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Top 30 MLB Ranked Pregame Destinations For The Season

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 11 mins

Top 30 MLB Ranked Pregame Destinations For The Season

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There’s nothing that signifies summer quite like going to a baseball game live. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the camaraderie, all the action leading up to the game – it’s a huge part of the core memory of going to a game itself. 

In many locations, Major League Baseball parks are epicenters to city summers, and much of the fun is done before the ticket is scanned. 

For some, that means hitting the bars and socializing with other fans, with live music as a backdrop. For others, it’s firing up the grill and cooking up burgers and hot dogs while playing catch in the lot. For others still, bringing their kids and watching them relive their past experiences is what it’s all about. 

For the second year in a row, Bookies.com has compiled a comprehensive list of the top MLB pregame destinations. The list is borne from an algorithm based on multiple factors, with updates. Among them: 

  • Proximity: Close to the population center, plus accessible to fans
  • Tailgating: The ability to park and enjoy a summer day with a beverage and grill. 
  • Entertainment Around Stadium: A vibrant bar and restaurant scene within walking distance of your seat. 
  • Family Sentiment: Is the area safe and entertaining for kids and those with kids?  

MLB Season has begun and 39 states will offer legal sports betting in the United States. Thirty of those allow online wagering through sports betting apps and websites.

Top 30 MLB Ranked Pregame Destinations For The Season 1

30 MLB Pregame Destinations, Ranked, For 2024 MLB Season

30. Oakland Athletics

The stadium is a concrete-filled eyesore and will continue to be so as the team preps for its move to Las Vegas. In the meantime, Oakland Coliseum at least allows tailgating – but alcohol is prohibited. No MLB stadium ranked lower in fan sentiment or area amenities. 

29. Miami Marlins

LoanDepot Park in itself isn’t a bottom MLB stadium, but when it comes to the pregame fun, there isn’t much to be had. Parking is expensive and most of it must be done on ramps, thus no tailgating. Without a central area to hang with fans, the only thing to do is head inside. After taking the 30th spot, Miami did crawl past Oakland in the rankings this year. 

28. Chicago Cubs

Cubs pregames are something to experience – for the fan of a certain age or ilk. But there isn’t tailgating, parking is brutal and the trek getting in and out of the area is borderline torturous, plummeting the Cubbies’ overall score. Families were also wary of the raucous Wrigleyville area, though it’s still something to be experienced at least once. 


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26 (Tie). Toronto Blue Jays

There’s no tailgating and parking costs an arm and a leg. In fact, Rogers Centre ranked bottom-5 in every category except proximity. There are bars to hit before the game, which ranked high for adults, though those with kids didn’t rank the area high, either. 

26 (Tie). New York Yankees

Tailgating options aren’t as terrible as one might think, given it’s in the most-populated city in the nation. But there’s no alcohol allowed. The bar scene is noteworthy. For most, getting to the stadium takes mass transit, which lowers family scores. 

T24 (Tie). Washington Nationals

Nats games got high praise for the options of places to hit pregame, and the stadium isn’t as hard to get to as expected, given the snarly D.C. traffic reputation. Tailgating isn’t allowed at Nationals Park, however, and families kept it in their bottom 10.

T24 (Tie). Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have room for all cars at Dodger Stadium. Of course, there’s one massive caveat: Tailgating is currently prohibited due to a rash of safety issues in the lots. Families and overall fans ranked the ambiance in the bottom five and its location, like most everywhere in L.A., isn’t a quick drive. At least the team is great. 

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23. Tampa Bay Rays

Tropicana Field has become an eyesore and isn’t likely to get much better as MLB, ownership and the city try to find new solutions. In the meantime, tailgating can be fun, with ample parking and no fun-choking rules. There isn’t much of an entertainment district to hit, so bring the grills and gloves. 

22. Boston Red Sox

Fenway Park is a bucket-list destination for any baseball fan. Before the game, the bar scene is vibrant. But if you don’t want to hit the pubs, you might as well find your seat. That is if you can first get a parking spot. There’s no tailgating, either. Boston ranked upper-half in proximity and overall fan approval, regardless of age. 

20 (Tie). Los Angeles Angels

The stadium is getting older, but there isn’t much to do before the games anyway. Tailgating is allowed but alcoholic drinks aren’t. There are no bars in the area, and a chunk of the fans that go to Angels games are out-of-towners taking a Disney break. At least Mike Trout is still in the red-and-white. 

20 (Tie). Chicago White Sox

The stadium is right off of Interstate 94 and within walking distance of a train station; few stadiums offer such easy to get to. There’s no bar scene, but tailgating is allowed, keeping the score high despite a low score from families and 20-somethings seeking a pub. 

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19. New York Mets

Tailgating is allowed, but you can’t grill and there’s no alcohol. Those interested in such things may as well just go inside, because there is no nearby bar scene, either. Parking is plentiful, and you can eat food and drink soda to your heart’s content. 

18. Houston Astros

Houston’s Minute Maid Park is in the city center, and yet the bar scene is actually quite a hike on foot. There is parking, but no parking for tailgating. It makes for a somewhat surprising low-key pregame experience for Astros fans. 

17. Minnesota Twins

Target Field is in the middle of the Minneapolis action, a requisite for MLB’s fourth-newest stadium. Minnesota’s proximity to the city and the adjacent bar and entertainment action boosted the Twins’ home game location. But overall fan sentiment plummeted to one of the lowest scores in the league, due to perceived (though not entirely warranted) safety issues. 

15 (Tie). Texas Rangers

Tailgating is what it’s all about for Rangers games, but the stadium ranked 11th or better in every category except for proximity – it’s 18 miles west of Dallas and a haul from Fort Worth as well. Fortunately, lots open three hours before the first pitch. Leave a little early, bring the grills, and get a parking spot. 

15 (Tie). Atlanta Braves

The Battery around Truist Park is way out of town, but a community unto its own. Bars and restaurants ranked among the very best. Its proximity to where most people live was the lone drawback. In other categories, the Braves ranked 11th or better. 

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14. Arizona Diamondbacks

Chase Field is in a prime area for hitting up local establishments, and with the arena being downtown (and near the Phoenix Suns’ arena) there is ample parking for big events such as MLB games. There is no tailgating, however. 

12 (Tie). Detroit Tigers

Getting to Comerica Park isn’t hard, it’s finding a parking space that can be the challenge. Once you do, start walking, because tailgating isn’t allowed. But there are many local establishments around the place, and Greektown isn’t far off. 

T12 (Tie). Cleveland Guardians

Progressive Field is one of the few spots that ranked Top 10 in both family activities and bar options. Tailgating doesn’t happen given its downtown location, but parking isn’t a major issue. Progressive ranked 16th or higher across the board, one of only four ballparks to be that steady. 

11. Philadelphia Phillies

There is no better setup in MLB to grab the grill and roast some burgers while downing a beverage of your choosing. Citizens Bank Park is located right next to other pro stadiums, offering massive lots – they allow full tailgating and open five hours before game time, a full two hours longer than any other locale. Want some other amenities? How about a casino, sportsbook, and racetrack within walking distance? The park was dinged due to proximity, and families didn’t rate as high as others.

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10. Milwaukee Brewers

While the Phillies rank No. 1 for tailgating, perhaps no better pro stadium of any kind is more well-known for its tailgating levels than American Family Field and Brewers games. Pretty much anything within reason is OK, and lots open three hours early. The bar scene is a 10-minute hike, but every bar has its own shuttle to get you to the front door before the first pitch. 

9. Seattle Mariners

As long as you don’t care about tailgating and grilling your own food, T-Mobile Park was ranked as one of the premier sites in baseball. It ranked Top 10 in every category except tailgating, with a vibrant bar scene and enough family entertainment to keep Junior satisfied. 

7 (Tie). Kansas City Royals

Kauffman Stadium is considered one of the top parks for family entertainment, and the ample parking area it shares with the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium offers additional ease. Despite all the open space, true tailgating isn’t overtly open, and the location isn’t in the heart of much action. Families and singles alike graded Kauffman as one of their favorites. 

7 (Tie). Colorado Rockies

Parking is a chore, getting out is even harder, and there’s no tailgating allowed. Everything else, however, and Rockies games are elite-level fun. Families and those without kids ranked Coors Field as a Top 5 spot – only two other parks can make such a boast.

6. Baltimore Orioles

Camden Yards changed the ball game when it came to stadiums and what they can mean to a community. Decades later Baltimore remains near the top of the list. It ranked No. 6 across the board in every major category except tailgating, which dinged a little harder due to the nightmare of parking anywhere. Still, overall fan sentiment and for those with kids keeps O’s games near the very best. 

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4 (Tie). San Francisco Giants

Parking is tough and tailgating is available but very limited and no alcohol is allowed. After that, though, few locations competed when it comes to the bar and entertainment scene, and family activities, ranking No. 2 in MLB in both instances. 

4 (Tie). St. Louis Cardinals

Busch Stadium has its own Braves-like community built around it. One key difference: the Cardinals’ village is in downtown St. Louis and parking isn’t as treacherous as others with stadiums in similar spots. The bar scene is solid and there are a ton of things to do with the kids, as well. Those who want to grill out, forget it. For everyone else, St. Louis is top-tier. 

3. Cincinnati Reds

The Great American Ballpark is right off the Interstate and in the middle of a Reds-related entertainment area. Families can have fun prior to the game and adults can too, top 5 in every category except tailgating. For the second year in a row, Cincinnati may have ranked No. 1 had its parking and tailgating options been better, though its score did improve from a year ago. 

2. San Diego Padres

You can’t beat the weather, and you can’t beat the entertainment options around the stadium. San Diego and Petco Park ranked No. 1 in MLB in that category. Petco was the only stadium to rank top 10 in all four major categories. Though the Padres rank No. 2 in the rankings, “1B” might be more appropriate. 

1. Pittsburgh Pirates

Overall fan sentiment ranked PNC Park as No. 1 among all MLB stadiums for pregame. Its location adjacent to downtown across from the river, and ample tailgating for those who want it, ensure every kind of fan has their “something to do” available. While most ballparks lag in one category, PNC Park has something for everyone, setting itself apart from the crowd.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.