1. Tropicana Field — Tampa Bay Rays
Why: Just look at it. The Trop (which is also one of the worst nicknames in sports by the way) is plain, cold, antiseptic, and looks straight out of the ’70s. Not a good look.
2. Minute Maid Park — Houston Astros
Why: Too much old-tiimey kitsch (a train that goes by when a home run is hit?) and a freaking hill in center field that’s in play. The former Enron Field (how great is that in hindsight?) is garbage.
3. Marlins Park — Miami Marlins
Why: This one may actually be uglier than Minute Maid, but as it’s hosted one regular season game, it’s too early to tell. What is already evident is the fact that the park is gaudy and way too loud. Look at that home run celebration sculpture! It’s like something out of a bad Spanish-language game show.
4. Chase Field — Arizona Diamondbacks
Why: Part of a new generation of semi-anonymous parks with windows in the outfield and retractable roofs (Miller Park in Milwaukee, Marlins Park in Miami, and to a lesser extent Safeco Field in Seattle), Chase Field is just forgettable. When you’re in there on a nice day (which I have been) you still don’t totally feel outside. You just feel like you’re in a house with the windows open.
5. Angel Stadium Of Anaheim — Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim
Why: Besides the terrible naming convention of both the ballpark and the team, the ballpark itself is incredibly plain, with one exception. It has a giant pile of rocks in center field. Why? I don’t know. But it’s ugly as hell, unless you’re really into the aesthetic of mini-golf.
6. Kauffman Stadium — Kansas City Royals
Why: Kansas City’s ballpark has been outdated for years, so when they announced that they’d be doing major renovations on the park, it had me hopeful they would do a way with the ugly crowned jumbotron in center. Nope. Now it just has a better screen.
7. Oakland Coliseum — Oakland Athletics
Why: Well it’s a football stadium, so there’s an entire upper deck that is closed off. Even when the place is semi-crowded (which is rare) it doesn’t look like it is. Ballparks thrive on intimacy to the action. It makes a park feel electric when things get tense or meaningful. But in Oakland, people in the first row are as far away from the action as people in the 30th row at other parks. If any team needs a new home (in Oakland!) it’s the A’s.
8. Rogers Centre — Toronto Blue Jays
Why: It’s a relic of another time. Much like The Trop it screams 1970s (even though it was built in the ’80s), but at least in Toronto’s case the place isn’t totally antiseptic (and gets some sun in there thanks to the retractable roof). It just pales in comparison to the newer ballparks that began in the mid-’90s (Camden Yards in Baltimore, Progressive Field in Cleveland).
Did we miss one? Is your team’s park unfairly maligned? Let us know below.