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Fan Value Index 2006

Readers rate which parks offer best value, experience

Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 11:53AM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:52PM
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Fan Value Index: Final Rankings
Rank Team Stadium
1 L.A. Angels of Anaheim Angel Stadium
2 Colorado Rockies Coors Field
3 Pittsburgh Pirates PNC Park
4 Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park
5 Texas Rangers Ameriquest Field
6 Detroit Tigers Comerica Park
7 Cleveland Indians Jacobs Field
8 Chicago White Sox U.S. Cellular Field
9 Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium
10 Minnesota Twins HHH Metrodome
11 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium
12 Cincinnati Reds Great American Ball Park
13 Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards
14 San Francisco Giants AT&T Park
15 Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park
16 Arizona D'backs Chase Field
17 Houston Astros Minute Maid Park
18 Atlanta Braves Turner Field
19 New York Yankees Yankee Stadium
20 Oakland Athletics McAfee Coliseum
21 San Diego Padres Petco Park
22 Toronto Blue Jays Rogers Centre
23 Seattle Mariners Safeco Field
24 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field
25 Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tropicana Field
26 Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium
27 Florida Marlins Dolphin Stadium
28 Boston Red Sox Fenway Park
29 New York Mets Shea Stadium
30 Washington Nationals RFK Stadium
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By Paul Forrester, SI.com

Last year SI.com writers analyzed each major league ballpark from a fan's vantage point in order to determine which venues offered the best value and experience. But this time around we went to the best source: the fans. In a survey on SI.com we asked readers to rank their hometown parks on a variety of criteria, from parking prices to the availability of restrooms to the quality of concessions. We also asked for opinions on what makes the park special -- or disappointing. More than 8,500 responded.

We broke the fan experience down into seven categories and rated each on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best.

The categories included:

Average ticket price

The figures were taken from Team Marketing Report's 2006 Fan Cost Index, which represents a weighted average of season-ticket prices.

Average cost of concessions/souvenirs

The estimated amount a family of four would spend at a game. The total, based in part on Team Marketing Reports calculations, includes four regular-size hot dogs, four small soft drinks, two small draft beers, parking for one car, two game programs and two adult-size adjustable caps.

Accessibility

We derived an average rating fans gave for park accessibility and came up with a statistical breakdown of how easy it is to get to and from the game.

Amenities

Are there enough restrooms? How much variety will one find at concession stands? Does the in-game entertainment add to your enjoyment at the park or does it merely give you a headache? Again, we averaged how fans rated each stadium's amenities and offer a statistical portrait of fans' responses.

Atmosphere

Using fans' candid comments, we put together a summary of what fans think of the vibe inside the ballpark and the sense of history one leaves with. Fans also rated the experience, the average of which constitutes the overall rank.

Neighborhood

What sort of entertainment and dining options are near the park? Is it safe to walk the streets after the game? Readers' vivid descriptions are detailed, while their answers provide the basis for the overall rating. (Quotes in each report are from fans unless otherwise noted.)

Team

We took into account a team's on-field performance, because if the home team is winning, your experience at the park is likely to be better. Also, we factored in star power, because fans come to see their favorites.

The final score

A word of caution before we delve into the rankings. The Fan Value Index is an effort to find the ballparks that offer the best experience for the money, not the ballpark that has the best experience in an absolute sense. And in cases of a tie, the team with the better record this season was awarded the higher overall ranking.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't offer a nod to the Zagat restaurant survey folks for offering a wonderful template by which we were able to incorporate reader comments into this year's Index, and a heartfelt thanks to all of those who took the time to fill out our survey and share their comments with us. This would not be possible without you.

Check out the pull-down menu above or click on the links in the chart to read a profile of each park.

Let the arguments begin.

SI.com's Andy Gray contributed to this report.

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