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Triple-A Best of the Ballparks moves to Sweet Sixteen

Ballpark Digest squareAfter a first round that saw familiar fan favorites move on, the voting is now open in the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 Triple-A Best of the Ballparks fan vote.

By and large the voting followed our seeding, save for one big upset, with Sutter Health Park (Sacramento River Cats) polling 62 percent of the vote in a matchup against Southwest University Park (El Paso Chihuahuas). The ballparks receiving the most votes in the first round’s contested brackets: Sutter Health Park (Sacramento River Cats), Truist Field (Charlotte Knights), Fifth Third Field (Toledo Mud Hens), Durham Bull Athletic Park (Durham Bulls), and a tie between Victory Field (Indianapolis Indians) and Louisville Slugger Field (Louisville Bats) for fifth place.

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 Field121 Financial Ballpark and Constellation Field), and three ballparks seeing renovations big and small since 2019 (NBT Bank StadiumVictory 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:

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