The year is 2050, and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos now own Major League Baseball. Every park has “Tesla” or “Amazon” in the name in some capacity. While this may not be the case (yet), there is no shortage of MLB stadiums named after the big corporations that own them. While I still can, I am going to rank the 30 MLB ballparks solely based on their name alone. (Disclaimer: there will be a few ties on this list because of the unoriginality of teams).
30-27: Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Nationals Park & Angel Stadium
In terms of marketing to fans who have zero idea what the massive building in front of them is used for, naming your stadium after the team that plays there might be the best idea. Another spin zone is that it means they didn’t sell out the naming rights to more giant corporations that want to advertise. However, I think this is extremely lazy and straight-up boring. I need some creativity, and this is about as bland as it gets in terms of names.
26-24: GuarenteedRate Field, LoanDepot Park & PNC Park
In today’s economy, interest rates and banks are probably public enemy #1 for anyone with a house or money in a bank somewhere. (Yes, I know there are more bank stadiums, I will get there). However, these names are just blatant reminders of the poor status of the USA’s economic status at the moment. The last thing I want to think about when I go to a baseball game is the crippling economy and how I can barely afford a chicken tender basket at the game—1/10 for me.
23. T-Mobile Park
In the grand scheme of things, I understand why companies want to put their name on a stadium in a sport where 81 games are played every year. My only gripe about T-Mobile Park is that it is named after the third-best cell phone provider in the country. Verizon is the clear winner in terms of mobile telephone service providers, with AT&T coming in second. It makes sense that these two don’t need their name on a stadium as they already provide outstanding service to their customers.
22. Globe Life Field
To the typical young adult, Globe Life Field means nothing. I will be honest; I had to look up what Globe Life even was, even though I had a pretty good idea it had something to do with life insurance. Ultimately, I put them at 22 because to the younger audience, it is just a silly name, but to anyone above the age of 30, it is a constant reminder that they should have life insurance in some capacity.
21. Chase Field
I mentioned earlier that I knew that I was missing another bank stadium, and here it is. While Chase is no different than PNC, I think the word “Chase” itself has a little more versatility to it. A young, naive child may say something like, “Is it called Chase Field because the players chase the ball?” They are so young and innocent, and I think it is suitable for baseball for young fans to have a moment like that. You won’t hear them saying anything about PNC, that’s for sure.
20. Progressive Field
Another insurance company but similar to Chase Field, I think Progressive could have a few other meanings. I like to think that baseball as a whole is progressing towards a better game and that we are evolving as a sport to make the game more exciting for both players and fans. I may be wrong, but one can dream. Also, the Progressive commercials are one of the funnier ones in terms of insurance commercials.
19. Orioles Park at Camden Yards
If I ranked these stadiums based on dimensions, OPACY would be dead last. I think what they did to left field is absolutely atrocious. Luckily for them, this is a different list. I honestly would have put Camden Yards in the top five if that was the full name but adding “Orioles Park at” makes the stadium name such a mouthful. The potential was there, but they dropped the ball on this one, just like everything else in the Orioles organization.
18. Comerica Park
I had to look up where Comerica comes from, and I was not surprised to learn that it was just another bank in Detroit. The fact that I didn’t know that is why it is so high on this list. However, the reason it is so low is that Comerica doesn’t even sound like a real word. Overall just a weird name for anything and doesn’t make sense for my brain.
17. Truist Park
The same thing that applies to Comerica applies to Truist Park. However, what’s worse is that it comes from a merger of two different banks. I feel that even when being bought out by companies such as banks, many words could be better suited for a ballpark. Truist also just doesn’t sound like a real word and doesn’t really roll off the tongue.
16. RingCentral Coliseum
The Oakland A’s have been a train wreck the past few decades, and the stadium is nothing to write home about either. For a team who hasn’t won a World Series since 1989, having the name RingCentral in your home stadium’s name is nothing short of ironic. This name has the potential to be good if referred to as “The Coliseum,” but no one gets a free pass in this ranking, not even the A’s.
15. Petco Park
Another big-brand sell-out, but I honestly can see the vision in this one. Being named after a pet store opens the door for numerous event days. There’s nothing like a “bring your dog to the park day.” If you’re ever worried about filling the seats on a Wednesday afternoon game, give away a few dog toys or treats for your pets, and you will see an increase in attendance. Good on the Padres for this one.
14. Oracle Park
I feel that the Bay Area had the chance to do something special with the name of this stadium before the Warriors changed their arena name. I’m sure it was some business plan to change the name versus just getting bored of the name, but the Warriors playing at Oracle Arena and the Giants playing at Oracle Park would have been the perfect “when worlds collide” moment. I still really like the name because I don’t need to Google what Oracle means because it sounds good.
13. Rogers Centre
This name is an excellent way to fool casual fans. If you don’t Google where this name comes from, you may believe that this was named after a famous player with the last name Rogers. However, further searching will have you understand that you are, in fact, incorrect. Also, the fact that “Centre” is spelled the way it is is not surprising at all for a Canadian stadium.
12. Target Field
The only reason that I don’t rank Target Field lower with the rest of the sell-outs on this list is for one reason. That reason is the two Target logos in dead center and right-center field. I know it was not done for this reason, but I like the idea of having something for players to try to hit when they hit three home runs a game against Twins pitchers. I would like to see the stats on how often these targets have been hit, but I like the concept.
11. Citi Field
Yeah yeah, I know, “Joe, this is the worst list ever. Citi is a bank, and you said you hate sell-outs”. Yeah, I know what I said, but listen. I think that Citi Field is a sort of ironic name. A team that plays in the city, and the stadium has Citi in the name. Sort of a catchy play on words; enough of a play on words to make its way to number 11 on my list.
10. American Family Field
American Family Field makes the stadium sound like a friendly place. A great place to bring your American (or non-American) family and enjoy the greatest game on earth. Something about the name just makes it seem like a scene out of a movie where the family of four shows up to the game in attire that is not meant for a game; the dad orders a beer and hot dogs for everyone, and they go home to their white picket fence. The more I write about it, the worse it sounds, but American Family Field is a pretty cool name.
9. Kauffman Stadium
I am a big fan of stadiums named after people for their achievements (as long as they are good for humanity). Kauffman Stadium was named after Ewing Kauffman, who apparently is a big deal in Kansas City. After further research, I learned that Kauffman Stadium was one of the first baseball-only stadiums in the country. I feel that this indirectly helped grow the game of baseball because it showed that baseball was big enough to be a standalone sport and have its own stadium. Besides the team that plays there, I am a big fan of this name and its history.
8. Citizens Bank Park
To be clear, I don’t like the name Citizens Bank Park. Instead, I like the nickname “The Bank” (ironic, I know). As much as everyone hates Philly sports as a whole, something about talking about going to a baseball game and then saying, ‘Hey, wanna go to the bank to catch a game’ just sounds cool. Plus, if anyone has been to Philly, they know how cool Xfinity Live is to hang out before going to the game. So as a whole, Citizens Bank Park is not the best. The Bank, pretty cool.
7. Busch Stadium
There is no easier way to get middle-aged adults to attend something than clearly advertising that there will be alcohol there. Nothing goes better together than midwestern adults and beer. An ice-cold beer and a hot dog has been in every movie scene involving a baseball stadium, and the Cardinals know precisely how to get their target market to the stadium. Also, the stadium is among the nicest I have ever been to, but that’s a discussion for another article.
6. Coors Field
Like Busch Stadium, the Rockies are capitalizing on the whole “if you want some beer and baseball, come on to our stadium” thing. Coors Field is ahead of Busch Stadium because of the connection between the name and the team. The whole marketing plan of Coors light is that the mountains on the can turn blue when the beer reaches optimal temperature. The name of those mountains? The Rockies. The name of the team that plays there? You guessed it, the Rockies. 11/10 on the marketing side of that decision.
5. Great American Ball Park
Baseball is America’s pastime; there is nothing more American than a trip to the ballpark. What better way to spend an American day than at the Great American Ball Park? So much America just oozes from the stadium and the name and the sport as a whole that there was no way I could not include it in the top five. Now, the team that plays there is another story, but as far as the name goes, I love it.
4. Fenway Park
The surface level of the name Fenway Park doesn’t appeal if you don’t know its story. But just as historic as the park is itself, the name holds just as much history. In the 1900s, a section of marshlands (also known as the “fens”) was filled to create physical land that would later be named Back Bay Fens Urban Park. From there, when the stadium was built, it took the name of the neighborhood it was built in, and then the name Fenway Park was born.
3. Wrigley Field
While the name of the Cubs stadium is named after the team’s owner at the time, I think Wrigley may be more famously known for their gum. Similar to the beer stadiums, it makes sense that a baseball stadium would be named after such a treat as gum. I have gum a little higher on this list than beer because any group can enjoy gum while beer leaves the kids out. Whenever you grab a piece of gum, you think of the Cubs. It’s a win/win.
1. Tropicana Field, Minute Maid Park
Unfortunately, the top spot on my list is a tie between two powerhouses in the juice world. Minute Maid corners the market on fruity drinks like fruit punch, and Tropicana is an absolute monopoly in the orange juice world. You love that the two giants in the juice space have stadium naming rights to two of the best (unfortunately, as a Yankee fan) teams in baseball right now. Overall, great names, and if they ever did a juice giveaway of some sort, you know where to find me.