Rating the Ballparks

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September 04, 2005

SI.com graded all 30 major league parks in seven categories, from ticket price to neighborhood to the quality of the team. Here are the top three.

1. Miller Park, Milwaukee

The famed sausage race (below) is just one of many nifty extras at this brilliantly designed four-year-old stadium. There are interactive baseball exhibits for the kids, and on Fridays players sign autographs for 45 minutes after BP. The eats are great (try a Polish sausage slathered in Secret Stadium Sauce) and reasonably priced, and the atmosphere is laid-back. So what's not to like? Oh, yeah, a perpetually mediocre team. But the Brew Crew has shown signs of life this year, finally playing the type of ball worthy of its home.

2. PNC Park, Pittsburgh

With its throwback design and modern conveniences, PNC (above) has transformed the experience of attending a Pirates game from a chore to a joy. Fans can avoid traffic hassles by taking a river taxi that pulls right up to the stadium. Inside, check out the Primanti's sandwich--a pile of grilled meat, cole slaw, tomato and french fries on Italian bread. Sight lines are good, and the outfield opens onto the Roberto Clemente Bridge and the skyline across the river, one of the most dramatic views in all of sports. Incorporated smoothly into the city, PNC shows how a smart and vibrant ballpark can help revitalize a once barren neighborhood--if not, alas, a team.

3. Coors Field, Colorado

Spectators can see the field well from any seat, but try for a spot along the first base line, where you can catch a glorious view of the sunset over the mountains during evening games. And the fun doesn't end when the game does. The former industrial neighborhood, known as LoDo (Lower Downtown), has blossomed into one of Denver's trendiest areas.

• The complete rankings can be found at SI.com/fanvalueindex.

PHOTOKEITH SRAKOCIC/AP (PNC PARK) PHOTOALLEN FREDRICKSON/REUTERS (SAUSAGE RACE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)