A formula that includes not just the bricks and mortar but also affordability, hospitality, food and other factors names Busch Stadium as the fifth-best place in the major leagues to watch a ballgame.
The top five were:
Progressive Field in Cleveland: I've never been to this park, but it's high on my to-do list. It scores high marks on the list for atmosphere (2nd), promotions (3rd) and traffic (4th).
Miller Park in Milwaukee: I have to disagree with this one. Unless you like watching baseball in a Jiffy Pop popcorn maker. When the roof is closed, this place is like a cave. When the roof is open, its more like riding in a car with a sunroof than in a convertible. But Milwaukee ranks first in food and promotions, second in price and somehow fifth in atmosphere.
PNC Park in Pittsburgh: Second in promotions and third in affordability and food. This is also a place I need to see... and soon. The Pirates would have fared better except that they ranked dead last in quality of the team on the field.
Commerica Field in Detroit: I really like this place. It has a nice look, a cool barbeque restaurant in centerfield and lots of neat touches like the carousel with tigers instead of horses. There are a lot more good seats here than at Busch and they are way cheaper all around. The Tigers can thank their high-powered team for their rank. They're rated first in that category and fourth in atmosphere.
Busch Stadium in St. Louis: Once a team that could be counted on to be at the top of the affordability list, the Cardinals now rank 25th out of 30 team in terms of affordability. It's the fans who make Busch a top contender. Redbird nation scored first in fan IQ and hospitality and third in atmosphere.
For all the waxing poetic about Wrigley Field, the Cubs' home sits right in the mediocre middle of the pack at 15th out of 30 teams.
The Cubs are 27th in affordability, 24th in hospitality, 23rd in traffic, 22nd in food. The Cubs 100 seasons with out a World Series somehow ranked them third in tradition to the Cardinals fifth. Wrigley Field's best score actually came in the category for what's outside the ballpark. It scored second in neighborhood. And I admit, the atmosphere outside Wrigley -- the bars and restaurants like the Cubbie Bear and Murphy's Bleachers are the best thing about a trip there.