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Ranking Major League Baseball's eight most beautiful stadiums

Joe Mock
Special to USA TODAY Sports

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” 

Not only is this phrase trite, it’s also accurate. Truly judging something to be beautiful is, well, subjective. 

While this is certainly true of baseball parks, I think there’s common ground on the premise that some venues are prettier than others. Isn’t it obvious that Citi Field in New York is more attractive than its predecessor Shea Stadium? Isn’t Pittsburgh’s PNC Park a lot nicer to look at than Three Rivers Stadium? 

Of course, we’re picking the low-hanging fruit by casting aspersions toward cookie-cutter stadiums of the 1960s and ‘70s. 

In arriving at a ranking of the most beautiful parks in Major League Baseball, it makes sense to examine two very different factors:  the actual visual appearance of the structure itself (sorry, Oakland Coliseum!); the view from your seat that you get to enjoy beyond the outfield (sorry, Tropicana Field!). 

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In other words, we’re defining “beauty” as being aesthetically appealing, both in what you see when you look at the park and the view you see beyond the park’s outfield stands. 

So this is most certainly subjective.  

Of course, it’s hard to argue with Jim Lefebvre, infielder with the Dodgers from 1965 through 1972: “Sometimes I’d go into Dodger Stadium just to be alone. The game might start at 8:00 and I’d get there at 1:00 and sit in the stands and look at the field. It was beautiful.” 

And then there’s sportswriter extraordinaire Jim Murray, who wrote, “I like to look down on a field of green and white, a summertime land of Oz, a place of dream. I’ve never been unhappy in a ballpark.” 

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Do you remember the first time as a child you walked through the portal of a ballpark and gazed upon the most beautiful green grass you’d ever seen? And then looked around at the stately stands all around you? Had you ever seen a prettier place? 

Well, unless you were at one of those mundane cookie cutters!

Join us now for our ranking of MLB's eight most beautiful ballparks:

1. Petco Park – San Diego Padres

San Diego's Petco Park opened in 2004.

There is a poignant, undeniable phrase that applies to the Padres’ home park: the most aesthetically pleasing ballpark ever built. Much of the credit for this positively gorgeous exterior and interior belongs to renown architect Antoine Predock, who passed away in March 2024. No other park looks like this one – although some stunning art galleries and museums (designed by him) do. Positioning concourses in valleys between structures and strategically placing landscaping inside the facility – even the supports for light standards have suites built into them! – create a level of beauty unsurpassed in the sports world. Rest In Peace, Antoine. 

2. Oracle Park – San Francisco Giants

San Francisco's home ballpark opened in 2000.

This is a one-of-a-kind combination. When you combine the park’s beautiful appearance with the mesmerizing view of San Francisco Bay and the hills beyond, this makes the Giants’ home a stunner. The park’s exterior is beautifully designed, with a different look on all sides (and you should walk all the way around the exterior before going inside). And do yourself a favor and sit in the upper deck. The Giants refer to it as the “View” level for a reason. 

3. PNC Park – Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh's PNC Park opened in 2001.

While its exterior is lovely and the fact that there’s only two seating decks conveys a wonderful sense of intimacy, it’s the view from the seats that is other-worldly. With the Allegheny River and the Roberto Clemente Bridge that spans it, the skyscrapers of Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle, and the inclined trains running up and down Mount Washington beyond, Pirates fans have the best view in sports. 

4. Wrigley Field – Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field opened its doors in 1914.

Ernie Banks isn’t the only one who loved The Friendly Confines. There is something so stately and historic about its structure. When you stop to think about it, there have been many buildings that were meant to mimic the look of the Cubs’ park. And when you’re in the upper deck on a sunny afternoon, you can see the fans on the rooftops of the buildings across Waveland and Sheffield, all the way to Lake Michigan. It takes your breath away just thinking about it. 

5. Coors Field – Colorado Rockies 

Denver's Coors Field opened in 1995.

The aesthetics of the Rockies’ ballpark might be the most underrated in the sport. The exterior is gorgeous, with lots of nice design work in the masonry. The interior architecture is almost as lovely, with an abundance of great touches and vantage points. And the view of the Rocky Mountains, while a little more obstructed than before the construction of a few tall buildings beyond the outfield, is as nice a backdrop as you could ever ask for. 

6. Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore's Camden Yards opened in 1992.

The fact that PNC Park, Oracle Park and other newer venues are so attractive is a testament to the “retro” revolution ushered in by the Orioles’ downtown ballpark. It proved that looking old but acting new was a premise that works. It was accurate when OPACY opened in 1992, and it’s still true today. And it’s a park that’s still beautiful at age 32. 

7. Target Field – Minnesota Twins 

Target Field became the Twins' home in 2010.

When the Twins moved from the sterile Metrodome to vibrant, open-air Target Field in 2010, the improvement in aesthetics was off the charts. Now fans can gaze at Minneapolis’ scenic skyline and, if they want, the actual sky! The fans embraced this change when it started to rain during the second game ever played there – and they cheered! Remarked one fan, “Outdoor baseball! Rain and all!” 

8. Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox

Fenway Park — Boston Red Sox

You know how much you loved that adorable mutt when you were a kid? It may have not been the the prettiest dog, but it was yours and it loved you back. That’s Fenway Park. Misshapen due to the bizarre angles of the streets around it, with too many obstructions blocking your view, and seats that don’t quite face the right way, there’s an unmistakable charm about it. Even though there’s no parking and it costs a fortune to attend a game here, there’s nothing else like it … and there’s absolutely something to be appreciated about that fact. 

About Joe Mock: Joe has examined all 30 Major League parks, all 23 spring training parks and all 119 affiliated Minor League parks – plus plenty of indy league and college facilities. He covers sports facilities for USA TODAY publications and he’s operated since 1997. There he’s posted nearly 100 in-depth reviews of pro parks that have opened in the last quarter century. His ballpark expertise has landed him appearances on the Travel Channel and History Channel. You can follow his ballpark escapades on X @baseballparks

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