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Kids Night Out

Fan-favorite ballpark views offer fresh perspective

From Salt Lake to Bowie, MiLB provides a magnificent spectacle
Smith's Ballpark has hosted Pacific Coast League baseball in Salt Lake City since 1994. (Brent Asay/Salt Lake Bees)
February 9, 2023

This story was excerpted from the Ben's Biz Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

This story was excerpted from the Ben's Biz Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

What’s your favorite seat or view that you’ve had at a Minor League park?

In last week’s newsletter I posited that query, which led me to remember that in 2018 I wrote an article highlighting my favorite views around the Minor Leagues. (The makeup of Minor League Baseball has changed since then, but my top choices remain largely the same.)

My favorite ballpark view, highlighted in the above photo, can be found at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City. The Wasatch Mountains loom beyond the outfield, bringing a feeling of natural grandeur to an urban ballpark. (On Monday, it was announced that the Salt Lake Bees, who call Smith’s Stadium home, plan to move to a new ballpark in 2025.) Smith's Ballpark guide »

As for my favorite view from a particular seat or seating area, I’ll go with the right-field Wooftop Deck at Southwest University Field (home of the El Paso Chihuahuas). The below photo doesn’t quite do it justice, but it’s a spectacular spot from which to view a game (and an example of unique and creative ballpark architecture.) Southwest University Park ballpark guide »

I now open the floor to my favorite group of people: email respondents. What are your favorite ballpark seats and/or views?

"Dugout suites at the Fightin Phils' FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Penn. They are below ground level, so you are actually looking at the ground where the feet and ankles of the players are. You are actually sitting in a dugout!!" -- Barb Cieri

I briefly spent some time in these seats in 2017, as my Designated Eater, Mike Aulenbach, enjoyed a Grand Slammer. First Energy Stadium ballpark guide »

"My seat at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala., on May 30, 2018 [during the Birmingham Barons’ Rickwood Classic]. The batter, Birmingham shortstop Danny Mendick, is about to hit a double into the left-field corner. The seat location is nothing special, so why is this my favorite view? Look closely; there is no obscuring netting and no distracting electronic scoreboard, just old-school time-machine baseball." -- Mikel Petty

"The view from the Home Run Porch section at Las Vegas Ballpark. This area is good for a potential home run ball! Also, a good view of the desert sky as the sun sets. Go Aviators!" -- William Tousius

Las Vegas Ballpark guide »

"Staten Island’s Richmond County Bank Ballpark (when the Staten Island Yankees were still a team). From my seat I could look out and see the ferry coming in and going out, with the Statue of Liberty in the background. [This ballpark is now home to the Atlantic League FerryHawks.]" -- Mark Jensen

"Third-base line, Ponce de Leon Park, 1958 Atlanta Crackers of the Southern League. My first professional game at age 9." -- Tommy Cobb

"Before Polar Park opened, my favorite view was on the ramp from the grandstand to the berm at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium. The ramp (which included a drink rail) overlooked the PawSox bullpen, and my spot was right next to the left-field foul pole. There was something very cool about watching from straight down the line, while right below me I could hear the relievers playing their bullpen games, or the 'pop' of the catcher's mitt as one of them warmed up. It was my happy place." -- Brian Alexander

This isn’t exactly where Brian’s talking about, but it’s the closest approximation I could pull from my archives:

"The outfield at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie after the game, running the bases, and the fireworks, where my son, I, and two other fathers and sons pitched our tents for a sleepover. Until they shut off the lights, we had a catch between the tents, a picture of which appeared on the Sports Illustrated website to accompany a story on Minor League promotions." -- Jonathan Salant

Prince George's Stadium ballpark guide »

Seen these fan-favorite views but still on the lookout for more? Stay tuned! And get in touch with Benjamin Hill about your own favorite view -- or anything else related to Minor League Baseball -- at [email protected].

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz.