The 1990s saw tremendous growth in the game of baseball, and it also launched the era of stadiums being built exclusively for baseball instead of shared with professional football teams. As a result, there were nine full-time MLB stadiums that were opened in the 1990s. How do those nine stack up against one another? Here is our definitive ranking of the 90s ballparks:
9. Tropicana Field
If there’s any sort of list about baseball stadiums and Tropicana Field qualifies, you can be assured that it will be at the bottom. The home of the Tampa Bay Rays has been called the worst in Major League Baseball since it opened in the 1990s and converted to a baseball-first facility upon the team’s first season in 1998.
8. Chase Field
When it opened as the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998, Chase Field was seen as sort of cheeky and fun as there was an inground pool beyond the right field fence. The stadium hasn’t aged particularly well, though, and Chase Field sort of has a massive mausoleum feel as it boasts one of the quieter atmospheres despite having a retractable roof.
7. Guaranteed Rate Field
For almost 90 years, the Chicago White Sox had called Comiskey Park their home, but it was time for an upgrade when 1991 came along. That’s when their new stadium, which was also called Comiskey Park, was opened for the first time. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but the stadium now known as Guaranteed Rate Field just lacks the uniqueness of other stadiums, including crosstown Wrigley Field.
6. Turner Field
The first of the two 1990s stadiums to not make it for more than just a couple of decades, Turner Field was originally built for the 1996 Summer Olympics and then converted into a baseball stadium for the Atlanta Braves. The stadium certainly served its purpose, but Turner Field was left for the George State University football team as the Braves moved to Truist Park in Cobb County.
5. Progressive Field
Still referred to lovingly by fans as “The Jake” since it originally opened in 1994 as Jacobs Field, Progressive Park has been the above-average home for the Cleveland Guardians ever since. While it shares a lot of similarities to other stadiums of its time in that there’s not much that’s unique to it, Progressive Field does offer better sightlines than stadiums like Guaranteed Rate Field.
4. The Ballpark in Arlington
Opened in 1994 to serve as the home for the Texas Rangers, The Ballpark in Arlington was a beautiful facility that was truly unique. However, there was one problem. The Ballpark was an absolutely brutal place for players and fans during the hot Texas summers. The stadium didn’t even make it 25 years before it was replaced with a new facility called Globe Life Field, and the old ballpark is now known as Choctaw Stadium.
3. Coors Field
Denver, Colorado joined the list of major cities with a Major League team when the expansion Rockies played in Coors Field for the first time in 1995. The Rockies have no plans on moving from their stadium, either, as it remains one of the fan favorites across the league. With the unique “rockpile” centerfield and long home runs due to the thin air, Coors Field is a party every time the Rockies play.
2. T-Mobile Park
Originally opened as Safeco Field in 1999, T-Mobile Park has been the home for the Seattle Mariners since they moved from the Kingdome. T-Mobile Park is referred to as one of the best in Major League Baseball, and it keeps fans covered from the Pacific Northwest rains thanks to its retractable roof. T-Mobile Park has even hosted WrestleMania, with the 19th edition being held on the field.
1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
The Baltimore Orioles showed everyone how it’s done in 1992 when they replaced Memorial Stadium with Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and teams across Major League Baseball have been trying to replicate what they’ve done ever since. Camden Yards set the tone for stadiums like Petco Park in San Diego and PNC Park in Pittsburgh as the original contemporary baseball-first park.