The oldest MLB stadiums are like living relics — while they host baseball games 81 times a summer even today, the magic of the past drips down their ivy-coated and memory-laden walls like sweat on the outside of a cold glass of iced tea in the summer.
Come take a ride through baseball’s golden history as we visit the 10 oldest MLB stadiums still in use today, ordered by the year they opened (in parentheses below).
1. Fenway Park (1912)
There may have been a time in some now-distant past when fans or city officials dared to speak about building a new stadium for the Boston Red Sox. But today, after Boston finally broke the “Curse of the Bambino” to win the 2004 World Series and a handful more since then, and with baseball history falling by the wayside on a daily basis … well, Fenway Park is likely here to stay. Ain’t nobody wants to be the jerk who demolishes a place that’s now as hallowed as any in the game and that harbors all the ghosts that tether generations of baseball fans like shared strands of DNA.
2. Wrigley Field (1914)
It took the Cubs a bit longer to lift their own “curse,” but they finally managed by eeking out a World Series win against the Cleveland Indians in 2016. Wrigley Field, of course, played a starring role in that magical run, just as it has in every hopeful spring and squandered summer on the Northside of Chicago since it was built well over 100 years ago. And, sure, there may be lights now, and the rooftops may mean something different, but just a glimpse of that ivy and that brick and those buildings is enough to make any baseball fan weep.
3. Dodger Stadium (1962)
That Dodger Stadium stands third on this list says a whole mouthful about just how special Fenway and Wrigley are. The past 30-50 years have witnessed the complete annihilation of most of baseball’s traditional complement of green cathedrals, leaving the Dodgers’ 60-year-old home as one of the elder statesmen. Good thing the Chavez Ravine gem is such a sprawling, inviting classic!
4. Angel Stadium (1966)
For the first five years of their existence, the Angels played in Wrigley Field (the California one) and … yes … Dodger Stadium. In 1966, though, they got their own ballpark in Anaheim, complete with a halo-encircled “A” gateway that has graced baseball cards for decades. Whether you call it Anaheim Stadium or Angel Stadium or, heaven forbid, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, this one is a quiet classic.
5. Oakland Coliseum (1968)
The Coliseum technically opened for business in 1966, but saw no baseball until 1968 when the Athletics moved from Kansas City to Oakland. In the interim, the cavernous ballpark hosted the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, and the two teams — A’s and Raiders — shared the facility until 1981, when the Raiders left for Los Angeles (they’d come back in 1995 and stay through 2019). Long lambasted for its rough conditions (and technically currently known as RingCentral Coliseum), the Coliseum is also the biggest MLB stadium.
6. Kauffman Stadium (1973)
Despite a spate of new cookie-cutter stadiums opening during the early 1970s, Kauffman is the only one that remains, and it may not be here all that much longer. Originally known as Royals Stadium, Kauffman has born witness to generations of great players and competitive teams, and it’s also famous for its outfield waterfall!
7. Rogers Centre (1989)
The Toronto Blue Jays spent their first decade-plus playing in Exhibition Stadium, a multi-purpose sports venue that opened in 1948. As the Jays geared up for what would be a historic run in the 1990s, though, they moved into SkyDome, a state-of-the-art, retractable-roof stadium that felt like some space-age creation at the time. Now more than 30 years old and called the Rogers Centre, SkyDome is a tangible bridge to baseball’s past.
8. Guaranteed Rate Field (1991)
This terrible, generic name actually belongs to something with classic roots — the replacement for old Comiskey Park. Opened in 1991, the new Comiskey Park was big and bold and featured all the modern amenities, but it was also the last balllpark built before a wave of retro-focused, smaller venues swept through the game.
9. Oriole Park at Camden Yards (1992)
That movement away from cookie-cutter monoliths began with the unveiling of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992. This thing wasn’t really a stadium so much as a ballpark in the tradition of the small, intimate neighborhood venues that helped fans of earlier generations build such strong ties with their teams. With brick warehouses in the outfield and niche dining experiences along the open-air concourses, and with odd dimensions not seen since the days of the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, Oriole Park was an instant hit … just in time for Cal Ripken’s assault on Lou Gehrig‘s record for consecutive games played.
10. Progressive Field (1994)
Taking cues from the success in Baltimore, the Cleveland Indians christened their new home in 1994. Jacobs Field featured much of the same quirkiness and intimacy that Camden Yards boasted, and it quickly gained favor as one of the best ballparks in the game. Plenty of national television coverage on the backs of the Indians’ forthcoming postseason runs didn’t hurt things, either.
Technically, Tropicana Field opened its doors in 1990, but it did not host a MLB team until the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays came to town in 1998. Before that, the throwback domed field hosted the Davis Cup Finals and some other events and local teams as it laid in wait, providing support for the region’s continued expansion bids. Along the way, The Trop was also known as Florida Suncoast Dome and ThunderDome.
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