An annual ranking by Stadium Journey confirms what most of us already knew: No other stadium makes for a better ballgame than Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Apparently, this is the third straight year that the publication, owned by sports media publisher Scout.com, has put Camden Yards at the top of its list. Stadium Journey’s staff annually rank all 30 MLB stadiums based on their concessions, atmosphere, the surrounding neighborhood, accessibility, profitability and, perhaps most importantly, the fans.
Camden Yards will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this coming April. The retro-style stadium was built in the early 1990s right into the downtown area in a manner that the magazine says is the park’s secret to success. “Instead of tearing down the surrounding neighborhood, they embraced it and incorporated it into the stadium design,” writes correspondent Lloyd Brown.
He also notes that the O’s franchise continually upgrades its concessions, has surrounded the park with neat historical attractions and has fun events and activities for its fan base, some of which happen during the offseason.
Camden Yards placed ahead of St. Louis’ Busch Stadium, PNC Park in Pittsburgh and AT&T Park in San Francisco. The publication ranked the more modern Nationals’ Park down in D.C. at 17th among the MLB’s stadiums. Could the disparity be part of Bryce Harper’s dislike of Oriole Park?
Given the confirmed greatness of Camden Yards coupled with the O’s’ recent success, it came as a bit of a surprise that the stands weren’t quite packed this past season. Still, Baltimore loves its Birds, and we’re hoping for an even more promising season at our top-ranked stadium come opening day.
Ethan McLeod is associate editor at Baltimore Fishbowl.