Baseball park

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Marlins Park, the newest ballpark in Major League Baseball.

A baseball park, also known as a ballpark or baseball stadium, is a venue where baseball is played. A baseball park consists of the playing field and the surrounding spectator seating. While the diamond and the areas denoted by white painted lines adhere to strict rules, guidelines for the rest of the field are flexible.

The term "ballpark" sometimes refers either to the entire structure, or sometimes to just the playing field. A home run where the player makes it around the bases, and back to home plate, without the ball leaving the playing field is typically called an "inside-the-park" home run. Sometimes a home run over the fence is called "out of the ballpark", but that phrase more often means a home run that clears the stands and lands outside the building. The playing field is most often called the "ballfield", though the term is often used interchangeable with "ballpark" when referring to a small local or little-league facility.

General characteristics[edit]

The playing field[edit]

Diagram of a baseball infield
Main article: Baseball field

A baseball field can be referred to as a diamond. The infield is a rigidly structured diamond of dirt containing the three bases, home plate, and the pitchers mound. The space between the bases and home is normally a grass surface, save for the dirt mound in the center. Some ballparks, like Toronto's Rogers Centre, have grass or artificial turf between the bases, and dirt only around the bases and pitcher's mound. Others, such as Koshien Stadium in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, have an entirely dirt infield.

Two white lines run out from the home plate area, aligned with first and third bases. These are the foul lines or base lines, usually differentiated by referring to them as the first base line, or the third base line. If a ball hit by the batter lands outside of the space between these two lines, or rolls out of this space before reaching first or third base, the ball is "foul" (meaning it is dead and the play is over). If it lands between or on the lines, it is "fair". At the end of the lines are two foul poles, which help the umpires judge whether a ball is fair or foul. These "foul poles" are actually in fair territory, so a ball that hits them on the fly is a home run (if hit on the bounce, it is instead a ground rule double).

On either side of home plate are the two batter's boxes (left-handed and right-handed.) This is where the batter stands when at bat. Behind home is the catcher's box, where the catcher and the home plate umpire stand.

Next to first and third base are two coaches' boxes, where the first and third base coaches guide the baserunners, generally with gestures or shouts. As the baserunner faces away from the outfield when running from second base to third, they cannot see where the ball is, and must look to the third base coach on whether to run, stop, or slide.

Farther from the infield on either side are the dugouts, where the teams and coaches sit when they're not on the field. They are named such because, at the professional levels, this seating is below the level of the playing field so as to not block the view from prime spectator seating locations. In amateur parks, the dugouts may be above-ground wooden or CMU structures with seating inside, or simply benches behind a chain link fence.

Beyond the infield and between the foul lines is a large grass outfield, generally twice the depth of the infield. The playing field is bordered by fences of varying height. The infield fences are in foul territory, and a ball hit over them isn't a home run; consequently, they are often lower than the outfield fences to provide a better view for spectators. Sometimes, the outfield fence is made higher in certain areas to compensate for a close proximity to the batter.

In professional parks, the field is surrounded by an area roughly 10 feet (3.0 m) wide made of dirt or rubberized track surface called a "warning track". Originally used in Yankee Stadium in 1923 as an actual footrace track,[citation needed] it is now present in all major league ballparks. This change in terrain warns a fielder, who is watching a ball in the air, that the wall is near, avoiding possible injury.

Beyond the outfield fence in professional parks is an area called the batter's eye. To ensure the batter can see the white ball, the batter's eye contains no seating, and is a darker color. This can be anything from a dark wall to a grassy slope.

Seating[edit]

Today, in Major League Baseball, a multi-tiered seating area, a grandstand, surrounds the infield. How far this seating extends down the baselines or around the foul poles varies from park to park. In minor league parks, the grandstands are notably smaller, proportional to expected sizes of crowds compared with the major leagues.

The seating beyond the outfield fence generally differs from the grandstand, though some multi-purpose or jewel box parks have the grandstand surround the entire field. This area could contain inexpensive bleacher seats, smaller grandstands, or simply inclined seating. In local ballparks, there are often simply a set or two of aluminum bleachers on the first-base and third-base sides.

Variations[edit]

Distinctive from "goal games" such as football and soccer, which have fixed-size playing areas, the infield is the only rigidly laid-out part of the field. Like its English relative, cricket, there is significant flexibility in the shape and size of the rest of the playing area.

Picture of old Yankee Stadium showing its left field fence, which was famous for being farther than the right.

To prevent "cheap" home runs, baseball leagues may specify a minimum distance from home plate to the outfield fences. Generally, the higher the skill level, the deeper the minimum dimensions must be, to prevent an excess of home runs. In the major leagues, a rule was passed in 1958[1] that compelled any new fields built after that point to have a minimum distance of 325 feet (99 m) from home plate to the fences in left and right field, and 400 feet (120 m) to center. (Rule 1.04, Note(a)). This rule was passed to avoid situations like the Los Angeles Coliseum, which was 251 ft (77 m). down the left field line.

However, with the opening of Baltimore's Camden Yards (1992), the "minimum distance" rule began to be ignored.[citation needed] One factor may be[citation needed] that the quaint, "retro" look of Camden Yards, with its irregular measurements, proved to be very popular, along with a traditionalist backlash against the symmetrical, multi-purpose, "cookie-cutter" stadiums. Since the opening of Camden Yards, many other "retro" stadiums have been built, each with asymmetrical fences. These distances vary from park to park, and can even change drastically in the same park. One of the most famous examples is the original Yankee Stadium, whose odd-shaped plot of land caused right field to be over 100 feet (30 m) shorter than left, although this difference lessened over time. The rectangular Polo Grounds (of the New York Baseball Giants) had extremely short distance down the lines, 258 ft (79 m). to right and 280 ft (85 m). to left. In contrast, the deepest part of center field was nearly 500 ft (150 m). from home plate.

Older ballparks, such as Fenway Park, were "grandfathered" in and allowed to keep their original dimensions. Also, new parks have sometimes received special dispensation to deviate from these rules. For instance, the second Yankee Stadium, built 2009, used the same dimensions as the original Yankee Stadium.[2]

The heights of the fences can also vary greatly, the most famous example being the 37-foot (11 m)-high Green Monster in Fenway Park's left field. Such tall fences are often used to stop easy home runs in a section of the ballpark where the distances from home are shorter, or where there is little space between the field and the street beyond. Some in-play scoreboards and high fences reached 50 to 60 feet (18 m), whereas a few outfields were even lined with hedges rather than normal fences or walls. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, when set up for baseball, had a 23-foot (7.0 m) right field "fence" that was actually a relatively thin blue plastic sheet covering folded up football seats. It was often called the "Baggie" or "Hefty bag".

Some ballparks have irregularly shaped fences. Ballparks may have round swooping fences or rigidly angles fences, or possibly a significant change in direction or irregular angle. For example, the center field stands and the left field stands at Fenway Park meet at an uneven angle, creating an indentation (called “the triangle”) that angles sharply back into the stands. In Citi Field and AT&T Park, part of the right field fence juts unevenly into the outfield as if the builders were trying to create an unpredictable ricochet effect for balls hit against it.[3] Some "retro" parks, such as Globe Life Park in Arlington, throw in a sudden and small inward turn (often referred to as a jog) just to give a little quirkiness to the design.[citation needed] Milwaukee's Miller Park was designed, with the help of former player Robin Yount, to promote extra base hits.[4]

Originally (mostly in the old jewel box parks) these variations resulted from the shape of the property where the park was constructed. If there was a street beyond left field, the distance to the left field fence would be shorter, and if the distance was too short, the fence would be higher. For example, in the old Griffith Stadium in Washington DC, part of center field had to be built around a cluster of apartment houses and the result was a rather large angular indentation in the left-center field fence.[5] Now, these variations are mostly influenced by the specifications and whims of the designers. New "retro" parks, which try to recapture the feel of the jewel box parks, are often designed to have these quirks.

Etymology[edit]

Elysian Fields

Baseball was originally played in open fields or public parks. The genesis of modern baseball is conventionally connected with Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey,[citation needed] a large public park where the businessmen of New York City gathered from time to time to play organized baseball games and cricket matches, starting around the mid-1840s. The name "Field" or "Park" was typically attached to the names of the early ballparks.

With the beginnings of professional baseball, the ballfield became part of a complex including fixed spectator seating areas, and an enclosure to restrict access to paying customers, as with a fairgrounds. The name "Grounds" began to be attached to ballparks, starting with the Union Grounds in 1862.[citation needed] The suffixes "Field" and "Park" were still used, but many professional ballparks were "Grounds". The last surviving major league "Grounds" was the Polo Grounds in New York City, which was razed in 1964.

The term "stadium" had been used since ancient times, typically for a running track and its seating area. As college football gained in popularity, the smaller college playing fields and/or running tracks (which also frequently had the suffix "Field") gave way to large stadiums, many of them built during the sports "boom" of the 1920s. Major league baseball enjoyed a similar boom. One of the first major league ballparks to be called a "stadium" was actually the Polo Grounds, which was temporarily renamed Brush Stadium from its reconstruction in 1911 until the death of owner John T. Brush in the 1920s. By then, the most famous baseball "stadium" of them all had been constructed: Yankee Stadium. From that point until the retro building boom of the 1990s, the suffix "Stadium" was used for almost every new major league ballpark, and was sometimes applied to the old ones, such as Shibe Park, which was renamed Connie Mack Stadium in 1954.

The suffix "Dome" was also used for the indoor stadiums constructed from the 1960s onward. The official names of those arenas also often included the word "Stadium", such as the Houston Astrodome, whose formal name was "Harris County Domed Stadium" in 1965; the Kingdome, whose formal name was "King County Domed Stadium", and the Metrodome, for which the Minneapolis highway signs directed the driver to "Metrodome Stadium". The retro era of the 1990s and early 2000s saw a return to the original arboreal terms, even to domed structures such as Safeco Field and Miller Park.

There is little consistency in the choice between "Field" and "Park". Organizations appear to choose based on which suffix "sounds" better for a given ballpark name.[citation needed] For example, Houston's Minute Maid Park was originally named "Enron Field".

Settings[edit]

Organized baseball has been a popular spectator sport from its beginning[citation needed]. Seating area design is affected by many variables, including required capacity, audience access, and road traffic. Early ballparks like Elysian Fields were far from the city center. Each game was an event, and fans traveled by public transit to watch the game.

With the growth of professional leagues, and consequent growth in the quantity of games, each game became less of an event, and fan convenience became more important.[citation needed] Many professional ballparks were built either near the city center, or in working-class neighborhoods, based on expected economic level of the average fan. Consequently, the classic ballparks typically had little space for automobiles, as it was expected that most fans would take mass transit to the games, a situation that still prevails at Boston's Fenway Park and Chicago's Wrigley Field, for example. Some early ballparks, such as Brooklyn's Eastern Park, were abandoned because the trolley lines did not go out far enough and the team was not performing well enough for people to tolerate the inconvenience.

As fans became more affluent, and especially as they moved to the suburbs and bought cars, the lack of parking became an important issue. Some ballparks remedied this problem through the construction of parking garages in the vicinity, or building new ballparks with ample parking. Others built ballparks in the suburbs, typically with large parking areas. The ballpark/stadium thus became an "island" in an "ocean" of parking space.

The modern "retro" trend seeks to cover all the bases: an urban location, with plenty of parking and public transportation available.

Types of baseball parks[edit]

Wooden ballparks[edit]

The Huntington Avenue Grounds during the 1903 World Series.

The first professional baseball venues were large wooden ballparks with seats mounted on wood platforms. Although known for being constructed out of wood, they featured iron columns for better support. Some included one tier of inclined seating, topped with either a flat roof or, in some instances, a small upper tier. The outfield was bordered by tall walls or fences covered in advertisements, much like today's minor league parks. These advertisements were sometimes fronted with bleacher seats, or "bleaching boards". Wood, while prone to decomposition, was a relatively inexpensive material, as there was no official governing body for professional baseball at the time. However, the use of wood as the primary material presented a major problem, especially as baseball continued to thrive. Over time, the wooden stands aged and dried. Many parks caught fire, and some were leveled completely. This problem, along with the popularization of baseball and expectations for long-term use of the parks were major factors that drove the transition to the new standard materials for ballparks: steel and concrete.[citation needed] Some famous wooden parks, such as the Polo Grounds III in New York and National League Park in Philadelphia, burned and were rebuilt with fire-resistant materials (Polo Grounds IV and Baker Bowl). Others were simply abandoned in favor of new structures built elsewhere. These new fire-resistant parks often lasted for many decades, and (retrospectively) came to be known as "jewel boxes".[citation needed]

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent Status
American League ParkWashington, D.C.Senators190119111911Destroyed by fire. Now residential.
Bennett ParkDetroit, MichiganTigers189619111911The Tigers continued to use this site until 1999 (see Tiger Stadium). The field and flagpole from Tiger Stadium remain on the site. [1]
Columbia ParkPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaAthletics190119091913Now residential.
Eastern ParkBrooklyn, New York CityGrooms18911897unknownNow site of a car junkyard.
Exposition ParkPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPirates189019091915Once a railroad yard, now parking for PNC Park. Interstate 279 runs over a portion of the property.
Hilltop ParkManhattan, New York CityHighlanders190319121914Now site of New York–Presbyterian Hospital
Huntington Avenue GroundsBoston, MassachusettsAmericans190119111912Now site of Solomon Court at Cabot Center.
Kennard Street ParkCleveland, OhioBlues18791884unknown
League ParkCleveland, OhioIndians
Spiders
189119091909Now public park centered on original diamond.
Lloyd Street GroundsMilwaukee, WisconsinBrewers18951903unknown
National League ParkCleveland, OhioBlues
Spiders
18871890unknown
National League ParkPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaPhillies188718941894Destroyed by fire. Rebuilt as Baker Bowl. Now commercial.
Oriole Park IBaltimore, MarylandOrioles18821889unknown
Oriole Park IIBaltimore, MarylandOrioles18901891unknown
Oriole Park IIIBaltimore, MarylandOrioles18911900unknown
Oriole Park IVBaltimore, MarylandOrioles19011902unknown
Palace of the FansCincinnati, OhioReds190219111911Replaced on site by Crosley Field. Now parking and commercial.
Polo Grounds IManhattan, New York CityGothams, Metropolitans188018891889Destroyed by street construction. Now part of West 111th Street.
Polo Grounds IIManhattan, New York CityGiants188918911919?Now public housing.
Polo Grounds IIIManhattan, New York CityGiants189019111911Destroyed by fire. Rebuilt as Polo Grounds IV. Now public housing.
Recreation ParkDetroit, MichiganWolverines188118881894Now site of the Detroit Medical Center
Robison FieldSt. Louis, MissouriCardinals189319201926Now site of Beaumont High School
South End GroundsBoston, MassachusettsBeaneaters187119141914Now parking for Mass Transit station
South Side ParkChicago, IllinoisColts
White Sox
189319401940Now site of the Chicago Housing Authority's Wentworth Gardens
Terrapin Park (Oriole Park V)Baltimore, MarylandTerrapins191419441944Destroyed by fire. Now commercial
Washington Park IBrooklyn, New York CityGrays18831891unknown
Washington Park IIBrooklyn, New York CitySuperbas18981913unknown
West Side Park IChicago, IllinoisWhite Stockings18851891unknownNow site of the Andrew Jackson Language Academy.
West Side Park IIChicago, IllinoisCubs189319151915Now site of the University of Illinois Medical Center.

Jewel box ballparks[edit]

Picture of Fenway Park. The famed Green Monster is the left-field fence. It is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball.

The ballparks built or rebuilt of concrete and steel (albeit with wooden seats) after the days of the wooden ballpark are now known as the jewel box ballparks or classic parks. These parks are said by many[who?] to embody the golden age of baseball. They are known[by whom?] for their green seats, large roofs, intimate feel, and major use of exposed steel, brick, and stone. The first of these was Shibe Park, which opened in 1909 in Philadelphia. Another Philadelphia ballpark, the Baker Bowl, which opened in 1895, used steel and brick instead of wood as the primary construction materials, and is considered the forerunner of the jewel box parks.

Two-tiered grandstands became much more prevalent in this era[when?]. These decks were typically held up by steel pillars that obstructed the view from some seats in the lower level. However, because of these supports, the upper decks could come very close to the field, giving the ballpark a more intimate feel. Two tiers was the standard for decades, until the New York Yankees built Yankee Stadium. To accommodate the large crowds Babe Ruth drew, Yankee Stadium was the largest ballpark in baseball, and was built with three tiers. This became the new standard until some recently built[when?] parks reverted to two.

Most Jewel Box Parks were built to fit the constraints of actual city blocks, resulting in asymmetrical outfield dimensions[examples needed]. The exceptions were Shibe Park and Comiskey Park, which were built on rectangular city blocks that were large enough to accommodate left/right field symmetry.

Other sports, such as soccer and football were often played at these sites (the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium were, for example, designed to accommodate football). In contrast to the later multi-purpose parks, the seats were generally angled in a configuration suitable for baseball. The "retro" ballparks built in the 1990s and beyond are an attempt to capture the feel of the jewel box parks. The only jewel box parks still used by Major League Baseball are Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedLights installedClosedDemo'dCurrent Status
Baker BowlPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaPhillies1895Never19381950Now commercial
Braves FieldBoston, MassachusettsBraves1915194619521955Reconfigured into Nickerson Field.
Comiskey ParkChicago, IllinoisWhite Sox1910193919901991Now parking for U.S. Cellular Field.
Crosley FieldCincinnati, OhioReds1912193519701972Now parking and commercial.
Ebbets FieldBrooklyn, New York CityDodgers1913193819571960Now residential.
Fenway ParkBoston, MassachusettsRed Sox
Braves
19121946--------------Active.
Forbes FieldPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPirates1909194019701971Now site of University of Pittsburgh's Posvar Hall. Parts of the outfield wall survive.
Griffith StadiumWashington, D.C.Senators1911194119611965Now site of the Howard University Hospital.
League ParkCleveland, OhioIndians1910Never19461951Public park.
Polo Grounds IVManhattan, New York CityGiants
Yankees
Mets
1911194019631964Now public housing.
Shibe ParkPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaAthletics
Phillies
1909193919701976Now site of the Deliverance Evangelistic Church.
Sportsman's ParkSt. Louis, MissouriBrowns
Cardinals
1902 (rebuilt 1909)194019661966Now site of the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club.
Tiger StadiumDetroit, MichiganTigers1912194819992009The field and flagpole remain on the site. [2]
Wrigley FieldChicago, IllinoisCubs19141988--------------Active.
Yankee StadiumBronx, New York CityYankees1923194620082010Renovated in 1973–76. Now a part of Macombs Dam Park.

Multi-purpose ballparks[edit]

Aerial view of Three Rivers Stadium, circa 2000
Main article: Multi-purpose stadium

From the 1960s until the arrival of retro parks in 1992, baseball built many multi-purpose ballparks. Also derisively known as "concrete donuts", "cookie-cutters", or "giant ashtrays", they were usually tall and circular or square structures made entirely of, usually bare, reinforced concrete. The parks were built to hold baseball as well as football, soccer, and other sports. One of the earliest baseball stadiums that incorporated this type of design was Cleveland Stadium (built 1932), which featured an oval grandstand that was more friendly to goal-centered sports like football. A park built to suit all sports well, which was co-owned by the teams or the city, seemed advantageous to all, especially because it was less expensive to maintain one stadium rather than two. Some parks that were originally built for one sport were renovated to accommodate multiple sports.

The shape of the parks generally depended on the original use. Baseball parks that were renovated to accommodate football, like Candlestick Park and Anaheim Stadium, were usually asymmetrically shaped. Football stadiums that were renovated to accommodate baseball, like Sun Life Stadium and Mile High Stadium, were usually of a rectangular shape, though Mile High actually started its life in 1948 as a Minor League Baseball park known as Bears Stadium. Parks that were built to serve both were usually circular and completely enclosed on all sides. These were the parks that gained multi-purpose parks the reputation as bland cookie-cutter structures. The first of these parks was RFK Stadium (named changed in January 1969 from the original DC Stadium) in the District of Columbia. RFK is unique in that it hosted two different baseball teams, and that it was the first to originally be intended for multiple sports. It is currently in use for only Major League Soccer's D.C. United.

A notable variant among the cookie-cutter stadia was Shea Stadium. One of the first parks designed and built for baseball and football, it did not feature an exterior of bare concrete, but was clad in steel. This steel was later painted blue, making Shea the only multi-purpose park to have an exterior that was not either gray or white. Also, the grandstand only extended just past the foul poles, and did not completely enclose the field. Plans were made to enclose the grandstand and build a dome, but engineers discovered that the structure could not handle the load of the proposed dome. Thus the stadium simply remained with the area behind the outfield fence open.

One major innovation of the multi-purpose parks was the cantilevered upper deck. In earlier ballparks, the columns used to support the upper decks obstructed the view from some seats in the lower deck. The upper decks were extended upwards and the columns removed. However, even though the extension counterbalanced some of the weight, the upper decks could no longer extend as close to the field and had to be moved back. Also, the roofs could no longer be as large, and often only covered the top 15 or so rows. This exposed fans to the elements.

Besides the drawbacks of the cantilever design, there were other issues with these parks. With few exceptions, seating was angled to face the center of the field of play, rather than home plate. Luxury boxes, which were a part of football culture, were now introduced to baseball, and were usually placed below the upper decks, pushing upper deck seating farther from the field. The furthest seats in these parks were 500 feet (150 m) or more from the plate. The capacities of these stadiums were staggeringly large, due to football's smaller schedule drawing a larger crowd per game. However, they were usually far too large for baseball, further diminishing their intimacy. Even crowds of 40,000, a fair amount for baseball, seemed sparse. Often the only times they looked full were on opening day and playoff games. Due to the rectangular shape needed for football or soccer, outfield dimensions were generally symmetrical, and even seats at field level down the lines could be far from the action.

Such stadiums weren't much better for football. The "cookie-cutters" with swiveling, field-level sections proved problematic. Because the front rows were too close to the field, the fans had difficulty seeing over the football benches. This was evident in the movable seating sections in RFK Stadium. The first ten rows of the football configuration were practically at field level, and fans in those sections often stood up on their seats to get a better view. Other stadiums overcame this simply by covering those seats, not bothering to sell them. Despite being cost-effective, these problems eventually caused the parks to become unfashionable.

The multi-purpose architecture reached a climax when Toronto's SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) opened in 1989. It had state-of-the-art amenities including a retractable roof, and a fancy restaurant where patrons could view the field behind glass.

Only one of the purely open-air multi-purpose parks is still in use by baseball today: O.co Coliseum. The Athletics plan to move out of O.co Coliseum and build a new ballpark of their own in the future.

Note: To reduce redundancy, this table does not list the indoor stadiums of the multi-purpose era in this section. However, all of the indoor ballparks of North America, which are listed in their own section, were also built as multi-purpose stadiums.

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent Status
Anaheim Stadium*Anaheim, CaliforniaAngels1966--------------Active. Renovated in 1979–80 to multipurpose and in 1996–98 back to baseball-only.
Arlington StadiumArlington, TexasRangers196519931994Now parking for Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Atlanta-Fulton County StadiumAtlanta, GeorgiaBraves196619961997Now parking for Turner Field.
Busch Memorial StadiumSt. Louis, MissouriCardinals196620052005Plaza area for Busch Stadium III.
Candlestick Park*San Francisco, CaliforniaGiants19602013-------Renovated in 1971–72 to multipurpose; closed for baseball in 1999. Scheduled to be demolished after the 2013 NFL season.
Cleveland Municipal StadiumCleveland, OhioIndians193119951996Now site of FirstEnergy Stadium.
Canadian National Exhibition Stadium**Toronto, OntarioBlue Jays195919891999Now site of BMO Field.
Memorial StadiumBaltimore, MarylandOrioles195019972001Now residential.
Mile High Stadium*Denver, ColoradoRockies194820012002Originally a minor-league baseball stadium in 1948. Now parking for Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
O.co ColiseumOakland, CaliforniaAthletics1966--------------Active; Athletics plan to move to a new ballpark in the indefinite future.
Qualcomm StadiumSan Diego, CaliforniaPadres1967--------------Active; closed for baseball in 2003.
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial StadiumWashington, D.C.Senators
Nationals
1961--------------Active; closed for baseball in 2007.
Riverfront StadiumCincinnati, OhioReds197020022002Now Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
Rogers Centredouble-daggerToronto, OntarioBlue Jays1989--------------Active
Shea StadiumQueens, New York CityMets
Yankees
196420082009Now parking for Citi Field and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Sun Life Stadium**Miami Gardens, FloridaMarlins1987--------------Active; built as a football-only stadium in 1987, renovated in 1991-92 to multipurpose, closed for baseball in 2012.
Three Rivers StadiumPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPirates197020002001Now largely parking for Heinz Field and PNC Park. Stage AE and the Root Sports Pittsburgh studios occupy parts of the site.
Veterans StadiumPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaPhillies197120032004Now parking for Citizens Bank Park, Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field.

*A baseball-only ballpark converted to a multi-purpose stadium.

**A football-only stadium converted to a multi-purpose stadium.

double-dagger denotes stadium is also a retractable-roof ballpark

Modern ballparks[edit]

Dodger Stadium's varicolored seats

While most teams turned to multi-purpose parks, some chose to build baseball-only parks. While these modern ballparks shirked some of the conventions of multi-purpose parks, they did include some of the new features. The most notable influences were the cantilevered upper decks, the use of seating colors other than green, and fairly plain concrete exteriors. The most important things, though, were that they had a more intimate feel to them, and they were built for baseball. While the multi-purpose parks have become all but extinct, some modern parks, such as Dodger Stadium and Kauffman Stadium, have been hailed for aging beautifully. Rather than build new parks, the teams have decided instead to renovate the current structures, adding a few newer conveniences. Several of the modern parks built as such have remained in use, with no indication of being demolished.

While Cleveland Stadium is the ancestor to the multi-purpose ballpark, the ancestor of the modern ballpark is Milwaukee County Stadium. It was the first to feature a symmetrical, round outfield fence. It also featured the rounded V-shaped grandstand and colorful seats that are common among all modern parks. Coincidentally, it also would have been one of the earlier examples of a converted park as well. It was supposed to replace a minor league facility, and serve as home of the minor league team until a major league franchise could be lured to the city. However, the Braves came to Milwaukee earlier than expected, and the minor league team never played in the stadium.

The first two truly modern ballparks were built by the two New York teams who moved to California, the Giants and the Dodgers. Candlestick Park was created first, but was converted to a multi-purpose park to accommodate the 49ers. Dodger Stadium has been upgraded a number of times, but remains baseball-only and its original design is still largely intact.

Anaheim Stadium, which was initially modeled closely on Dodger Stadium, was expanded for football as was Candlestick, but once the Rams departed, most of the extra outfield seating was peeled back, returning the structure to more like its original design.

The original Yankee Stadium is an exceptional case. Yankee Stadium was a jewel box park, albeit a very large one. It was showing its age in the 70's, and the stadium was extensively renovated during 1973-75, converting it into more of a modern style ballpark. Many of the characteristics that defined it as a classical jewel box were also retained, so the remodeled Stadium straddled both categories.

New Comiskey Park (now U.S. Cellular Field) was the last modern ballpark to be built in North America. A series of renovations have been made to make it appear more like a retro-classic ballpark.

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent Status
Anaheim StadiumAnaheim, CaliforniaAngels1966--------------Active. Renovated in 1979-80 for football and in 1996-98 back to baseball-only.
Candlestick ParkSan Francisco, CaliforniaGiants19602013-------Renovated in 1971–72 for football. Scheduled to be demolished after the 2013 NFL season.
Dodger StadiumLos Angeles, CaliforniaDodgers
Angels
1962--------------Active.
Kauffman StadiumKansas City, MissouriRoyals1973--------------Active. Renovated heavily from 2007 to 2009.
Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, MinnesotaTwins195619811985Now site of the Mall of America.
Milwaukee County StadiumMilwaukee, WisconsinBraves
Brewers
195320002001Now site of Helfaer Field along with parking for Miller Park.
U.S. Cellular FieldChicago, IllinoisWhite Sox1991--------------Active. Renovated heavily from 2001 to 2011.
Yankee Stadium IBronx, New York CityYankees192320082010Renovated heavily from 1973–76. Now a part of Macombs Dam Park.

Temporary and converted ballparks[edit]

Built originally for college football and the Olympics, the oval-shaped Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum became the temporary home of the relocated Dodgers in 1958.

With the 1960s came the first expansion teams. While some teams expanded in cities where there were established teams with facilities that could be shared, not all were as fortunate. This led to the emergence of two distinct subsets of parks in the major leagues: temporary ballparks and converted ballparks.

In some cases, there are plans to build a new ballpark for the expansion team, but it will not be completed until a few years after the team is established. This may be for a few reasons, such as delays or a desire to hold off until the deal is settled. In this case, an established building is used as a temporary home, often a minor league park. The first temporary ballparks were not actually used by expansion teams but by established franchises. When the Dodgers and Giants moved to California from New York, they played in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Seals Stadium respectively while Dodger Stadium and Candlestick Park were being built.

The other case is when, rather than building a new park, the city renovates an existing minor league or college facility, expanding it to fit a major league team. These converted ballparks are different from football stadia that were converted to facilitate baseball in that converted ballparks were originally built to be baseball only, albeit for a non-major league level. Early converted ballparks were Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, and Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota. All three were expanded minor league facilities, although Baltimore and the Met were constructed with the idea of expanding to major league level in mind. Kansas City was a true established minor league park that was substantially expanded to accommodate major league size crowds.

These two types of ballpark are distinct because of their use, not their design. Because of this, a temporary or converted ballpark can also be any of the other types: jewel box, modern, multi-purpose, etc.

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent Status
Arlington StadiumArlington, TexasRangers196519931994Now parking for Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Colt StadiumHouston, TexasColt .45's196219641970Dismantled and rebuilt in Mexico as Mexican League park.
Jarry Park StadiumMontreal, QuebecExpos196919761993Converted to Stade Uniprix, a tennis venue.
Kansas City Municipal StadiumKansas City, MissouriAthletics
Royals
192319721976Now a municipal garden.
Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles, CaliforniaDodgers1923--------------Active; closed for baseball in 1961. Holds the baseball world record attendance when 115,300 attended a pre-season exhibition game between the Dodgers and Boston Red Sox on March 29, 2008.
Memorial StadiumBaltimore, MarylandOrioles195019972001Now residential.
Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, MinnesotaTwins195619811985Now site of the Mall of America.
Mile High StadiumDenver, ColoradoRockies194820012002Originally a minor-league baseball stadium in 1948. Now parking for Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Seals StadiumSan Francisco, CaliforniaGiants193119591959Now a shopping center.
Sick's StadiumSeattle, WashingtonPilots193819761979Now a Lowe's store.
Wrigley FieldLos Angeles, CaliforniaAngels192519651966Now Gilbert Lindsay Park.

Indoor ballparks[edit]

Tropicana Field, currently the only active indoor-only MLB baseball park

An important type of ballpark is the indoor park. These parks were covered with a fixed roof, usually a hard concrete dome. Reasons to build indoor parks were varied. The Astrodome, the first indoor sports stadium ever built, was built to escape the hot and very humid climate of Houston; the Kingdome was built to escape Seattle's constant rains, and the Sapporo Dome in Japan (which also hosts a soccer team) was built to escape Sapporo's extreme snowfall. There is little to no natural light in these parks, necessitating the use of one of the most distinguishing aspects of an indoor park: artificial turf. Since there was not enough light to grow grass, artificial turf was installed, and this affected the game. Artificial turf was harder, and thus a ball hit on the ground moved faster and bounced high. This, coupled with the usually dull white or gray roofs that could camouflage a fly ball, caused what Twins fans called a "dome-field advantage".

A park of note is Olympic Stadium in Montreal. The park was designed with a large tower that loomed over top. Cables came down from the top of the tower to connect to the large oval center of the roof. This oval center was supposed to be lifted by the cables, opening the park up if the weather was pleasant. However, the mechanism never worked correctly, and what was supposed to be a retractable roof was initially never used and then later became permanently fixed, making the stadium a strictly indoor facility.

Indoor parks faced many of the same problems of the multi-purpose parks, which was compounded with the added problem of playing an outdoors sport indoors. Tropicana Field is the only indoor-only or fixed-dome park left hosting a Major League Baseball team, and may be replaced in the near future.

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent Status
NRG AstrodomeHouston, TexasAstros19652004-------Structure still standing but has not seen regular use since its closure. Most recently served as a shelter for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
Hubert H. Humphrey MetrodomeMinneapolis, MinnesotaTwins198220132014Now future site of Vikings Stadium.
KingdomeSeattle, WashingtonMariners197620002000Now site of CenturyLink Field, which opened in 2002.
Olympic StadiumMontreal, QuebecExpos1976--------------Active. Closed for baseball in 2004 when Expos moved to Washington, D.C., and became the Washington Nationals.
Tropicana FieldSt. Petersburg, FloridaRays1990--------------Active, although Rays are seeking a new stadium.

Retractable-roof ballparks[edit]

Rogers Centre was the first functional retractable-roof stadium, shown with the roof both opened and closed.

As mentioned above, the indoor parks were built for several different reasons, chief among those weather. However, as multi-purpose parks became unfashionable, so did the drab indoor parks. This led to the creation of retractable-roof parks. These allowed shelter from the elements, but still could be opened on a nice day. To be able to support the roof, most were closed in on all sides like multi-purpose and indoor parks, but as all retractable-roof parks except Rogers Centre are baseball only, every square foot does not need to be filled with seating, and there is plenty of room for open spaces or windows that look outside. Because the roof needs to go somewhere when not covering the field, a distinguishing characteristic of the retractable roof park is a large extension of the interior spaces to either one side of the field or both sides that the roof sits on when retracted. The only exception to this is Miller Park whose fan-shaped roof folds in upon itself and hangs behind the stands down the foul lines. Often, when retracted, the roof still hangs over the field, casting large shadows. This is countered at Miller Park by large panes of glass under the roof. While most seal up when the roof is closed, other are at least partially open, with large gaps that do not let in harsh weather, but don't give the feel of being inside. Except for Rogers Centre, all of these parks feature natural grass.

Pittsburgh's Civic Arena was the first sports building in the world with a retractable roof, however the building was originally constructed for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, which moved out in 1969 due to dissatisfaction with the acoustics in the arena. The arena's long-term tenants, the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, never played with the roof open, and the arena itself was never used for baseball. While Montreal's Olympic Stadium was the first baseball park to have a retractable roof, the roof was plagued by numerous problems, and was never fully used. As a result, it is not generally considered to be a retractable-roof facility. This made Rogers Centre the first fully functional retractable-roof park. It managed to succeed where Olympic Stadium failed, building a multi-section roof that folded upon itself, retracting over the hotel in center field.

Retractable-roof parks can vary greatly in style, from the utilitarian (Rogers Centre), to those infused with retro elements (such as Minute Maid Park), to the contemporary (Marlins Park). The style of each park reflects the popular architecture of the era in which it was built. (This differs from indoor ballparks — all of which were built during the time of multi-purpose parks, and thus reflected the same "flying-saucer" style.) When Rogers Centre opened in 1989, baseball was near the end of the modern and multi-purpose era. Chase Field, Safeco Field, Minute Maid Park, and Miller Park all opened in the middle of the retro era. When Marlins Park opened in 2012, it introduced a new and different style, and perhaps the beginning of a new era.[6]

Therefore, the term "retractable-roof ballpark/stadium" is not a description of the overall architectural style of the building, but of the functional aspect of it. For this reason, retractable-roof parks are also dual-listed in style-based types of ballparks. For example, the 4 retractable-roof parks built during the retro era are also considered to be retro-modern ballparks.

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent status
Chase FieldPhoenix, ArizonaDiamondbacks1998--------------Active
Marlins ParkMiami, FloridaMarlins2012--------------Active
Miller ParkMilwaukee, WisconsinBrewers2001--------------Active
Minute Maid ParkHouston, TexasAstros2000--------------Active
Rogers CentreToronto, OntarioBlue Jays1989--------------Active
Safeco FieldSeattle, WashingtonMariners1999--------------Active

Retro-classic ballparks[edit]

Camden Yards started the nostalgic craze with a smaller, redbrick and forest-green stadium.

In 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in Baltimore. Going in a different direction from the multi-purpose and modern ballparks, Camden Yards harkened back to the old jewel box parks. This began the building of a series of parks known as the retro-classic ballparks, or, simply, retro ballparks.

The retro parks were built with all the luxuries of the newer parks, such as luxury boxes and more restrooms and concession areas, along with new additions, such as indoor concourses that are open to the field, allowing fans to always have a view of the game. However (except for a few exceptions harkening back to the wooden ballpark era), the aesthetics shifted back to jewel box conventions, which included the use of green seats, bricks, stone, and green-painted exposed steel.

A major divergence from jewel boxes was the layout of the grandstand. The focus was now on everyone in the park having a good view. Columns were missing as with the modern parks, but the upper deck was drawn back and shrunk, while the middle tiers grew in size, causing a stepped effect. The cantilevered upper deck was no longer a large necessity. However, since these new upper decks were drawn back, the shape of the inclined seating was clearly expressed on the exterior, a feature that is a hallmark of modern parks.

Like the jewel box parks, the outfield fences were angled rather than the gradual curve of the newer parks, and often had quirky dimensions. The requirements for minimum distance to the outfield fences were rarely enforced during this time.

Teams with multi-purpose and indoor parks longed for this beautiful and classic look, and began systematically demolishing them and moving to either retro-classic or retro-modern parks. Since Camden Yards opened, two-thirds of all major league teams have opened new ballparks, each of which contain unique features. The most important feature was that they were built primarily for baseball, although these venues have also hosted football, soccer and ice hockey games. Turner Field was originally constructed as Centennial Olympic Stadium for the 1996 Summer Olympics and was retrofitted to baseball the following year.

U.S. Cellular Field has an unusual place in ballpark history. It was the last modern park built, built a year before Camden Yards. Just missing the retro movement, it was viewed as obsolete only a year into its life. The White Sox responded with a series of renovations to give the park more retro charm. This included the changing from a cantilever upper deck to a flat roof with columns, and the change from a symmetrical fence to a more unique-shaped asymmetrical fence.

The most recent retro-classic ballparks were built in New York City. Queens' Citi Field is modeled after Ebbets Field, and the Bronx's Yankee Stadium is modeled after the pre-renovation "House that Ruth Built". Both parks opened in 2009.

Teams are now trending away from the retro-classic look and are instead building retro-modern and contemporary ballparks. Turner Field is the first retro-classic park scheduled to be replaced, as the Atlanta Braves plan to move to SunTrust Park after the 2016 season.

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent status
AT&T ParkSan Francisco, CaliforniaGiants2000--------------Active
Busch Stadium IIISt. Louis, MissouriCardinals2006--------------Active
Citi FieldQueens, New YorkMets2009--------------Active
Citizens Bank ParkPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaPhillies2004--------------Active
Comerica ParkDetroit, MichiganTigers2000--------------Active
Coors FieldDenver, ColoradoRockies1995--------------Active
Globe Life Park in ArlingtonArlington, TexasRangers1994--------------Active
Oriole Park at Camden YardsBaltimore, MarylandOrioles1992--------------Active
PNC ParkPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPirates2001--------------Active
Turner FieldAtlanta, GeorgiaBraves1996--------------Active. Renovated in 1996-97 for baseball; Braves intend to move to SunTrust Park in 2017, at which time Turner Field will be demolished.[7]
U.S. Cellular FieldChicago, IllinoisWhite Sox1991--------------Active. Renovated heavily from 2001-2011. Originally a Modern ballpark.
Yankee Stadium IIBronx, New YorkYankees2009--------------Active

Retro-modern ballparks[edit]

Progressive Field was the first retro park with a modern exterior

While Camden Yards influenced nearly every ballpark built after it, not all fully adhere to its design. Those that deviate to incorporate more modern-looking elements are called retro-modern ballparks.

Progressive Field was built two years after Camden Yards, and featured the angular, asymmetrical fences of varying heights, a smaller upper deck, stepped tiers, and an unobtrusive singular color scheme. While the interior has all the hallmarks of a retro park, the exterior did not feature the look of the jewel box parks. It could not truly be called a retro-classic park.

Many of today's parks have followed in this second school of retro. Rather than brick, the exteriors heavily feature white- or gray-painted steel. If there is any masonry, it is sandstone or limestone. Some feature progressive elements such as curtain walls, or retractable roofs.[8]

Angel Stadium has seen many changes throughout the years. It was originally a modern park, similar to the Angels' previous home, Dodger Stadium. When the NFL's Rams left the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and set up shop in what was then Anaheim Stadium, the first round of renovations began. The grandstand was expanded to completely enclose the stadium, turning it into a multi-purpose park. The Rams left in 1994, leaving the Angels alone in the large, 65,000 seat stadium. After a two-year renovation, the steel was painted green, and what concrete remained was painted sandstone, including the sweeping curve of the entrance plaza. The seating configuration was significantly altered, most notably by tearing out most of the outfield seating except for parts of the lower decks in left and right fields, to more closely resemble the original design from the park's first 15 years. The finished product in 1998 was a retro-modern ballpark.

The same year, when Chase Field opened for the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks, it incorporated a retractable roof and a swimming pool — elements that did not exist in jewel-box ballparks. Despite the absence of MLB history in the Phoenix area and an overwhelming roof design, much of the interior was still built with all of the hallmarks of retro, similar to Progressive Field. Although Chase Field was not the first retractable-roof ballpark in history, it was the first in a wave of four retractable-roof ballparks (opening within just four years) to follow the retro-modern pattern.

During the second decade of retro, PETCO Park and Kauffman Stadium followed the construction and renovation concepts of Progressive Field and Angel Stadium, respectively. Meanwhile, the period saw another subset of three new retro-modern stadiums that pushed away from classic parks even more.

When Great American Ball Park opened in 2003, it featured a contemporary-looking, glass-wrapped facade. Such prominent use of elements that were unfamiliar even to pre-1992 modern stadiums signaled that some stadium planners were more willing to incorporate designs that looked into the 21st century as much as they did the 20th. Five years later, Nationals Park built off Cincinnati's design, making yet more liberal use of glass along with white concrete that would not clash with architecture in the District. Nationals Park became the first stadium to go green while still offering all of the amenities — another concept that looked ahead instead of behind.[9] The retro-modern style climaxed in 2010 with the sculptured, contemporary exterior and canopy of Target Field, rendering it almost unrecognizable from the outside. Its cantilevered glass on top of a limestone base was designed partly to functionally fit the tiny 8-acre plot in the middle of a bustling transportation interchange. But the principal architect of Target Field, Earl Santee of Populous, said that the exterior was also an artistic interpretation of the culture of Minnesotans: a dichotomy of cosmopolitan and natural.[10] Designing the building as a metaphor for people was a different way of thinking about ballpark architecture.

The exterior of the later retro-contemporary trio of ballparks progressively evolved farther and farther from jewel-box or even modern-style parks. Yet, in the stands and on the field they still have the familiar classic feel while implementing the marks of retro (i.e., unique-shaped fences, forest green or other singular color scheme, etc.).[8]

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent status
Angel Stadium of AnaheimAnaheim, CaliforniaAngels1966--------------Active. Renovated in 1979-80 and again in 1996-98
Chase Field double-daggerPhoenix, ArizonaDiamondbacks1998--------------Active
Great American Ball ParkCincinnati, OhioReds2003--------------Active
Kauffman StadiumKansas City, MissouriRoyals1973--------------Active. Renovated heavily from 2007 to 2009.
Miller Park double-daggerMilwaukee, WisconsinBrewers2001--------------Active
Minute Maid Park double-daggerHouston, TexasAstros2000--------------Active
Nationals ParkWashington, D.C.Nationals2008--------------Active
PETCO ParkSan Diego, CaliforniaPadres2004--------------Active
Progressive FieldCleveland, OhioIndians1994--------------Active. Renovated in 2014-2015
Safeco Field double-daggerSeattle, WashingtonMariners1999--------------Active
SunTrust ParkCobb County, GeorgiaBraves2017--------------Broke ground
Target FieldMinneapolis, MinnesotaTwins2010--------------Active

double-dagger denotes stadium is also a retractable-roof ballpark

Contemporary ballparks[edit]

Marlins Park has a contemporary, Miami-centric design with a sculptural glass & curves depiction of "water merging with land", Miami-Deco tiles, and a bright multi-color scheme.

Prior to the start of the 2012 baseball season, USA Today noted that new Marlins Park "likely is the last major league ballpark to be built for another five to 10 years", and speculated that it would "perhaps provide a coda to the postmodern Camden Yards era". [11] After 2 decades of the retro style dominating ballpark architecture, something radical occurred. A new type of design emerged in 2012 with the opening of Marlins Park, snapping the consecutive streak of 20 new (plus 3 renovated) MLB retro stadiums. This latest style's purpose is to make the fan experience the present-day culture of the stadium's surrounding city or area, and rejects the basic notion of retro. Stadium planners are calling the style contemporary.

Unlike retro ballparks, neither the interior nor the exterior of a contemporary park feels nostalgic for historic stadiums of the early 20th century. Contemporary parks do not feature classic elements (redbrick, forest green, etc.) -- for that matter, they might not all follow a common material or color of any kind. However, contemporary design does retain the close-proximity seating to the field favored by ticket patrons, and retains some uniqueness to the outfield walls of the retro style—although the idiosyncrasies of the latter are not as contrived. Plus, a contemporary stadium is still specifically purposed for baseball with pageantry for the sport. Therefore, although the style could be considered neomodern, contemporary is also not included within the modern or multipurpose era of symmetrical, non-glass, or utilitarian stadiums built from the 1950s through 1991.

Instead of copying building materials and color schemes from other ballparks—past and present—a contemporary ballpark's design is primarily inspired by the unique features and forward trends of its own city. It immerses visitors in the city that the park represents by making bold use of contemporary materials (such as glass), a sculptural exterior, dazzling bright colors, and artwork that create the look and feel of the particular city's contemporary décor—or an abstraction of it. It embraces new technologies. As part of its forward-looking design, a contemporary park is also a green building while still offering all of the amenities.[12]

Miami's new stadium is a contemporary ballpark "that is quintessentially Miami" both inside and out. Jeffrey Loria, the team owner who spearheaded the new Marlins Park project, mandated that the building look like it was built in the 21st century and specifically for South Florida. He explained, "I really didn't want it to be just another ballpark. I wasn't interested in a 1970's or '80s doughnut. I wanted it to be a statement of what Miami is all about -- a contemporary city..."[13]

"When it all started, the architects came to me and asked what I had envisioned. Was I looking to have a retro stadium? Did we have that in mind? I said, 'No retro, no art-deco, no looking back. Miami is a spectacular city, looking ahead. We need to be looking forward. I'd like to see us build a great, contemporary building," Loria said.[14]

The Marlins hired Populous to design to their new vision—the same architectural firm that designed many of the retro stadiums, including Camden Yards. "We were waiting for a client willing to break the mold," said Greg Sherlock, a Populous project designer for Marlins Park. "We wanted a Miami feel. We wanted to be immersed in that. That was No. 1. I think it conveys that a ballpark doesn't necessarily have to be bricks and steel to translate a message about its location. It can be interpreted in a fresh way.

"If you're looking for a label, I'd say contemporary," Sherlock continued. "In this particular case, we didn't adopt anything stylistically. It's sculpture quality, and with sculpture, there are no rules. We wanted an experience that connects the fan experience to the city of Miami and its people and its climate and culture." [15]

When asked if the style was a one-off design to fit Miami, Sherlock replied, "I think there will be more contemporary ballparks in the future. I don't think the next one is going to be like … [this one], because Marlins Park is all about Miami. It's consistent with the essence of the buildings that are down here -- white plaster and graceful forms, which are somewhat of an abstraction of the look and feel of Miami Deco." [16]

Populous has already designed a contemporary stadium for Tampa Bay, but the project was cancelled. The New Yorker wrote regarding the new MLB architecture: "The retro mold has finally been broken, but this might be the last chance a new style gets for some time." [17]

BallparkLocationTeamOpenedClosedDemo'dCurrent status
Marlins Park double-daggerMiami, FloridaMarlins2012--------------Active

double-dagger denotes stadium is also a retractable-roof ballpark

Current Major League ballparks[edit]

The cardinal outfield dimensions, along with the backstop.

The numbers mean the number of feet from home plate to the wall of that part of the field. Left and Right Field normally refer to the distances along the foul lines. Left Center and Right Center are the approximate power alley figures. Center Field could mean straightaway center field or it could mean to the deepest part of the center field area. Backstop refers to the distance behind home plate to the backstop screen. These numbers [18] are one researcher's opinion of the true values and may differ from the numbers marked on the wall/fence by as much as 30 feet (9.1 m). Capacity[19] figures may also vary.

StadiumTeamCityCap.LFLCCFRCRFBS
Angel Stadium of AnaheimLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimAnaheim, California45,483330′382′400′365′330′59′
AT&T ParkSan Francisco GiantsSan Francisco, California41,915339′368′399′421′309′48′
Busch StadiumSt. Louis CardinalsSt. Louis, Missouri43,975335′375′400′375′335′55′
Chase FieldArizona DiamondbacksPhoenix, Arizona48,633330′376′407′376′335′58′
Citi FieldNew York MetsQueens, New York City41,922335′379′408′383′330′45′
Citizens Bank ParkPhiladelphia PhilliesPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania43,651329′355′401′357′330′60′
Comerica ParkDetroit TigersDetroit, Michigan41,255345′370′420′388′330′62′
Coors FieldColorado RockiesDenver, Colorado50,480347′390′415′382′350′54′
Dodger StadiumLos Angeles DodgersLos Angeles, California56,000330′368′400′†368′330′53′
Fenway ParkBoston Red SoxBoston, Massachusetts37,499***310′335′390′††380′302′54′
Globe Life Park in ArlingtonTexas RangersArlington, Texas48,114330′380′400′380′330′60′
Great American Ball ParkCincinnati RedsCincinnati, Ohio42,319328′365′404′365′325′52′
Kauffman StadiumKansas City RoyalsKansas City, Missouri37,903330′387′410′387′330′50′
Marlins ParkMiami MarlinsMiami, Florida36,742340′384′416′392′335′47′
Miller ParkMilwaukee BrewersMilwaukee, Wisconsin41,900344′370′400′374′337′54′
Minute Maid ParkHouston AstrosHouston, Texas42,060315′404'436′373'326′56′
Nationals ParkWashington NationalsWashington, D.C.41,418336′377′402′370′335′53'2″
O.co ColiseumOakland AthleticsOakland, California35,067*330′362′400′362′330′66′
Oriole Park at Camden YardsBaltimore OriolesBaltimore, Maryland45,971333′364′410′373′318′58′
PETCO ParkSan Diego PadresSan Diego, California42,524334′378′396′387′322′45′
PNC ParkPittsburgh PiratesPittsburgh, Pennsylvania38,362325′389′399′364′320′55′
Progressive FieldCleveland IndiansCleveland, Ohio38,000[20]325′370′405′†††375′325′60′
Rogers CentreToronto Blue JaysToronto, Ontario49,282328′375′400′375′328′60′
Safeco FieldSeattle MarinersSeattle, Washington47,476331′375′405′365′326′62′
Target FieldMinnesota TwinsMinneapolis, Minnesota39,021339′377′404′367′328′46'
Tropicana FieldTampa Bay RaysSt. Petersburg, Florida34,078**315′370′404′370′322′50′
Turner FieldAtlanta BravesAtlanta, Georgia49,586335′380′400′390′330′43′
U.S. Cellular FieldChicago White SoxChicago, Illinois40,615335′375′400′375′330′60′
Wrigley FieldChicago CubsChicago, Illinois41,019355′368′400′368′353′60′
Yankee StadiumNew York YankeesBronx, New York City50,291318′399′408′385′314′52′4″

*O.co Coliseum is expandable to 55,945.

**Tropicana Field is expandable to 42,735.

***Fenway Park is 37,071 during day games


†Actual distance to center field is 400 feet (122 m); the 395 feet (120 m) markings are to the left and right of dead center.[21]

††At Fenway Park, straightaway center is 390 feet (119 m), but there is a corner in the fence just right of center that juts out to 410 feet (125 m).

†††Distance to straightaway center field. Distance to deep center field is 410 feet (125 m)

Unique features and quirks of current major league parks[edit]

Wrigley's ivy, bleachers, rooftop seats, and scoreboard
Angel Stadium of Anaheim's rock outcropping in the outfield
O.co Coliseum's Mount Davis, the unused seats covered by tarps
Kauffman Stadium's video board is the largest in Major League Baseball
U.S. Cellular Field with its iconic "exploding scoreboard" in center field
Progressive Field with its Little Green Monster in left field
Chase Field, one of the few parks to have air conditioning while the roof is open
AT&T's open view of the Bay and McCovey Cove
Comerica Park, the brick wall and monument park in center field and Ford Field beyond the grandstand in left
Minute Maid Park, with Tal's Hill in deep center
One side of Miller Park's fan-shaped roof and its large panes of glass
PNC Park's Roberto Clemente Bridge
"The Gap" at Great American Ballpark

Parks are ordered by date of construction.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/official_info/official_rules/foreword.jsp
  2. ^ http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/nyy/ballpark/new_stadium_comparison.jsp
  3. ^ Baseball Explained, by Phillip Mahony. McFarland Books, 2014. See www.baseballexplained.com
  4. ^ http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/mil/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=groundrules
  5. ^ Baseball Explained, by Phillip Mahony. McFarland Books, 2014. See www.baseballexplained.com
  6. ^ http://deadspin.com/5898747/marlins-park-camden-yards-and-the-end-of-the-retro-ballpark
  7. ^ Bluestein, Greg; Leslie, Katie (November 12, 2013). "Atlanta's Reed promises enormous middle-class development at Turner Field". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/03/retro-ballpark-movement-officially-over/1597/
  9. ^ http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=facts_figures
  10. ^ http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2010/04/target_field_is.php
  11. ^ Dodd, Mike (April 2, 2012). "Marlins see future in modern, artistic park". USA Today. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-contemporary-architecture.htm
  13. ^ Bodley, Hal (April 3, 2012). "Marlins Park is Loria's masterpiece in Miami". MLB.com. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ Frisaro, Joe (March 31, 2012). "Homer feature emblematic of artistic Miami park". MLB.com. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ Justice, Richard (April 3, 2012). "Marlins Park a work of art in every facet". MLB.com. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ http://www.architectmagazine.com/architecture/interview-greg-sherlock.aspx?rssLink=Q%26A%3a+Greg+Sherlock
  17. ^ The End of the Retro Ballpark
  18. ^ Clem's Baseball ~ Stadium dimensions
  19. ^ The Baseball Guru - Major League Ballparks since 1900, sorted chronologically by franchise by Joe Mock
  20. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (2014-08-07). "Improvements, changes coming to Progressive Field: Enhancements include terraced seating, new Gate C, tiered bullpens, larger kids area". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2014-11-28. 
  21. ^ Lowry, Phillip (2005). Green Cathedrals. New York City: Walker & Company. ISBN 0-8027-1562-1. 

External links[edit]