|Camden Yards started the
trend of building parks to look like they came from another era - the so-called
"retro" park. While some of the characteristics of these parks do
come from older parks, for the most part the term is a misnomer.
The "retro" term is true with Camden Yards in regard to the red brick exterior,
the green seats, and the natural grass. But I don't think older parks
had luxury boxes, a high and steep upper deck, and no covered seating whatsoever.
This is not to say that new parks like Camden Yards aren't nice places
to see games. They absolutely are an improvement over the circular,
cookie cutter parks of the 70's, but still don't measure up to the Tiger
Stadiums, Fenway Parks, and Wrigley Fields. Of these retro parks,
Camden Yards is among my favorites. Set near the harbor and the downtown,
the park is easily accessible, though much of the parking is a good distance from the park.
With the inner harbor just a short walk away there is plenty to do before
and after the game. The setting here is among the best with the city
skyline and huge brick warehouse providing the backdrop. As with
most new parks, Camden Yards provides a great variety of concessions. Included are two BBQ stands (Boog's and Bambino's), burgers, sausages, as well as the usual fare. Prices are quite high as can be expected at the MLB level, but the quality is excellent so the money spent does not feel like a waste.
People rave about how great the seating is here, but I'm a bit skeptical.
All the seats are angled towards the infield, but aisles are a bit cramped compared to parks built since Camden Yards opened. The upper deck seats are higher than the older parks (like Yankee Stadium), but lower than many of the new parks (like GABP and Coors Field). Over a decade after opening, Camden Yards still holds up pretty well. The only complaint that some might have is with the concourse area. It is not in view of the field and does not allow fans to circle the ballpark completely. But to me this isn't a big deal. Camden
Yards will always be remembered for starting the trend towards baseball-only
parks, something all baseball fans should be thankful for.