We’re down to the Final Four in the MiLB Best of the Ballparks 2017 fan vote for Double-A ballparks in the Eastern, Southern and Texas Leagues. So far it’s been a rewarding journey, and we want to hear from you — vote!
It’s a fascinating Final Four, the result of plenty of upsets and a lot of passion shown by Eastern League voters. Defending champion Pensacola Bayfront Stadium is still in play, joined by three Eastern League facilities: The Diamond, Peoples Natural Gas Field and Dunkin’ Donuts Park. So you know what to do: Vote!
We’re running the contest with seeded brackets, so there will be plenty of action in coming days. For MiLB, we’re structuring the voting by classification, so the competition is broken down into Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A. Later this month we’ll launch short-season A and rookie-league voting, as well as summer-collegiate and independent leagues. 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.
Some notes on the voting, as we’ve overhauled our bracketing and voting system. First, you are allowed to vote multiple times, but you can only vote once per day. Second, you don’t need to fill out a full slate: partially filled votes will count.
Here’s our ranking of Double-A ballparks, combining Eastern, Southern and Texas League ballparks. This was an extremely difficult list to seed and took several days of thought and deliberation. Occupying the top spot is Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the winner of the Best of the Ballparks 2016 voting. We honestly don’t expect the voting to follow our seedings: our readers can be independent, and they share a love of ballparks and the fan experience.
1. Pensacola Bayfront Stadium (Pensacola Blue Wahoos; SL)
2. Regions Field (Birmingham Barons; SL)
3. Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco RoughRiders; TL)
4. FirstEnergy Stadium (Reading Fightin Phils; EL)
5. Smokies Park (Tennessee Smokies; SL)
6. Dunkin’ Donuts Park (Hartford Yard Goats; EL)
7. Dickey-Stephens Park (Arkansas Travelers; TL)
8. Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi Hooks; TL)
9. Hadlock Field (Portland Sea Dogs; EL)
10. ONEOK Field (Tulsa Drillers; TL)
11. ARM & HAMMER Park (Trenton Thunder; EL)
12. Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp; SL)
13. Riverwalk Stadium (Montgomery Biscuits; SL)
14. Canal Park (Akron RubberDucks; EL)
15. Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (New Hampshire Fisher Cats; EL)
16. FNB Field (Harrisburg Senators; EL)
17. Hammons Field (Springfield Cardinals; TL)
18. Arvest Ballpark (Northwest Arkansas Naturals; TL)
19. Trustmark Park (Mississippi Braves; SL)
20. Peoples Natural Gas Field (Altoona Curve; EL)
21. Security Bank Ballpark (Midland RockHounds; TL)
22. MGM Park (Biloxi Shuckers; SL)
23. The Diamond (Richmond Flying Squirrels; EL)
24. The Ballpark at Jackson (Jackson Generals; SL)
25. UPMC Park (Erie SeaWolves; EL)
26. AT&T Field (Chattanooga Lookouts; SL)
27. Prince George’s Stadium (Bowie Baysox; EL)
28. Wolff Stadium (San Antonio Missions; TL)
29. Henry Aaron Stadium (Mobile BayBears)
30. NYSEG Stadium (Binghamton Rumble Ponies; EL)