Two of the votes were particularly close: Fans chose Hodgetown (Amarillo Sod Poodles) over Whataburger Field by only six votes, while they also selected Dunkin’ Donuts Park (Hartford Yard Goats) over Riverfront Stadium (Wichita Wind Surge) by only 15 votes. The ballparks receiving the most votes in the Elite Eight round: Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Riverfront Stadium and Blue Wahoos Stadium (tied), Hodgetown and Whataburger Field. So we move on with all Double-A leagues represented.
This was a challenge to seed. This isn’t the result of a formal grading system, but rather recommendations based on years of attending games, seeing how the ballparks function behind the scenes, how these ballparks have made an impact in their communities, performances in previous Best of the Ballparks competitions, and noting how ballparks are regarded within the industry. One of the reasons we love working in baseball is that many industry folks, including many on the player side, are ballpark geeks, and we think this list reflects broad sentiment among those who know ballparks best. This is a wide-open competition. Last year’s winner, Dunkin’ Donuts Park (Hartford Yard Goats), is the #1 seed. In terms of MiLB ballpark quality, this is one of the most balanced competitions.
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.
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: