Weston Warhorse

What is The Worst Baseball Stadium?

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Photo Courtesy of baseballparks.com

Photo Courtesy of baseballparks.com

Photo Courtesy of baseballparks.com

Tyler Melito, Staf

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Baseball is known as America’s pastime and is played across the entire country. The MLB might not be as popular as the NFL or NBA, but there is a large following of people who go to the games at every stadium. Over the course of the last six years, my family and I have seen a game at every stadium. With a new baseball season just underway, I am here to answer the most important question in regards to baseball stadiums. Which one is the worst?
Although these are not the worst, some stadiums also receiving consideration for being the worst were Rogers Centre in Toronto, Marlins Park in Miami and the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland.
For me the stadium that is by far the worst stadium in the MLB is Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Florida, home to the Tampa Bay Rays. This stadium is the uttermost worst stadium in the MLB. It was originally known as the Suncoast Dome and opened in 1990 to fans after being built for the lofty price tag of $138 million. In 1993 it received a name change to the ThunderDome for the arrival of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning; yes, it was a hockey stadium before it was turned into a baseball stadium. Finally in 1996, it was renamed to Tropicana Field, a.k.a the Trop, to host the MLB’s newest baseball team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The stadium itself is not schematically set up appropriately for baseball games. The field is astroturf instead of grass, which is unappealing for a baseball stadium, as baseball is typically played on grass across 28 of the other 29 stadiums(Rogers Centre being the only other with a turf field). The problem with a field of astroturf is that the ball bounces a lot more when it lands in the outfield, resulting in more unlucky bounces and not as great defensive plays. It also causes miscues in the infield as bad bounces occur at a higher rate when the ball goes from the turf to the dirt as there is less resistance from the turf compared to that of grass.
It is an enclosed stadiums with catwalks parallel to the field. Many times during games, players have hit a baseball into the catwalks and the MLB has had to make special rules for instances where the baseball hit the catwalk. Players in the field have had difficulty finding the ball at times since it blends into the roof. These catwalks were once used for when the stadium was used for the Tampa Bay Lightning to hold/operate the scoreboard. However, now that the Rays are the only team playing there, the catwalks remain and just look extremely ugly aside from their problems they cause. If a ball hits the catwalks, regardless of whether or not it would be an easy out, or a homerun, the batter gets a ground rule double can easily shift momentum for either team.
Aside from the field, at times it can be very dark as the back walls are all concrete and don’t look very appealing for fans. It seats just more than 31,000 people the fewest in the MLB. All 30 stadiums have some form of outfield seating, but only 29 have multiple levels. The one that doesn’t is the Trop. If the Rays could somehow find a way to add a second deck in the outfield, they could possibly have more fans at their games and increase ticket sales.

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