictures/pittsburgh-pirates/pnc-park.jpg

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Everytime I see cool pictures of it, I want to go back … http://www.freedmultimedia.com/photography/scenery/pncpark.jpg

    and it makes me wish that CBP was put downtown, or on the River, just to make it a cooler view. THOUGH… one of the important things to point out is that the stadiums with cool surroundings don’t have a tailgate scene at all, as you pretty much have to take public transit to Fenway, Wrigley, Yankee Stadium ….

     
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I’ve seen shots of PNC on TV and REALLY want to go. Seriously thinking about it this year….I think the scheduling looks good, whereas the past few years it wasn’t for some reason. Drive out, catch 2 games and come back. Pretty easy ballpark road trip!

    I love the Sports Complex in South Phila…it’s SO Philly (maybe cause that’s what we’re all used to) . But I can’t help but think that they missed a golden opportunity to put the park downtown somewhere (Chinatown). Think about the views of the Ben Franklin Bridge that could have been incorporated into the plans!

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff orbach

    I’ve been to lot of ballparks over the years here’s a few I really enjoy(ed).

    PNC Park-the best of the new Parks.

    Wrigley-It was great, I walked to it from our hotel and it’s cool the way it blends into the neighborhood.

    Old Comiskey-a great park, the best ballpark food I ever had! The White Sox fans are great.

    Olmypic Stadium in Montreal-I liked it because it was quirky and the smoked meat sandwiches were awaesome.

    CBP-it’s home

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    2 years ago, the Pittsburgh series out there was on a weekend … my mom has family out there, so we’ve been wanting to go for a while, and made that trip … this year, sets up nicely too with the 4th of July holiday …travel out Wednesday morning, catch the 7:05 game.. catch the 1:35 game on the 4th, and drive home after that …. 5 hour drive that goes pretty quickly.

    I’ll be down the shore, but would definitely do that if I had availability.

    A few years ago my dad did their own mini “Rust Belt” tour, catching games in Pitt and Cleveland in the same weekend ….. (didn’t get to Cincy or Detroit though) article on the RUST BELT http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2011-04-28-baseball-attendance-population_N.htm

     
  • Posts: 0 OaklandMax

    When Cliff Lee first came to the Phillies in July 2009 I watched him pitch and win his first game as a Fightin’ at AT&T Park in San Francisco. This is a great baseball venue but the best fans and food is at The Bank in South Philly.

     
  • Posts: 0 RH

    I was curious if anyone had memories of what old Connie Mack stadium was like. I was too young to experience it but my dad always used to marvel at dick Allen hitting massive home runs to left field.

     
    • Posts: 0 jack

      Old Connie Mack was my intro to baseball. 1957 the Milwaukee Braves routed the Phils while I watched from the left field bleachers for 75 cents on a Sat. afternoon. Wish the old girl was around.

       
 
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