With the MiLB season opening today, we’re moving on to the MiLB part of the 2021 Best of the Ballparks fan vote. Today we unveil the Triple-A Best of the Ballparks vote, which also includes our 2021 ranking of Triple-A ballparks.
We’re entering the brave new world of Minor League Baseball after the takeover of the industry by Major League Baseball, and the first set of changes are present in our Triple-A fan vote and rankings. This year in Triple-A sees the elimination of the International and Pacific Coast leagues, one new ballpark (Polar Park, placed in the new ballpark in the middle of the rankings), three ballparks new to Triple-A (CHS Field, 121 Financial Ballpark and Constellation Field), and three ballparks seeing renovations big and small since 2019 (NBT Bank Stadium, Victory Field and Louisville Slugger Field). We also have a unique situation in Buffalo, where Sahlen Field isn’t actually being used as a Triple-A ballpark, but rather as the temporary home of the Toronto Blue Jays while the Buffalo Bisons begin the campaign playing out of Trenton. We are including Sahlen Field in the Triple-A ballpark category, in keeping with our practice of tagging ballparks in their intended levels: we included Rogers Centre in our MLB vote, and we’ll include the Trenton ballpark in our revamped summer-collegiate vote, as the Trenton Thunder is now part of the new MLB Draft League.
We know from marketing stats that 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’s our ranking of Triple-A ballparks. This was an extremely difficult list to seed: This is the top level of Minor League Baseball, and the quality of the facilities reflects that standing. Honestly, there’s not a lot of difference between most of the ballparks in this competition, and there are plenty of arguments for most of these ballparks deserving a higher rating. Results of last year’s vote also played a part in our seedings, as well as improvements entering this season. Occupying the top spot is Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma City Dodgers and last year’s champion. We 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. This is by far the most difficult bracket to seed.
Some things to note. 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 lineups will count. A running tally of the vote will be presented at the bottom of this page in the form of brackets. Vote below: