With the second round of voting complete, we’re headed to the home stretch for voting on Best of the Ballparks, Grapefruit League edition, as we winnow the field from four spring training ballparks to two finalists. And we need your help!
The last round of voting, which ended last night yielded one variation from our seedings: fans chose Ed Smith Stadium (spring home of the Baltimore Orioles), the #5 seed, over our #4 seed, Hammond Stadium (spring home of the Minnesota Twins), by a narrow 51%-49% margin. In the other three brackets there were no upsets: JetBlue Park over Champion Stadium (59%-41%), Bright House Field over Joker Marchant Stadium (61%-39%) and McKechnie Field over Charlotte Sports Park (63%-37%).
That bring us to a third round of voting, this time focusing on our top eight seeds. We’re combining efforts with our sister site Spring Training Online to launch this tourney. We’ve set up the voting in brackets, tournament style. We included and ranked all 14 Grapefruit League MLB ballparks, beginning with JetBlue Park and Bright House Field on the top and Florida Auto Exchange Stadium and Space Coast Stadium on the bottom. Our ratings are based on a number of soft criteria, but it’s all centered on a simple proposition: what facility offers the best fan experience? This is, of course, all relative: honestly, the difference between the top ballparks on this ranking isn’t all that great, and you could argue a totally plausible ranking using your own criteria that differs greatly from this one.
Below you’ll find a form for submitting your votes (desktop users see the entire slate; mobile users see one poll question at a time). Only one vote from a device or PC counts; you’re welcome to vote over and over and over again, but the system filters out multiple votes from an IP address, so that effort will be for naught.
Voting for this round has ended.
We know from our marketing/user research 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.
Here is our ranking of Grapefruit League ballparks.
- JetBlue Park
- Bright House Field
- McKechnie Field
- Hammond Stadium
- Ed Smith Stadium
- Charlotte Sports Park
- Joker Marchant Stadium
- Champion Stadium
- Steinbrenner Field
- Roger Dean Stadium
- Tradition Field
- Osceola County Stadium
- Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
- Space Coast Stadium
Here are the brackets.
Click on the image for a larger version.