The NL East consists of five of the largest metropolitan cities in the United States (Philly, DC, New York, Miami, and Atlanta). This leads to higher expectations when considering the quality of stadiums for sports teams; if there are any cities that have the money and ability to have high quality stadiums, these ones do. But which stadium is the best? Which stadium do players around the league love playing in the most? Which stadium is most attractive to fans coming out to the games? I will rank the NL East stadiums starting from worst to first, attempting to leave my Phillies bias out of it.
5. Turner Field – Atlanta Braves (Capacity – 50,097)
Turner Field was originally built in time to house sporting events for the 1996 summer Olympics, but after the Olympics ended, they converted it to a baseball field and the Braves have been playing there ever since. The main reason I put Turner Field last is because it is the least modern stadium out of the 5. 16 years ago, the architects building Turner Field made a great stadium that offered a lot of new features, but these same features have since become standard for most baseball stadiums around the country. The diehard Braves fans love the stadium as it offers great tours of the field, dugout, and clubhouse as well as the Braves museum and Hall of Fame. It’s a nice stadium, but in a few years people might start affiliating the word “outdated” with Turner Field. We’ll see.
4. Citi Field – New York Mets (Capacity – 41,800)
Built in 2009 to replace the historic Shea Stadium, Citi Field is the Mets’ latest movement toward modernization. Citi Field offers plenty of new bars and clubs that show great views of the game as well as serve you a nice (but pricy) dinner, as well as the Mets’ Hall of Fame and Museum. However they did keep the Home Run Apple that pops up out of the ground whenever a Mets player hits it out of the park. Despite the attempted improvements, the stadium has been constantly criticized. It has over 15,000 fewer seats than Shea, which has disappointed most fans. Also, many fans have complained that some seats throughout the stadium have obstructed views, inhibiting their experience at the game. Lastly, the field has been referred to as a “pitchers ballpark”, and has been assumed as the main reason for the decline in the Mets’ offensive numbers. That’s not an excuse if you ask me.
3. Nationals Park – Washington Nationals (Capacity – 41,546)
Nationals Park (creatively named) has been credited as being one of the cleanest ballparks in the league. If you sit on the upper deck, you can see the US Capitol building and the Washington DC skyline. Also, there is a restaurant called the Red Porch which is unique to the baseball world in that it offers all of the amenities of a typical restaurant such as soups and salads. But no worries, it is surrounded by glass windows so you will still be able to watch the game live while enjoying a good quality meal. The only downside that I can see to this stadium is its fans. The Nationals fans aren’t known for being passionate about their team, and from a Phillies fan’s perspective, I love playing in DC because it feels like another home game for us.
2. Marlins Park – Miami Marlins (Capacity – 37,000)
The Marlins have just recently built their new stadium in honor of their new team name, and they will begin playing here this upcoming season. Marlins Park (another creative one) has some very impressive features that go along with it. For starters it has a retractable roof, useful in order to tolerate the sometime unbearable summer heat in south Florida. There will also be an aquarium serving as the home plate backstop, which is incredibly cool if you ask me. There is also an actual swimming pool in the stadium available for rent during the games. The Marlins have supposedly built in a home run feature similar to that of the Home Run Apples at Citi Field, but they haven’t said what this feature will include. I’ll be excited to see this new stadium and all its high-tech accommodations that go along with it. I’ll also be interested to see if this new stadium will bring more fans out to watch the games. The Marlins are notorious for their fan support, and it will be interesting to see if all of these new attractions at the stadium get the fans off of their couch and want to see the games in person.
1. Citizens Bank Park
Philadelphia Phillies (Capacity – 43,647)
The Phillies have an awesome stadium that consists of bars, playgrounds, and plenty of Phillies history. McFadden’s Bar and Grille is where all of the fans get together before and after games in order to either get prepared for a game of baseball or talk about the game they just saw. The Phanatic Phun Zone is where your kids can release their energy and have a fun time while you are watching an always interesting Phillies game. Aside from the bars and playgrounds, the stadium also pays tribute to the past Phillies. Around the stadium there are statues of some of the Phillies’ greatest such as Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts, and Steve Carlton. Also the Phillies have their own Wall of Fame consisting of several plaques of some of the best Phillies to play in Philadelphia. On a side note, the Philadelphia Phillies are the first Major League Baseball team to join the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program. The Phillies announced on April 30, 2008 that Citizens Bank Park will be powered with 20 million kilowatt-hours of green energy. The EPA stated that this purchase holds the record in professional sports for the largest purchase of 100% renewable energy. The Phillies are among the top three purchasers of green power in Philadelphia. Glass, cardboard, and plastic used during game day are recycled; frying oil is being recycled to produce bio-diesel fuel, and biodegradable, recyclable, and compostable products have been introduced. How could you not love this stadium? It’s a baseball player’s dream as it suits both offensive and defensive minded players, and any fan can appreciate the heritage that the Phillies have displayed throughout the stadium. It is a place suitable for all ages, and it is one of the best stadiums in the MLB, and definitely the best stadium in the NL East.