Eastern League Ballpark Rankings

Baseball’s Eastern League is at the Double-A level of Minor League Baseball and there are 12 teams located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. I visited each one over ten years ago, but New Britain moving to Hartford moved me back to being just shy of completion for a little while. I usually like to give a new stadium/team five years or so to settle in and I just got back from a visit to Dunkin’ Park earlier this month. We’re now up-to-date with the League, at least until Richmond finally builds a new stadium. Using my Ranking System, let’s start by just straight up listing the ranking of each team and then break down the two best and two worst in each category.

Overall Ballpark Rankings

  1. Altoona Curve                                PNG Field (2008)                                          74.0
  2. Harrisburg Senators                     FNB Field (2013)                                           70.5
  3. Reading Fightin’ Phils                   FirstEnergy Stadium (2010)                         69.0
  4. Erie Seawolves                               UPMC Park (2013)                                        68.5
  5. Portland Sea Dogs                        Hadlock Field (2009)                                     68.0
  6. Akron RubberDucks                     Canal Park (2011)                                          67.0
  7. Hartford Yard Goats                     Dunkin’ Park (2023)                                       66.0
  8. Somerset Patriots                         TD Bank Ballpark (2023)                               65.5                         
  9. Richmond Flying Squirrels           The Diamond (2010)                                     62.5
  10. New Hampshire Fisher Cats        Northeast Delta Dentist Stadium (2009)   52.0
  11. Bowie Bay Sox                                Prince George’s Stadium (2010)                 48.5
  12. Binghamton Mets                          Mirabito Stadium (2007)                              46.0



1.  Harrisburg  –  On an island full of family activities and just across downtown via a historic pedestrian bridge. You can visit the State Capitol and find a decent restaurant not far from the stadium.

2.  Erie  –  A downtown spot with restaurants nearby. The lakefront is not too far away.

11. Somerset  –  If you need to stop at Target or Home Depot, this is the place for you!

12. Reading  –  There’s not much to see around the stadium, located a few miles north of downtown. Plus the city is kinda dumpy with only the Pagoda worth checking out. 


Accessibility and Parking

1.  Altoona  –   Hardly any traffic and right off of I-99. Very convenient parking garage in left field.

2.  Richmond  –  Very easy arrival and departure to I-64, which leads to a ballpark that has plenty of parking around the stadium.

11. New Hampshire–  An unnecessary nightmare for a sport that usually features easy access.  Parking was limited in the city and ridiculously overpriced during our visit. This has since been remedied by a nearby garage, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth.

12. Reading – Old stadium lends to heavy traffic and a hodgepodge of parking directed poorly. Took us 20 minutes to get out after a game.



1.  Somerset  –  Though it screams “Mid-90s” with brick and kelly green siding, the place looks very nice on approach. Tall entranceway and team name inscribed into the building helps.

2.  Akron  –  Brick exterior with some cool light fixtures. Not totally blended in with downtown, but still a good look.

11. Richmond  –  Classic drab 80s architecture with a lot of concrete. Looks like a huge spaceship.

12. Hartford – It’s like the designers gave it an afterthought and said “eh, brick will do”. Drab intro doesn’t do the great inside justice.



1.  Altoona  –  Rare double-decker that is wonderfully decorated with team logos and railroad motifs.

2.  Harrisburg  –  This was part of the renovation that essentially made a new stadium. A 360 degree wrap-around includes cool bar-style seating in the outfield.

11. Richmond  –  Though there are two levels, both are enclosed and feature some long lines for food. It took me 15 minutes before the game just to get a burger.

12. Binghamton – This may be the darkest concession area as it is tucked underneath the seating bowl. 



1.  Hartford  –  Bear’s BBQ was where I had a delicious meal before the game and I was pleased to see their presence at Dunkin’ Park with many of their options available. There are some other unique concession items available and the local beer scene is excellent.

.2.  Bowie  –  This was the only good thing about the stadium. Surprisingly decent variety and an excellent Chicken Sandwich Platter with coleslaw and beans.

11. Erie  –  It’s not that the food is bad or lacking, just that there is nothing that really stands out. The sausage stand is a little better than average.

12. Binghamton  –  Yes, NYSEG Stadium has Spiedie‘s (Binghamton’s food specialty), but I have had it twice and both times, it sucked.



1.  Erie  –  My favorite in all of the minor-league parks I have seen. Remarkably unique seating arrangement due to the tight city block. First-base upper seats are the best.

2.  Altoona  –  While the Roller Coaster beyond right-field gets all of the attention, the rest of the stadium is excellent. Love the rock formation spelling “Curve”.

11. Bowie  –  Did not like the gently sloped sections and many bleacher seats.

12. New Hampshire  –  Not a fan of single-level seating that features a small amount of rows all the way to the foul pole. Also, stupid placement of hotel ruins a view of the city.



1.  Harrisburg  –  This is an ever-changing category that varies on who got the newest one. Harrisburg had a very clear wide screen and the whole thing was not all that cluttered with ads.

2.  Hartford  –  Probably the biggest at this point and the clarity is phenomenal. It did feel like there was too much stuff on it, making it tough to read and follow.

11. Portland  –  The “Maine Monster” board is nice and all, but you would think that maybe it is time to remove the old, unused scoreboard instead of masking it with ads.

12. Bowie  –  Simple with an old-school design in left-center and a dated video screen in right-center.



1.  Somerset  –  Neat touches on the outside and a wall panel that displays team history inside. A bonus was the display case featuring the league trophy.

2.  Reading  –  Lots of history with Reading and the tight concourse displays it well with a memorabilia case and other various touches. Just put up pennants on the inside!

11. Richmond  –  To be fair, I was here the first year of the Flying Squirrels, so it’s hard to expect much in the way of this department.

12. Bowie  –  A pathetic display of how not to decorate your ballpark. Only a statue on the outside saved them from a zero ranking.



1.  Akron  –  Great all around with tickets under $10 in 2011. Free parking in all the downtown lots after 6 PM and on weekends is a bonus.

2.  Altoona  –  Very reasonable and our 2008 visit included a ticket for just $7 in the upper-level. Cheap parking and free programs.

12. New Hampshire  –  Eastern League costs are generally similar, but by a slight margin this was the worst of the bunch due to high parking rates and tickets being a tad pricey.


Fan Support

1.  Richmond  –  I think the loss of baseball for a season made Richmond realize what they had. Crowds have been pretty good for the Squirrels.

2.  Reading  –  Perennial attendance leaders that do a good job of filling the stadium. Both times I’ve been there, the place was packed.

11. Bowie  –  The game I attended on a pleasant summer Tuesday night featured about 500 people. Pathetic.

.12. Binghamton  –  There just doesn’t seem to be all that much interest and it shows in the stands.



1.  Reading  –  Having a nearby parent team (Philadelphia) helps and these fans are very supportive of both. Good baseball crowd that made for a festive atmosphere.

2.  Portland  –  Similar passion thanks to the Red Sox, the fans in Portland brought great energy and paid close attention to every play on the field.

11. Binghamton  –  See above. Small crowds and a general blah atmosphere. At least the setting is nice and peaceful, especially with the rolling hills in the background.

12. Bowie  –  Hard to get any type of atmosphere going with so few people in the stand…I’d like to give them another shot



1.  Erie  –  My personal favorite re-affirmed with a visit ten years later. Unique ballpark really made me want to come back.

2.  Reading  –  History, old-school stadium with modern touches and great fans. This is a place baseball fans need to visit.

11. New Hampshire  –  One of the very few times I just did not enjoy myself at the ballpark, which was a combination of many factors. This place should be so much better.

12. Bowie  –  Do you see how many times (four) they made the list as the “worst” in a category? 


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