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Writer’s Roundtable: Favorite Stadiums

AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The Phillies just returned from a trip at two of the nicer parks in baseball (AT&T Park in San Francisco and Chase Field in Arizona). With a visit to Boston’s Fenway Park coming up over Memorial Day weekend, we wanted to ask our writers: Of the stadiums you’ve visited, which is your favorite? And what stadium do you most want to check of your bucket list?

Don’t forget to check out the “2013 Phillies Nation Road Trips” page, for info on visiting some great ballparks with lots of fellow Phillies fans!

Writer’s Roundtable responses:

Alex Lee: I was at Comerica Park in Detroit last spring which was very cool. The left field seats are right on top of both bullpens and there are a couple of patio areas above the bleachers in right field that offer some nice views. For a day game in May, the energy in the park was outstanding…especially if you consider how empty and depressing Detroit has become as a city. Upon walking through the gates, I vividly remember thinking, “So this is where all the people are!”

Pat Gallen: PNC Park I think is a great stadium. It has beautiful scenes of downtown Pittsburgh in the background, with the Roberto Clemente Bridge playing a large role in the scenery. It’s also a great place to watch a game, where tickets are super cheap in the left field bleachers. Although, when it’s 95 degrees during a day game, your ass is on fire. The concourses are very nice, and overall it has almost a minor league feel to it in a major league park.

Amanda Orr: Wrigley Field was my favorite stadium that I visited so far. It was a complete baseball atmosphere. The area surrounding the stadium was all baseball oriented. The fans were friendly, despite what some might say about the reputation of Cubs fans. The old time feel just put the focus on the game, creating the Ultimate baseball experience. In my opinion, I thought it beat out Fenway. On the bucket list is PNC (Pittsburgh) and AT&T (SF). I’ve only heard great things about them.

Don McGettigan: I’ve had the good fortune of seeing quite a few stadiums over the years. I’ve seen games in Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, PNC Park, Oriole Field at Camden Yards, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and AT&T Park. Like Amanda, my favorite is Wrigley Field (in a close contest over Fenway). While I think the playing-field at Fenway is more interesting with the Green Monster, Pesky Pole, etc… the overall atmosphere with Wrigley is second to none. The home fans were friendlier, the bars seemed much more reasonably priced, and there was an excitement in the air that is simply indescribable. I will also suggest if you’re going to Chicago, you absolutely MUST do the Rooftop Bleacher Seats! I love AT&T Park and PNC Park too, but I’m a sucker for the old-time feel at the classic stadiums. (I’m heading to Boston on Memorial Day to see the Phillies at Fenway again, so I’ll see if my opinion changes after that trip.)

The one that I most want to check off my bucket list…is probably Jacob’s Field in Cleveland, though I’m not sure why.

Ryan Dinger: Like a lot of baseball fans, my passion for the ballparks around the league is almost as intense as my passion for the game. In my relatively short lifetime, I’ve made my way to 13 different ballparks as a fan, with the intention to visit many more. Thus far, the best I’ve seen is Fenway Park–it’s a slice of classic Americana. Amenities-wise, the ballpark itself isn’t particularly impressive. But Fenway’s quirky design and rich history–it opened the same month the Titanic sank!–make it a great experience. They’ve done a great job in Boston of keeping the old time feel intact, with the atmosphere around the concourse having a carnival-like feel.

As for ballparks I’d love to visit, there are two that top my list. Number 1 is Wrigley Field, for reasons similar to why I was so captivated by Fenway. The other is AT&T Park in San Francisco. A jewel by the bay, the stylistic architecture is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and, from afar, it seems like an absolute can’t-miss.

Eric Seidman: I’ve never been one to romanticize stadiums — I’d watch baseball if it was being played a dark dungeon somewhere, as long as it’s being played — but AT&T Park in San Francisco is my favorite stadium. It just has the perfect atmosphere. The weather is great, the food is great, the stadium is very open and airy, and it’s just a very laid-back experience.

Ian Riccaboni: I’m going to go off the beaten path –Toronto’s Rogers Centre (originally known as SkyDome) is my favorite stadium. Sure, it was the site of one of the most disappointing moments in Phillies history but it is one of the last remaining artifacts of the concrete-age of stadiums, has terrific sight lines, and the world’s first retractable roof is one of the most impressive sights of architecture I have ever seen. The people are friendly, the food is cheap, and the city is beautiful, an easy choice for me.

Jay Floyd: I’ve been to no less than 10 big league parks, along with plenty more minor league facilities, and of the places I have taken in a game there is none more enjoyable for ambiance, history and full fan experience than Fenway Park. It’s everything you expect a historic landmark type venue to be and yet still thrives as a tremendous stage for today’s game.

My bucket list park has got to be Wrigley Field. I’ve heard endless outstanding feedback in relation to the Cub’s home stadium and I look forward to getting there some day.

Corey Seidman: Citizens Bank Park is underrated. Rather than touch on another stadium (it’d be Safeco Field in Seattle) I’d rather just talk about our park, which must be fun for fans in other cities to look at, honestly.

The wall in center, Harry the Ks, all the aesthetics and alternate areas to watch the game…it’s a great park. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to see it only a few times a year, the way we see PNC or AT&T Park.

Take a look at USA Today’s picture gallery of all 30 MLB stadiums and tell us what your favorites are.

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