Stadium Journey's Top 20 Independent Baseball Ballparks of 2023
While many baseball fans stick to visiting the ballparks of Major League Baseball and its affiliated teams, there is a culture of quality baseball and impressive facilities located from coast to coast across the continent - independent baseball. Since the great minor league reorganization of 2021, these independent leagues have become more closely affiliated with MLB and serve as a testing ground for proposed rule changes and initiatives, some of which have come to be used in the majors.
There are seven professional independent baseball leagues located throughout the continent. Players who fill the rosters of these leagues range from former Major Leaguers fighting to keep their careers alive to players who never got the chance to play under the bright lights of the upper levels of pro baseball.
Stadium Journey has visited 52 of these cathedrals to the game, ranking them according to our patented FANFARE Rating scale, which takes into account a ballpark's food and beverage, game day atmosphere, surrounding neighborhood, fan support, access, value, and more. When two or more ballparks were tied, we consulted a Stadium Journey Council of Elders to break those ties.
Without further ado, Stadium Journey is proud to present our list of the 20 best game day experiences in independent baseball for 2023.
Meg Minard - Summer on Long Island can be a lot of fun with the beaches, piers, and boating. When on Long Island, be sure to spend an afternoon or evening enjoying a laid-back, entertaining nine innings with friends and family at Bethpage Park.
Eric Hasman - Duly Health and Care Field has a surprising lot of pros to make it one of the best ballparks in the Chicagoland area. It offers a wraparound concourse, creative food options, cheap prices, a healthy selection of craft beers, and an active surrounding neighborhood to make it well worth your while to visit.
Marc Viquez - There is a lot to say about Jimmy John’s Field and the USPBL. There have been leagues in the past that have operated out of one baseball stadium, but those stadiums were nowhere near the caliber of Jimmy John’s Field.
Marc Viquez - The Winnipeg Goldeyes are a class act in the world of independent league baseball. The crowd support, enthusiasm, friendly staff, and all-around a great time are what makes a visit to Shaw Park a great investment with your ballpark dollar.
Meg Minard - This is an excellent ballpark to visit with the focus of entertainment on the ballgame while still providing modern conveniences, good food, and engaging fans.
Gregory Koch - Although Lancaster has not had an affiliated baseball team for 60 years, that has not stopped the fans here from cheering for their local independent league team. You wouldn’t know from looking at Clipper Magazine Stadium that it’s Indy Ball rather than affiliated, and the experience here is as good as it is at many “real” minor league parks around the country.
Chris Green - The Lake Erie Crushers are a team that is perhaps overlooked too often, which is unfair to their extremely family-friendly atmosphere. Mercy Health Stadium is well laid out, and while it may not feature multi-level suite boxes or upper deck seating, the venue offers great sightlines and comfortable seating in all areas.
Marc Viquez - Thomas More Stadium is a small stadium that packs in a big punch. It is a simple facility that makes up for it by getting base hits with free parking, local food variety, affordable prices, and a positive attitude. The use of the water tower and the phrase "Florence Y'all" is awesomely fun.
Paul Baker - While “The Joe” may not stand out from the crowd as a facility, the ValleyCats do a whole lot right at Bruno Stadium. With a game day experience that features a top-notch menu, excellent customer service, and numerous extras, a trip to Tri-City is certainly one worth taking.
Marc Viquez - Milkmen Stadium is a fancy new facility that will only be challenged by the imagination of its architects who are currently building the Ballpark Commons around it. The enthusiasm by the game day staff dressed as milkmen and the numerous dairyland themes make for a nice alternative to watching professional baseball in Milwaukee.
Paul Baker - Haymarket Park is a nice facility located close to downtown Lincoln and the University of Nebraska. Sports fans visiting the area should be sure to check out the nearby Memorial Stadium. Baseball fans will enjoy the mix of the ballpark’s small-town feel and modern amenities.
Marc Viquez - CommunityAmerica Park is a very nice place to watch a baseball game; it’s spacious, plenty of promotional nights, and is easy to get to by car. If you happen to be in town when the T-Bones are playing, it might be worth your effort to watch a game on the Kansas side of the city.
Paul Baker - PeoplesBank Park represents the York community perfectly. It is not a flashy place but has plenty of features to keep the casual fan interested. Plus, it is a comfortable place for the serious baseball fan. Loaded with local vendors and touches, PeoplesBank Park is worthy of a Stadium Journey.
Paul Baker - Quebec would never be considered a baseball city by most fans, but Les Capitales has been one of the more successful independent teams both on and off the field. A trip to historic Stade Canac is one worth taking for any ballpark chaser.
Marc Viquez - It is a marvelous, little ballpark that has become one of the better ones in independent baseball. The ticket prices are affordable, the food is creative and fun, and promotional nights should attract fans to the stadium. When in St. Louis, there is more than one option for a baseball game.
Marc Viquez - Impact Field is a fantastic-looking stadium and one that pushes the boundary for stadium design and aesthetics. The Chicagoland is a crowd with both major league and MLB partner league ballparks, and the Dogs provide a lot of fun and excitement with their branding, ticket pricing, and promotional nights.
Marc Viquez-Bosse Field is an example of baseball from another time and its aura can be felt the moment you walk through the main entrance. To many, it’s a tourist attraction and a baseball destination for ballpark travelers. However, it remains “a foe to time” and “a monument to the city” and one of the last of its kind in professional baseball.
Michael Rusignuolo - While they aren’t selling out their spacious stadium, the Rockers are drawing decent crowds for their games and seem to be developing a respectable local following. The fans that are showing up seem dedicated, with most already decked out in team gear and lining up a good half hour or so before the gates open.
Paul Baker - Ballparks like Newman Outdoor Field and cities like Fargo are the backbone of minor-league baseball. Boasting affordable prices, a friendly atmosphere and a comfortable, fun place at which to watch a game, a trip to North Dakota is a worthy Stadium Journey for any baseball fan.
Steve Bloom - Located adjacent to I-70 and near the Washington Crown Center shopping mall, the colorful ballpark offers various food options, between-inning promotions, and even cookies and milk.