Oldest MLB Stadiums: An Overview Of The Impressive History Of Major League Ballparks

A Brief History of MLB Stadiums

The history of venues and arenas has always fascinated me…especially the oldest MLB stadiums. From their early days to the modern era, these iconic baseball parks have played a significant role in the development and culture of America’s favorite pasttime.

As we’ll explore in more detail below, the two oldest major league venues opened just a couple of years apart in the early 1900’s. These two stadiums are considered historical landmarks in the world of sports.  In the early days of baseball, stadiums were quite different from what we see in today’s modern stadiums. Initially, baseball stadiums were made mostly of wood and lacked the amenities of modern ballparks that we take for granted today.

Stadiums have long been an integral part of baseball’s history and culture. These iconic structures have borne witness to some of the game’s most memorable moments, from legendary home runs to unforgettable playoff games. The significance of stadiums in the sport can hardly be overstated, as they serve not only as the backdrop for the action on the field but also as a central gathering place for fans to celebrate and express their love for the game.

Technology and innovation have had a profound impact on MLB stadium construction over the years. For example, the Rogers Centre in Toronto became the world’s first stadium with a fully retractable roof when it opened in 1989. The advancement in materials allowed for the construction of more massive venues with increased seating capacity, better sightlines, and improved amenities for fans. In addition, improvements in lighting, sound systems, and video displays have greatly enhanced the in-stadium experience for fans.

The fan experience attending baseball games in the five oldest MLB stadiums is sure to include lots of nostalgia as you get to step first-hand into the history of the game. The average age of these five historical stadiums is almost 60 years older than the remaining 25 major league stadiums. Let’s get started with the two oldest and arguably most famous baseball stadiums:

1. Fenway Park – 1912

Team: Boston Red Sox
First Game:
April 20, 1912

As the oldest Major League Baseball stadium, Fenway Park holds a special place in the hearts of most baseball fans. It has been the home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912 and truly has an awe-inspiring history.

Over the years, Fenway has hosted numerous notable games and events. The very first Red Sox’s game in the stadium was on April 20, 1912, against the New York Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees). Of course, it’s also the site of countless important games, including some exciting World Series matchups.

What makes Fenway Park truly unique is its architecture and distinctive features. Perhaps its most famous feature is the Green Monster, a towering left-field wall that has become a symbol of the park. There’s also the manual scoreboard and the Pesky Pole in right field, which add to the charm of this historic venue.

Oldest MLB Stadiums - Fenway Park

If you’re planning a visit to Fenway Park, you definitely want to arrive early so you can fully explore the stadium and soak up its atmosphere. Additionally, check out nearby attractions like the Fenway Park Living Museum or take a guided tour of the park.

For dining options, there are several great restaurants in the area, such as The Bleacher Bar, which offers a unique view of the field. You’ll also find plenty of traditional New England fare at the many pubs and eateries nearby.

With its rich history and charming features, there’s no doubt that Fenway Park is a must-see for any baseball fan. Attending a game at Fenway and a game at #2 on our list are both must-do bucket list items for any baseball fan.

2. Wrigley Field – 1914

Team: Chicago Cubs
First Game:
April 23, 1914

With its iconic ivy-covered outfield walls, Wrigley Field is a historic Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium located in Chicago, Illinois, and serves as the home of the Chicago Cubs. Wrigley first opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park for Charles Weeghman’s Chicago Whales of the Federal League. The Federal League folded after the 1915 baseball season, and the stadium has been the Cubs’ home field ever since [source].

Throughout its long history, Wrigley Field has witnessed many memorable moments, such as Babe Ruth’s famous “called shot” home run during the 1932 World Series. The stadium also hosted the 2016 World Series, when the Cubs won their first championship in 108 years. [source].

2nd Oldest Stadium in Major Leagues - Wrigley Field in Chicago

When visiting Wrigley Field, there are many areas to explore including the surrounding Wrigleyville rooftops and neighborhood, which boasts a lively atmosphere with numerous bars, restaurants, and shops. Some of my favorite nearby spots include Murphy’s Bleachers, a classic sports bar located right across the street from the ballpark, and Big Star, a popular taco joint with a great outdoor patio. If you have time, don’t miss visiting the nearby Chicago Sports Museum, which showcases the rich sports history of the city [source].

3. Dodger Stadium

Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
First Game:
April 10, 1962

Shifting to the west coast brings us to the 3rd oldest major league stadium and the rich history of Dodger Stadium. Located in the Elysian Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, it has been the home of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers since its opening in 1962. Constructed in less than three years at a cost of $23 million, it is the oldest ballpark in MLB west of the Mississippi River (Wikipedia). Some of the most significant games in the history of the sport have taken place here, including memorable World Series games and All-Star Games. The iconic moments and events that have taken place at Dodger Stadium are a testament to its significance in the world of baseball.

One of the aspects I find most fascinating about Dodger Stadium is its unique architecture and design. The stadium’s timeless beauty has been preserved throughout its history, with its recognizable pastel-colored seats and terraced levels. The seating capacity is impressive, accommodating over 56,000 fans, while the playing surface is well-maintained, creating a great atmosphere for both players and spectators (MLB). These features contribute to Dodger Stadium’s reputation as one of the most beloved ballparks in the country.

Dodger Stadium View of Downtown

When visiting Dodger Stadium, you should plan on taking in the beautiful view of downtown LA and the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains from the top deck. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the onsite Dodger Stadium Museum, which showcases Dodger memorabilia and highlights the rich history of the Dodgers franchise. As for food, there are plenty of options within the stadium, but a must try for any fan is the legendary Dodger Dog!

Once you have taken in a game at Dodger Stadium, you can also explore the nearby area, as Los Angeles is full of exciting attractions. Some popular choices include the Griffith Observatory, the iconic Hollywood Sign, or the lively Downtown LA scene. With a variety of incredible experiences to offer, a visit to Dodger Stadium and Los Angeles will certainly be a memorable one.

4. Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Team: Anaheim Angels
First Game:
April 19, 1966

Staying in the Los Angeles area let’s us explore Angel Stadium of Anaheim, or ANaheim Stadium. “The Big A” also has a rich history as the fourth oldest MLB stadium, opening its doors in 1966. It has in fact been the home of the Los Angeles Angels since then, witnessing many unforgettable games and moments over its long life source.

One of the unique aspects of this majestic ballpark is its architecture. The 230-foot tall “Big A” sign, originally built as a scoreboard, is now a grand marquee welcoming fans to the stadium source. With seating capacity around 45,000, Angel Stadium offers an excellent range of options for visitors to find their perfect views. Additionally, the natural grass playing surface ensures that every game played feels as though it’s being contested on the highest quality field.

Oldest MLB Stadiums: Angel Stadium of Anaheim

You can add to the experience of any Angels game by exploring the numerous statues and plaques within this major league stadium, such as the one commemorating “the Singing Cowboy” and Angels founder, Gene Autry source. There’s also a brick display of the team’s retired numbers, which is a great photographic backdrop for avid Angels and baseball fans alike.

Of course, no trip to Angel Stadium would be complete without exploring nearby attractions and dining options. The adjoined Honda Center is home to the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks source, so if the timing is right in the spring or fall you can catch a game of ice hockey on the same trip. I also cannot recommend enough the lively dining scene around the stadium. One such area favorite is the nearby Karl Strauss Brewing Company known for its delicious food and fantastic beer selection.

5. Oakland Coliseum

Team: Oakland Athletics
First Game:
April 17, 1968

Home to the Oakland Athletics, the Oakland Coliseum is the fifth oldest MLB stadium and keeps us in the state of California to round out the Top 5. This venue was one of the first multi-purpose stadiums and has witnessed numerous significant games and events.

The first major league game was played in this stadium on April 17, 1968, but it made its debut as a sports venue on September 18, 1966, when the Oakland Raiders played their first game at the Coliseum (Oldest.org). Additionally, in 2017, the playing surface was dedicated as Rickey Henderson Field, in honor of the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, career MLB steals leader, and former Oakland Athletics player (Wikipedia).

Oldest MLB Stadiums: Oakland Coliseum

Visitors to the Coliseum will appreciate its unique features, such as the multi-purpose design and its substantial seating capacity. With room for nearly 57,000 spectators, it’s currently the largest MLB stadium in use (Tripadvisor).

As a fan attending a game at the Oakland Coliseum, I highly recommend exploring the local area and trying some fantastic nearby eateries. And remember, you’re not far from the vibrant city of San Francisco, so there’s always a lot to see and do while you’re in town. With all this history and the attractions nearby, Oakland Coliseum is undoubtedly worth a visit.

6. Kauffman Stadium (Bonus)

Team: Kansas City Royals
First Game: April 10, 1973

Ever since its opening in 1973, Kauffman Stadium has been an iconic venue for Major League Baseball. Originally called Royals Stadium, it was renamed in 1993 to honor Ewing Kauffman, the founder and first owner of the Kansas City Royals. Over the years, this baseball-only stadium has hosted numerous memorable games and events, creating a rich history for fans to cherish.

Built during an era when multi-purpose “cookie-cutter” stadiums were popular, Kauffman Stadium stands out as a baseball-only venue with a beautiful waterfall display in center field. The stadium has a seating capacity of 37,903, which has remained constant since its last major renovation in 2009. The playing surface of Kauffman Stadium is natural grass, providing an authentic experience for both the players and the fans.

Oldest MLB Stadiums: Kauffman Stadium

One of the best aspects of visiting Kauffman Stadium is taking advantage of the nearby attractions and restaurants. You’ll want to make sure to check out the Royals Hall of Fame, which showcases the team’s greatest players and moments. For dining options, there’s a wide range of restaurants and eateries close to the stadium.

Overall, a visit to Kauffman Stadium offers a perfect blend of history, architectural beauty, and excitement for baseball fans.

Remaining MLB Stadiums Ranked by Age

7. Rogers Center

Team: Toronto Blue Jays
First Game: June 5, 1989

8. Guaranteed Rate Field

Team: Chicago White Soc
First Game: April 18, 1991

9. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Team: Baltimore Orioles
First Game: April 16, 1992

10. Progressive Field

Team: Cleveland Guardians
First Game: April 4, 1994

11. Coors Field

Team: Colorado Rockies
First Game: April 26, 1995

12. Tropicana Field

Team: Tampa Bay Rays
First Game: March 31, 1998

13. Chase Field

Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
First Game: March 31, 1998

14. T-Mobile Park

Team: Seattle Mariners
First Game: July 15, 1999

15. Minute Maid Park

Team: Houston Astros
First Game:
April 7, 2000

16. Comerica Park

Team: Detroit Tigers
First Game: April 11, 2000

17. Oracle Park

Team: San Francisco Giants
First Game: April 11, 2000

18. American Family Field

Team: Milwaukee Brewers
First Game: April 6, 2001

19. PNC Park

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
First Game: April 9, 2001

20. Great American Ball Park

Team: Cincinnati Reds
First Game: March 31, 2003

21. Petco Park

Team: San DIego Padres
First Game: June 5, 1989

22. Citizens Bank Park

Team: Philadelphia Phillies
First Game: April 12, 2004

23. Busch Stadium

Team: St. Louis Cardinals
First Game: April 10, 2006

24. Nationals Park

Team: Washington Nationals
First Game: March 30, 2008

25. Citi Field

Team: New York Mets
First Game: April 13, 2009

26. Yankee Stadium

Team: New York Yankees
First Game: April 16, 2009

27. Target Field

Team: Minnesota Twins
First Game: April 12, 2010

28. LoanDepot Park

Team: Miami Marlins
First Game: April 4, 2012

29. Truist Park

Team: Atlanta Braves
First Game: April 14, 2017

30. Globe Life Field

Team: Texas Rangers
First Game: July 24, 2020

It’s really hard to beat attending any major league game at any stadium, but games at the six oldest MLB stadiums are sure to create amazing memories just with their astonishing history alone. Get out to a ball field this summer and take in a game. The nostalgia of the game itself will be enough to really enjoy yourself!

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