Super-sized televisions, amazing views and high-end food are just some of the latest features at Major League Baseball stadiums across the country. In the last decade or so, cities across the nation have made substantial improvements to existing ballparks and introduced a series of new fields that constantly amaze.
With another baseball season beginning this weekend, ABC News decided to revisit the ballpark and pick our favorite places to watch a game. Even if your favorite team isn't playing, it's worth taking a trip to check out these amazing stadiums.
"They've gotten away from the cookie-cutter park, thank goodness. The parks are a lot more interesting now," said Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Heyman. "They're borrowing from the old-time park. It's been an obvious change for the better."
In the 1970s, a series of new parks were constructed that could be described, at best, as "ugly." A better description for them might be "hideous" or "blights on the land." They were very symmetrical, often had fake grass and were, in most cases, built to accommodate football teams, as well.
Various cities and Major League Baseball have done a great job of getting new stadiums built where they were needed, Heyman said.
"There's definitely been a movement away from utilitarian fields like that, more towards ones that really capture the magic of what baseball is to so many people, which is sort of an escape from their ordinary lives," said Josh Pahigian, author of several baseball books including, "101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out."
That trend continues this year, with the opening of a new stadium for the Minnesota Twins, Target Field.
We spoke to the experts about what makes a great field and which parks they liked and then we picked some of our favorites. There are plenty of other great places to watch ballgames (including countless minor-league stadiums not included on our list.) Feel free to pick your favorite and tell us why in the comments section.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md.: This baseball-only facility in downtown Baltimore became the official home of the Orioles on April 6, 1992, and is credited with launching the ballpark renaissance.
The one-time railroad center now seats 48,876 fans who enjoy games in a stadium meant to echo the great parks of the early 1900s.
"With the debut of Camden Yards ... there was a movement to combine the best of the old, as far as ballpark architecture, with the modern amenities that fans expect these days," Pahigian said. "There's a nice marriage nowadays, with the comfort that modern facilities provide with the old-time feel, old-time flavor of a ballpark more akin to Ebbets Field, for example."
Safeco Field, Seattle: This ballpark, opened on July 15, 1999, offers fans sweeping views of Seattle's downtown skyline, breathtaking sunsets over Puget Sound and great sightlines to the field itself.
Safeco seats 47,116 and has a retractable roof. It, along with neighboring Qwest Field -- home of the NFL's Seahawks -- was build to replace the Kingdome. The new stadium has a brick façade, asymmetrical field and, of course, new luxury boxes and upgraded food options. Fans can order food for delivery to their seat with their cell phones. Now, that's high-tech.
"Seattle is a very charming park," Heyman said. "It's the biggest upgrade because the Kingdome was an absolute dump."