Baseball Stadiums In The Midwest

For many in the Midwest, the start of summer means one thing: baseball. Several major league teams call the Great Lakes home, promising weeks and weeks of fun in the sun for thousands of adoring fans and making the Great Lakes a perfect destination for a baseball lover’s dream vacation.

Our journey begins on Lake Erie, where the Cleveland Indians up to 43,000 fans at Progressive Park. Known to fans as “The Jake,” after its former name, Jacobs Field, the stadium was built in 1994 and boasts one of the largest scoreboards in baseball and the largest video display of any sporting venue in the world, measuring 149 feet wide and 36 feet high. Be sure to get your tickets in advance; the Indians’ home games often sell out, including a run of 455 games between 1995 and 2001.

Head northeast for a few hours, and you’ll find another fairly new stadium: Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers. The park replaced historic Tiger Stadium in 2000 and is known for its nine enormous statues of tigers, including one that stands 15 feet tall and guards the stadium entrance. It also features a ferris wheel and carousel behind the stands and fountains that display a water show before and after games and any time the Tigers score a run.

If historic stadiums are more your style, then you’ll certainly want to visit the north side of Chicago and Wrigley Field, the ancient home of the Cubs. Built in 1914, it’s the second oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, after Boston’s Fenway Park. Wrigley Field is famous for its ivy-lined outfield walls and infamous for the Steve Bartman seat, where a fan interfered with play in the 2003 National League Championship Series, possibly costing the Cubs a trip to the World Series. Located at Aisle 4, Row 8, Seat 113 of Wrigley Field, the seat has become a tourist attraction in itself and holds a very special, though undesirable, place in the history of the storied team.

Across town is U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox. It replaced the old Comiskey Park in 1991. Young fans will appreciate the Comcast Fundamentals Deck in left field, where White Sox trainers help young athletes learn the fundamental skills of baseball, and all South Siders fans will enjoy the White Sox Champions Brick Plaza, which celebrates the team’s 2005 World Series victory with bronze statues of team members and commemorative monuments.

Finally, drive a few hours north to Miller Park in Milwaukee, home of the Brewers. Opened in 2001, the stadium features the only fan-shaped retractable roof in the nation. Miller Park’s combination of a retro design and modern amenities led Sports Illustrated to rate the Miller Park experience as the best value for the money in 2005.

Whether the rich history of the Midwest’s ballparks attracts you, or the excitement of the game, or even just the sun and hot dogs, a summer tour of the stadiums of the Great Lakes is sure to please any fan of America’s national pastime.