Everyone has a favorite ballpark, and most folks aren’t shy about expressing those opinions. We are elevating those passions to a whole new level with a Best of the Ballparks contest, and we need your input on the best ballparks in baseball at the MLB, MiLB, summer collegiate, indy and spring-training levels.
We’ll be running the contest with seeded brackets, so there will be plenty of action in coming days. The first round will be a play-in (thanks for the inspiration, NCAA!), followed by three additional rounds before winners are announced. For MiLB, we’ll be structuring the voting by classification, so the competition is broken down into Triple-A, Double-A, High A, Low A, short season A and rookie. The summer collegiate and independent brackets will encompass what we consider to the top 32 ballparks in their classifications. And, of course, the MLB parks stand on their own.
We know from marketing stats a third of our readers work in the baseball industry, so we’re tapping into that collective expertise. And we know from our research that a third of our readers sell to the baseball industry, so that expertise will be valuable as well. The remaining third — fans, media, government — will certainly have a different view on things as well. We can’t wait to see what our readers — whom we consider to be the smartest folks in baseball — say about the best of the ballparks.
First-round voting ends Friday at 6 p.m., with the second round beginning Saturday at 9 a.m.
Here’s our ranking of Triple-A ballparks, combining International League and Pacific Coast League facilities. This was an extremely difficult list to seed and took several days of thought and deliberation. This is the top level of Minor League Baseball and the top set of MiLB ballparks, and there’s not a whole lot of difference between the ballparks in the middle of this list; the rankings are a gentle guide, to be sure:
1. Coca-Cola Park (Lehigh Valley IronPigs; IL)
2. BB&T Ballpark (Charlotte Knights; IL)
3. First Tennessee Park (Nashville Sounds; PCL)
4. AutoZone Park (Memphis Redbirds; PCL)
5. Huntington Park (Columbus Clippers; IL)
6. Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Durham Bulls; IL)
7. Southwest University Park (El Paso Chihuahuas; PCL)
8. Fifth Third Field (Toledo Mud Hens; IL)
9. Aces Ballpark (Reno Aces; PCL)
10. Victory Field (Indianapolis Indians; IL)
11. Isotopes Park (Albuquerque Isotopes; PCL)
12. Dell Diamond (Round Rock Express; PCL)
13. Frontier Field (Rochester Red Wings; IL)
14. Werner Park (Omaha Storm Chasers; PCL)
15. Coca-Cola Field (Buffalo Bison; IL)
16. PNC Field (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders; IL)
17. Raley Field (Sacramento River Cats; PCL)
18. Cheney Stadium (Tacoma Rainiers; PCL)
19. Coolray Field (Gwinnett Braves; IL)
20. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Oklahoma City Dodgers; PCL)
21. Principal Park (Iowa Cubs; PCL)
22. Louisville Slugger Field (Louisville Bats; IL)
23. Chukchansi Park (Fresno Grizzlies; PCL)
24. Harbor Park (Norfolk Tides; IL)
25. McCoy Stadium (Pawtucket Red Sox; IL)
26. Smith’s Ballpark (Salt Lake Bees; PCL)
27. Zephyr Field (New Orleans Zephyrs; PCL)
28. NBT Bank Stadium (Syracuse Chiefs; IL)
29. Security Service Field (Colorado Springs Sky Sox; PCL)
30. Cashman Field (Las Vegas 51s; PCL)
Without further adieu, please fill out this form. A partial vote still counts — if all you care about is your hometown ballpark and want only to respond to that one question, feel free:
VOTING IN THIS FIRST ROUND HAS ENDED.