The ten smallest MLB stadiums may not be able to hold as many people as the old cookie-cutter fields did, but they offer up something that even today’s larger ballparks can’t touch — a unique and intimate experience that leaves fans with a smile on their faces and eager to return for more.
Here are the smallest MLB stadiums, ranked in order of capacity (and coziness!):
1. Progressive Field
Home to the Cleveland Indians through 2021 and the rebranded Cleveland Guardians beginning in 2022, Progressive Field began life as Jacobs Field in 1994. It was one of the new breed of baseball-only ballparks that brought sparkling amenities, small seating capacities, and, yes, an intimate experience to fans.
Today, Progressive Field can seat only about 34,830, though it has hosted playoff crowds that swelled to more than 45,000. All in all,
Jacobs Progressive Field remains a baseball jewel.
2. loanDepot Park
After spending the first 29 seasons of their existence at Joe Robbie Stadium (now Hard Rock Stadium), the Marlins moved into the fun, stylish new Marlins Park in 2012. The Marlins sold naming rights to LoanDepot in 2021, and the stylized name of the stadium became loanDepot Park, with a seating capacity of just 37, 442.
3. Fenway Park
Fenway Park is the storied home of the Boston Red Sox and has witnessed more baseball history than the rest of our top 10 combined. And, though, the home of the Green Monster has undergone various upgrades and seating expansions over the last generation, it still seats just 37,442 fans. You can bet every last one of them is raucous and hungry for another BoSox World Series title, though!
4. Kauffman Stadium
Well, OK, truth be told, Kauffman Stadium might make it hard for Fenway to live up to that claim about witnessing baseball history up there (^). Because, while the home of the Kansas City Royals has been around since “only” 1973, when it was Royals Stadium, Kauffman has been a hotbed of hardball history throughout its existence. Today, the Stadium famous for waterfalls in the outfield hosts 37,903 fans at full capacity.
5. Target Field
The Minnesota Twins won two World Series (1987 and 1991) with a big assist from their home field, the Metrodome. But even those golden moments couldn’t save the old dinosaur from demolition, and Target Field finally took the field in 2010 after more than 15 years of planning. While the Twinkies have yet to make it back to the Fall Classic, they can delight up to 38,544 fans in their new cathedral.
6. PNC Park
Three Rivers Stadium was one of those all-purpose, cookie-cutter stadiums that proliferated across the landscape in the 1970s, and it surely saw its share of glory thanks to Pittsburgh Pirates teams that won a couple of titles and were always in contention. But as the 1990s dawned, it became apparent that Bucs fans and the city wanted an upgrade, and the planning and wrangling began. About a decade later, in 2001, PNC Park opened as part of the new breed of beautiful small stadiums, and it remains a gem today … even if it does hold just 38,747 fans.
7. Petco Park
You may think the stadium itself is an afterthought to taking in a baseball game in beautiful San Diego, but even paradise can use an upgrade now and then. Indeed, when Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn retired after the 2001 season, the die had already been cast on a replacement for Qualcomm (formerly Jack Murphy) Stadium. Already more than a year into the build, it would take until 2004 before Petco Park finally opened. Today, the Padres’ home digs seat 40,209.
8. Globe Life Field
After abandoning Arlington Stadium for the shiny new Ballpark in Arlington in 1994, the Texas Rangers were on the move again in the late 2010s. With construction beginning in 2017, Globe Life Field, the Rangers’ new retractable-roof stadium would finally open in July of 2020 after months’ of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas’ latest home seats 40,300 fans.
9. Guaranteed Rate Field
Though its current name feels funky, clunky, and corporate, Guaranteed Rate Field opened in 1991 with its regal pedigree on full display. Indeed, through 2003, the new home of the Chicago White Sox shared the name of its storied predecessor: Comiskey Park (though sometimes with a qualifying “II” attached). The new Comiskey was the last of the new ballparks built before the “retro” wave took hold, and it holds 40,615 fans.
10. Comerica Park
For 88 years, the Detroit Tigers played their games Navin Field, which became Briggs Stadium in 1938 and Tiger Stadium in 1961. The cavernous old ballpark was one of the most storied in baseball, but the 1990s brought an increased need for modern amenities to help bring in more fans. Ground broke on Comerica Park in 1997, and the stadium opened in 2000. The new stadium, which has seen World Series games in both 2006 and 2012, it seats 41,083
If you enjoyed this list, you might also like our list of the 10 biggest MLB stadiums or our look at the 10 0ldest MLB stadiums.