The ups and downs of a baseball season can be very frustrating, especially for a fan of the 2017 Orioles, but it is nice to know that one constant remains in the Orioles fan’s life: Oriole Park at Camden Yards. According to a new study, Camden Yards rates as the number one overall park in baseball.
The study goes into detail with a lot of specifics about each of the stadiums in baseball as well as general trends with stadiums. If that interests you, check it out. In order to complete this study, Review Trackers gathered 130,000 reviews of baseball stadiums from sources such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
They then ran those reviews through an algorithm that identifies key words that the researchers selected. They then grouped those keywords into four main topics —food and drink, facility, family friendliness, and fan experience. This algorithm can also identify if what was said about those keywords was negative or positive. Which is pretty cool, if you do not think about how close we are to reaching Skynet.
Based upon this analysis, Review Trackers identified what Oriole fans already know, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the best damn stadium in baseball. That is a point of pride for a stadium that is now celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. Believe it or not, Camden Yards is now the 10th-oldest stadium in the league.
The area that Camden Yards leads the pack in is the facility rankings. It is in the top ten of each of the facility topic key words. In particular the researchers note that the location and staff at Camden Yards are reviewed particularly high. This surprised me considering how old the stadium is, but they have done a good job of upgrading and it was built right the first time.
In the other three topics measured Camden Yards ranks sixth for family experience, sixth for fan experience, and seventh for food and drink. That is excellence across the board from, and you have to say this in your head in an important-sounding voice, The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball.
The other major note the researchers made about Camden Yards, and again this should surprise very few of the people reading this, that Orioles fans love barbecue. It is far and away mentioned the most positively among Orioles fan’s reviews of Camden Yards and the Orioles organization can thank Boog and his awesome pit beef for that. Let’s just ignore that the researchers call Boog’s pit beef, brisket, OK?
As for other stadiums around the AL East Fenway Park ranks 21st, Tropicana Field ranks 22nd, Yankee Stadium ranks 26th, and Rogers Centre comes in at 28th. No wonder everyone comes down to Baltimore to see their teams. They all hate their own stadiums.
Fenway Park is held up by fan experience rankings (being old is cool) and for being relatively family friendly, but is taken down for facility and food and drink. Hilariously, to me at least, Yankee Stadium rates as lower than Tropicana Field as the New Yankee Stadium ranks 28th in family friendly, 27th in fan experience, and 26th in food and drink. Way to go with that new stadium, guys.
Around the league the rest of the top five stadiums are PNC Park (Pittsburgh), AT&T Park (San Francisco), Safeco Field (Seattle), and Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City).
The bottom of the barrel should be no surprise it is O.co Coliseum (Oakland). The researchers found one review that said the A’s should “burn down the toilets and start from scratch.” Not too surprising for a stadium that was pumping sewage into the dugouts.
For overall trends in baseball, the researchers found that hot dogs are talked about more than any other food, but that most people talked about them negatively. Burgers and barbecue were talked about in a very positive light. I guess you cannot break the tradition of baseball and hot dogs, even if fans do not really like them.
There is a lot more very interesting information in their write up of their study. I’ll say it again, you should give it a read and you can listen to the head researcher Max Schleicher on Effectively Wild talk more about the study.
Even if it is a lost season for the Orioles on the field, at least the fans can enjoy the game from the best ballpark in baseball, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.