It’s a new year and it’s time to travel for Dodger baseball...eventually.
I am on the inactive list until the All-Star Break (unless I win the lottery by the time this essay publishes). That said, there is still plenty of stops for me to look forward to in 2023 including my return to Citi Field and my first visits to Camden Yards, Progressive Field (Cleveland), Fenway Park, and T-Mobile Park (Seattle).
This list uses the same rules as last time. If the stadium has a hyperlink, you can access the corresponding Guide entry. Places do not get a full Guide entry until I have been to at least three games at a location within the past five years.
1. PNC Park - Pittsburgh, PA
The still-undisputed king of MLB ballparks. Once the Guide is complete, barring illness or injury, the goal will be to return to this jewel by the Alleghany River every season for the rest of my life.
The Dodgers visit from April 25-27.
- Pros: Just about everything, food, views, tickets, ease of access, usually a Dodgers win.
- Cons: It’s only one series a year. The weather can be fickle (muggy, rainy).
2. Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Little brother actually has a nicer overall park than anywhere else in the NL West. While Petco Park is ranked quite highly nationally (with good reason), it is not the king of ballparks for a simple, solitary reason: PNC Park is significantly cheaper to visit for a Dodger game, even when you factor in travel.
The Dodgers visit from May 5-7 and August 4-7.
- Pros: Imagine everything you like about Dodger Stadium and make it better — that’s Petco Park.
- Cons: Padres fans can be annoying; ticket prices (no such thing as a cheap ticket to a Dodgers/Padres game at Petco)
3. Busch Stadium, version 3.0 - St. Louis, MO
The stadium and neighborhood model that baseball is trying to emulate everywhere. At least here, they do it right, but there’s little reason to visit St. Louis otherwise.
The Dodgers visit from May 18-21.
- Pros: Lots of things directly by and in the ballpark. Food, views, and tickets are a relative bargain. Fans are knowledgeable too.
- Cons: The rest of St. Louis. The weather can get muggy.
4. Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles, CA
Still Our Blue Heaven. Still, a nightmare to get to and from.
You have 81 dates to pick from in the regular season.
- Pros: It’s where the Dodgers play (usually at least) 81 times a year.
- Cons: It’s a nightmare to get to and from the stadium. Good tickets usually cost an arm and a leg. Hooligans.
5. Oracle Park - San Francisco, CA
Do you still like witnessing and being surrounded by a perpetual inferiority complex? Do I still have a place for you!
The Dodgers visit from April 10-12 and September 29-October 1 (the last series of the year).
- Pros: Snark aside, it is a nice stadium. It is relatively easy to get to and from if you did not drive yourself.
- Cons: It’s where the Giants play. Tickets cost an arm and a leg if the Dodgers are in town. It’s often cold and windy. Giants fans tend to be an insufferable bunch, especially when drunk, doubly so when the Dodgers win; triply so when the Dodgers lose. Such is life.
6. Wrigley Field - Chicago, IL
Someday, I will get over May 2021. It’s still not today, though. One of the last jewel box stadiums in the Major Leagues, for better and for worse.
The Dodgers visit from April 20-23.
- Pros: It’s a bucket list destination. It’s a fun time for the most part.
- Cons: It’s a bit pricey for what you get. Weather often does not cooperate. If you have a bad seat, it’s legitimately bad.
7. Target Field - Minneapolis, MN
This ballpark is amazing if the weather cooperates. Granted, you will be in Minneapolis, so by definition, the weather just may not cooperate. Most folks will skip this ballpark due to its location and they really should not.
The Dodgers do not visit Minneapolis in 2023.
- Pros: Snark aside, it is quite underrated as a venue, and it’s a kissing cousin in design with PNC Park.
- Cons: Heaven help you if the weather does not cooperate. Getting to and from the stadium is a pain. Not the greatest neighborhood by the ballpark for families.
8. Coors Field - Denver, CO
Truthfully, folks underrate Coors Field and they really should not. I enjoy coming to this ballpark.
The Dodgers visit from June 27-29 and September 26-28 (in the only scheduled doubleheader of the year on the 26th).
- Pros: It’s a nice ballpark. It’s a fun ballpark.
- Cons: Do you have problems with elevation? Logistical problems are the biggest hurdle to enjoying a game here, i.e. where did you book your hotel? Did you not leave for the ballpark early if you are staying outside of Denver? Did you pay a premium to stay in downtown Denver?
9. Nationals Park - Washington, D.C.
This park has a unique design from its construction and was actually the first ballpark I visited other than Dodger Stadium. If you can do the Fourth of July in D.C., it is well worth your time.
The Dodgers visit from September 8-10.
- Pros and Cons: Abstaining for now. (Stale information). Generally fine from what I recall.
10. Citi Field - Queens, NY
In 2015, I first went to Citi Field. I remember being annoyed by the experience, but that was as a fan rather than as someone writing a travelogue.
This year, the Dodgers visit from July 14-16, the latter two games which are scheduled to be my first games of the year.
- Pros and Cons: Abstaining for now. (Stale information). Generally, annoying from what I recall. You aren’t the Brooklyn Mets, guys!
11. American Family Field - Milwaukee, WI
American Family Field is one of those parks where you definitely get what you pay for. If you try to scrimp on the experience, you get what you pay for. If you allow yourself to enjoy yourself, then you will have a grand time in Wisconsin.
The Dodgers visit from May 8-10.
- Pros: Traffic seems to flow rather efficiently here. Tickets are usually reasonable. Great staff.
- Cons: If you go super cheap on the experience, you get what you pay for. For the best results, you will need to rent a car. The Bernie’s Slide Experience will get you if you aren’t careful.
12. Chase Field - Phoenix, AZ
It is not a bad park. It does feel a bit like an aircraft hangar with the roof closed. However, if the choice is scorching heat or feeling like you got lost on the way to GenCon, I pick the latter. It might be worth it to come back when I know the roof will be open.
The Dodgers visit from April 6-9 and August 8-9.
- Pros: Good starter park to travel for the beginning traveler of Dodger games. It is de facto Dodger Stadium East.
- Cons: Do you like being in the desert? Do you like dry heat? Did you forget sunscreen?
13. Kauffman Stadium - Kansas City, MO
Easily the best-smelling tailgate in Major League Baseball. This quirky baseball oasis serves as a counterpoint to the experience offered in St. Louis. While some would deride Kauffman as a jumped-up Triple-A stadium, it does have its own unique charm and character for residing in the second-smallest major league town by population.
The Dodgers visit from June 30-July 2.
- Pros: Great sightlines, reasonable ticket prices, proximity to the Negro League Hall of Fame
- Cons: Middle of nowhere, food at the ballpark is mediocre at best; if the weather does not cooperate, you need to be prepared, otherwise you will have a terrible time. Generally, need to rent a car to visit.
14. Angel Stadium of Anaheim - Anaheim, CA
Honestly, imagine everything good about Dodger and then make it worse. Personally, the only draw to the Big A is sentimental. Specifically, I have friends from law school who are avid fans of the Angels, and meeting there is easier than meeting in the Bay Area or at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers visit from June 20-21.
- Pros: It’s by an Amtrak station. It’s easy to get to and from.
- Cons: Imagine a bizarro Dodger Stadium, where everything bad is good and everything good is bad. And then you get to watch a team that is currently wasting two generational talents. And remind yourself that the Angels are (generally) charging you a mint to be there. You can pay a mint and things still weirdly feel cheap.
15. loanDepot Park - Miami, FL
Imagine a stadium that is near nowhere useful in Miami, and then have the stadium be empty. But I only did one game at loanDepot and I promised to not judge a place fully until I have done at least three games there.
The Dodgers visit from September 5-7.
- Pros: The stadium is a nice shade of blue inside. The seats were bigger than I expected.
- Cons: Pretty much everything else. Many parks do what this ballpark does better and cheaper. The garish statue was interesting and it was moved outside.
16. Great American Ballpark - Cincinnati, OH
You have to try Skyline Chili. It is not what I would call good, but it is food, so that is something. Shade is your friend during day games. Try to stay in Ohio if possible, otherwise, you will need a car or the tolerance to withstand the weather. The ownership is still bad, but the Customer Service department on the backend is pretty good.
The Dodgers visit from June 6-8.
- Pros: It’s a nice stadium from the outside. Opening Day in Cincinnati is essentially a local holiday.
- Cons: Pretty much everything else. The ownership is cartoonishly bad. The food is enjoyable, mostly on an ironic level. If the weather is bad, forget it. The stadium layout is bad because they wanted to put in more luxury boxes.
17. RingCentral Coliseum - Oakland, CA
You know a stadium is underwhelming when I do not even have decent art for it and I have been there about a half-dozen times. Objectively, one of the worst stadiums in the Major Leagues.
The Dodgers do not visit Oakland in 2023 and may never visit Oakland ever again at this rate.
- Pros: It is worth going if you feel you need to punish yourself or if you want to appreciate any other ballpark in the Major Leagues.
- Cons: Pretty much everything. Friends do not let friends go to the Coliseum these days.
18. Truist Park - Atlanta, GA
If Atlanta stopped the racist chant or stopped the price gouging for regular-season Atlanta/Los Angeles games, this stadium would be in the upper half of this list. If Atlanta fixed both problems, the stadium would be in my top five. But they have not, and they likely will not. But their Customer Service department is second to none, I can stay that in favor of the stadium.
The Dodgers visit from May 22-24.
- Pros: It does have a neighborhood around it that the League seems to be emulating. The sightlines are nice. The ballpark itself is newer and it shows.
- Cons: Objective racism. Outright gouging of ticket prices for Dodgers/Atlanta games. Watch from home - your conscience and wallet will thank you when watching the Cumberland Baseball Team.
Agree? Disagree? I am sure that you will tell me here or on social media. What stadiums have you been to? Where should I go next? I make my own schedule, but if there is an outcry for me to go somewhere, I would be remiss if I did not listen.
With this year’s travels, assuming no illness, injury, or personal emergency, I will be at 22/30 stadiums with eight remaining.