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The Best and the Brightest: New Ballparks by League

SunTrust Park

Throughout professional baseball, there has been an influx of new ballparks over the last few decades. The result is a wide mix of modern facilities from Major League Baseball down to the affiliated Rookie ranks, providing up-to-date amenities for fans and players alike.

From MLB down through the affiliated minors, the range of ballparks is fairly modern. Whereas the oldest ballparks in these leagues differ greatly from each other in terms of age, condition, and historic value, the slate of newest ballparks by league is fairly uniform. All of them have opened within the 21st Century and stand out among the finer facilities at their levels. We highlight them with a rundown of newest ballparks by league.

MLB: SunTrust Park, Atlanta Braves (2017)

SunTrust Park opened to acclaim in 2017, with its design and technology features standing out in comparison to other major league facilities. It is attached to the Battery Atlanta, an adjacent mixed-use development.

International League: BB&T Ballpark, Charlotte Knights (2014)

With one of the best backdrops in the minors, BB&T Ballpark stands out as a prominent feature in Charlotte’s Uptown area. It has also been a success for the Knights, who have seen their attendance increase dramatically since moving into the facility.

Pacific Coast League: First Tennessee Park, Nashville Sounds (2015)

Built on the site of the former Sulphur Dell—longtime home to baseball in Nashville—First Tennessee Park has been billed as offering one of the best fan experiences at the Class AAA ranks. Like the Knights, the Sounds have seen their attendance rise considerably since the ballpark opened. With Las Vegas recently breaking ground on a new ballpark for 2019, however, First Tennessee Park will not have claim as the newest PCL facility for much longer.

Dunkin' Donuts Park

Eastern League: Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Hartford Yard Goats (2017)

Construction delays prevented Dunkin’ Donuts Park from opening in 2016 as originally planned, but it was well received during its first season. It also marked the first new ballpark for the Eastern League since the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ Northeast Delta Dental Stadium opened in 2005.

Southern League: MGM Park, Biloxi Shuckers (2015)

Constructed to bring the relocating Huntsville Stars to the city, MGM Park opened during the 2015 season. It was not fully completed when opening, but the finished product is a ballpark with modern amenities in a downtown setting.

Texas League: ONEOK Field, Tulsa Drillers (2010)

After spending years at Drillers Stadium at the city’s fairgrounds, the Drillers moved into this downtown Tulsa ballpark upon its opening. It has been a solid draw ever since and is even doubling as a home for professional soccer’s Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL).

California League: Banner Island Park, Stockton Ports (2005)

This waterfront ballpark replaced the team’s longtime home, Billy Hebert Field in Oak Park. For a full-season ballpark, it was built on a fairly accelerated schedule, opening 377 calendar days after its groundbreaking ceremony.

Carolina League: BB&T Ballpark, Winston-Salem Dash (2010)

Much like MGM Park, BB&T Ballpark was not fully completed when it opened. It has since evolved into one of the finest facilities in the Carolina League, offering a strong mix of amenities with a setting close to downtown Winston-Salem. However, it will not be the newest facility in the Carolina League for much longer, as Fayetteville is set to open a new ballpark for the current Buies Creek Astros in 2019.

Florida State League: Spectrum Field, Clearwater Threshers (2004)

Built for Philadelphia Phillies spring training and the Threshers, Spectrum Field has held up nicely over the years as both a spring training and regular-season venue. It also remains the newest ballpark in the Florida State League, as that circuit’s most recent facility changes—such as in Bradenton and Fort Myers—have been renovations and not replacements.

Midwest League: Bowling Green Ballpark, Bowling Green Hot Rods; Parkview Field, Fort Wayne TinCaps (2009)

The Midwest League is the only minor league circuit that can claim a tie in its designation of newest ballpark. Parkview Field has been acclimated since its opening, receiving credit for helping to boost economic activity in downtown Fort Wayne. The Hot Rods were members of the South Atlantic League when Bowling Green Ballpark first opened, but the facility has been one of the finer venues in the Midwest League since the club changed circuits in 2010.

SRP Park Augusta GreenJackets 2018

South Atlantic League: SRP Park, Augusta GreenJackets (2018)

After spending years on their effort to replace Lake Olmstead Stadium, the GreenJackets have arrived at SRP Park. The ballpark is being positioned as an anchor for the larger Riverside Village development in North Augusta, SC.

New-York Penn League: Monongalia County Ballpark, West Virginia Black Bears (2015)

Built for college baseball’s West Virginia Mountaineers and the Black Bears, Monongalia County Ballpark has been an active facility since its opening. It has been billed with providing a comfortable experience for fans and players alike.

Northwest League: Ron Tonkin Field, Hillsboro Hops (2013)

Built for the relocating Yakima Bears, the opening of this ballpark marked the return of professional baseball to the Portland area after the Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League relocated after the 2010 season. Ron Tonkin Field has been a solid short season venue over its years of operations.

Appalachian League: Pioneer Park, Greeneville Reds (2004)

Built on the campus of Tusculum College, this facility plays the dual role of MiLB and college host. It has stood out as being one of the best among Appalachian League facilities, a factor in the Cincinnati Reds establishing an affiliate there after the Greeneville Astros departed following the 2017 season.

Dehler Park, Billings Mustangs

Pioneer League: Dehler Park, Billings Mustangs (2008)

Built on the same site as the classic Cobb Field, Dehler Park has served the Mustangs well over its years of operation. It was built over a span of one offseason, as Cobb Field was demolished at the conclusion of the 2007 season, clearing the way for Dehler Park to be finished by the start of the 2008 season.

RELATED STORIES: Oldest Ballparks by League

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