MLB Stadium Rankings By Yelp

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nate Silver ranked MLB ballparks at the New York Times this weekend, but instead of developing his own ranking criteria, he used the review site to crowd-source his rankings. According to Yelp users, Pittsburgh's PNC Park is the best stadium in MLB, followed by Fenway Park, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Target Field in Minneapolis, and Camden Yards in Baltimore (in that order).

Sun Life Stadium is the fourth worst MLB stadium according to Yelp reviews (no surprise there), only ahead of Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Oakland's Coliseum, and the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Silver has two words of warning which are of interest to Marlins fans:
But not every new ballpark is equally well regarded. Washington's Nationals Park, for example, receives tepid reviews (3.63 stars), although perhaps that is because fans find it hard to look past the ugly play of the team on the field.
So the Marlins should do whatever possible to not suck when the new stadium opens. Sounds like a good plan. He follows that up with this:
One potential conclusion is that it's not worth building a retractable roof (which often requires significant additional taxpayer expense.) The five stadiums which have one receive an average rating of 3.86, versus an average of 4.10 for those that remain open to the elements.
I have a feeling the new Marlins park will be an exception. The closed roof will be a lifesaver on Sunday afternoon games in July and August, and Miami has a rain delay problem unlike any other MLB city (save for perhaps Seattle, but Seattle rain is a different beast altogether, as I've calmly explained to a ton of people in the past few months).

I am of course biased, but I always liked Sun Life (/Dolphin/Pro Player/Joe Robbie) Stadium. The surplus of empty seats allowed for plentiful "free" seat upgrades, and the field has a delightful quirkiness, with the teal tower in left field and the Bermuda Triangle in left-center. But it's a pain to get to Sun Life from West Kendall (where Ted and I grew up), the food is nothing to get excited about, and sharing the stadium with the Dolphins and Hurricanes during football season is a drag. The 27th ranking seems just about right.


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