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Top 5 Must-See MLB Experiences for Every Baseball Fan

Updated: Apr 23

With the 2024 MLB season underway, here are my top 5 MLB experiences every sports fan should attend when in the USA

The Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees
The Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees

In America, Baseball is more than just a sporting day out. It is life, it's what football is in England, what cricket is in Australia and what rugby is in New Zealand, it's their national sport and you'd be daft not to attend a baseball game day when visiting the USA.

Having spent a lot of time in America, I have made a point of going to baseball games. I love the atmosphere that the sport creates. The fan interaction throughout the sometimes hours-long sporting occasion is brilliant fun with cameras roaming around looking for people to feature on the big screens and hotdog vendors looking for business. You also can't help but be caught up in grabbing some merchandise too... a big foam finger anyone?

The MLB season runs between March and September with each team playing 81 home games so if you are in the USA during those months, have a look to see what games are happening nearby.

You'll find you will normally have a game to go to, simply because there are so many games within a season. Often teams play for 6 or 7 days in a row and because of the frequency of games, you'll find ticket prices are very well priced. Some tickets can be as low as $6 for a regular ticket whilst if you want a more VIP experience, you're looking at $250 and upwards. Whatever your budget, you will find a brilliant baseball experience below.

So without further ado, here are my top 5 must-see MLB experiences for when you are next travelling to the USA.

See a New York Yankees game

Many will tell you that the Yankees is New York. No if's or but's, the Yankees is the city's beating heartbeat, it's religion. So with that in mind, when you are in New York a trip to the Yankee Stadium is a must-do. It simply has to be up there with all the other tourist attractions that'll be on your list such as the Empire State Building, Broadway, the Statue of Liberty etc.

Why visit a New York Yankees game

One of the most famous sports teams in the world, the New York Yankees is a must-do sporting day, or night out. With 27 World Series to their name they are the most successful MLB team. To put their dominance into perspective, the next most successful team is the St. Louis Cardinals who have 11 World Series titles.

"New York isn't New York without the Yankees" fans told me on one of my visits to the Yankee Stadium. Whether you're there for the atmosphere, a famous Yankees cap, a foam finger or to take in the iconic Yankee Stadium, this is a sports experience well worth adding to your New York itinerary.

It's simply in the city's DNA and is a wonderful sporting occasion to attend. Whenever I have been to a Yankees game, I all of a sudden feel less of a tourist and more a part of the NY community. That's probably because when sightseeing around Manhattan you are inevitably surrounded by tourists. Sure, they'll be plenty of tourists at a Yankees game, (I'm one of them!), but all of a sudden you are in their world, it's real life.

Did you know: The New York Yankees used to be called the New York Highlanders before being renamed the New York Yankees in 1913.

How to get to the Yankee Stadium

The Yankee Stadium is located in The Bronx, just to the north of Manhattan. The best way to get to the stadium from Midtown is by Subway. From Grand Central it will take around 25 minutes to reach the 161 St Yankee Stadium stop, which is right outside the Yankee Stadium. The Uptown Express 4 line in the direction of Woodlawn or the XXX EXPRESS are the best options.

Gate 6, the one right outside the Subway station can be busy but it normally doesn't take too much time to get inside. Make sure you have your tickets ready to be scanned.

What's the best New York Yankees ticket to get?

Depending on the game, regularly you can get a New York Yankees ticket for under $30, in fact sometimes you'll find a ticket for $6. Games against the other big MLB franchises tend to be more expensive but all in all, prices are very good.

If you are not worried about budget then $400 will get you a seat up close to the action down on field level, where you can probably do some celebrity spotting too, but there are many more budget-friendly options.

It is worth always having a look at the price of Pinstripe Pass tickets when choosing a New York Yankees game to go to, it's often not much more expensive than a regular ticket (in some cases, it's cheaper) and whilst it doesn't include an allocated seat it does include your first beer or soft drink and access to the standing areas of the stadium which include the Mastercard Batter’s Eye Deck, FreshDirect Terrace, Toyota Terrace, Budweiser Party Decks, Stella Artois Landing and Michelob ULTRA Clubhouse.

I can vouch that the Pinstripe Pass is brilliant, you'll be next to the Bleacher seats where the best atmosphere is, you'll have a great view looking back towards the main grandstands and on a sunny day, it's a great place to catch some rays. If you are attending with a young family however, it may not be the best option without any seating.

When it comes to the New York Yankees schedule for the 2024 season, they have huge blocks of daily games in the city and you can plan your trip here.

Fans watching the New York Yankees from the Pinstripe Pass standing area
New York Yankees fans watch a game at the Yankee Stadium, New York

Top Tips when visiting the New York Yankees

  • When you come out of the Yankee Stadium Subway station, grab a bottle of water from the vendors outside the stadium. You can take food and non-alcoholic drinks into the stadium, unlike many sporting venues.

  • The Yankee Museum is open to all ticket-holders from 90 minutes before the game and is situated on the main level within the stadium next to Section 210. It closes at the end of the 8th innings.

  • If you are a Mastercard holder, you will get discounts on tickets for certain games.

Go for: Being at a New York Yankees game is iconic and part of daily New York life. It's a great way to experience the culture and passion of the city.

See a Pittsburgh Pirates game

Pittsburgh is a city that lives for sport, and rivers, and bridges come to think of it. Do you know Pittsburgh has 466 bridges! The most in the world.

I really enjoyed Pittsburgh during my visit. It's a city that perhaps isn't on the natural list of destinations to visit for those flying into the USA, but once you're there if you love your sport and adventure, you'll find it has so much to offer.

Moving on from its former industrial height, it's known as the City of Steel and was once a powerhouse in steel production, the city now is a hub for education, technology, healthcare and sport.

When it comes to sport, Pittsburgh actually played a huge part in the beginnings of professional sport in the USA. The city hosted both the first professional football game and the first World Series. So much so, Pittsburgh has previously been voted the USA's 'best sports city'.

Pittsburgh's MLB team, the Pittsburgh Pirates is the oldest sports team in the city, forming in 1881.

Views of Downtown Pittsburgh from seats in Section 316 at PNC Park
Seats in Section 316 at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Seats in Section 316 at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Why visit a Pittsburgh Pirates game

PNC Park has been described as 'the greatest ballpark in America' by baseball fans, commentators and players and for me, I have to say it's my favourite from the ones I have visited. There is a charm about it that is hard to describe and its setting on the Allegheny River is difficult to beat. From your seats within the stadium, the landscape laid out in front of you with the baseball field in the foreground and downtown Pittsburgh as the backdrop is picture postcard.

The experience of visiting PNC Park begins outside the stadium with every entrance into PNC Park marked with a statue of a Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame player. The likes of Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski line the entrances and greet you to the game. Once inside, the wonderful design of the ballpark is apparent from the start. You never feel like you're inside a mega-structure, it's a wonderful open space with the limestone facades creating a welcoming feeling.

The interiors are open and airy and in turn you never feel like you're in an overcrowded area. There are different areas to take note off from pop-up galleries displaying great artwork of Pirates moments from years gone by, merchandise stories and of course food & beverage options.

Did you know: All of Pittsburgh's sports team play in the black and gold colours.

How to get to PNC Park

PNC Park is one of those sporting stadiums that sits right in the middle of the city, meaning getting there is simple. Other such sporting venues that have equal charm are St. James' Park in Newcastle, England and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia. They are the kind of sporting venues that act as the village green or the town square - walk out of the stadium and you are quickly back into the heart of the city.

PNC Park is on the North Shore of Pittsburgh and when you walk across the Clemente Bridge from south to north, you'll find yourself right outside the ballpark. There are plenty of restaurants and bars around the stadium for you to enjoy before or after the game.

What's the best Pittsburgh Pirates ticket to get?

The pricing of tickets to see the Pittsburgh Pirates never really differs much, so you will always have a good idea of what a game will cost you.

The cheapest tickets to see a Pirates game is always on the top tier of the stadium with $25 being around the price you will pay. Because you are high up, this is also where you will find the best views of downtown Pittsburgh. See below my tips of which sections to get a sit in.

Seats in the middle tier will cost you around $45.

Whilst the cheaper ticket is great value, if you want be as close to the action as possible you will be able to get seats at field level for $275 for most games.

Something a little different: If you don't want to buy a ticket to enter PNC Park, you can hire a kayak from Kayak Pittsburgh Downtown which is based right underneath the Clemente Bridge outside PNC Park. In your kayak, from the river you can see the big screen within the ballpark, meaning if there is a game on you can watch the action live from the water. A perfect mix of sport and adventure! See more on this in the video below!

Top Tips when visiting the Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Get a ticket in section 315, 316 or 317 for the perfect view of the ballpark, Allegheny River and downtown Pittsburgh. These sections are also always great value.

  • No bags are allowed in the stadium but you will have find pop-up bag drops around the stadium that will safely store your belongings.

Go for: The views! No matter how the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing, the views are so good from your seat that it doesn't really matter.

See a Altoona Curve game

Altoona Curve's home stadium, The Peoples Natural Gas Field next to Lakemont Park
The Peoples Natural Gas Field, home of Altoona Curve

Okay, Altoona Curve may not be a Major League Baseball team but I could not write this article without talking about this basketball experience. Altoona Curve is a Double-A Affiliate team based in Pennsylvania, around 2 hours east of Pittsburgh, and play in Minor League Baseball which sits just below Major League Baseball. Altoona Curve are a feeder team to the Pittsburgh Pirates, so many of the team's young stars will go on to play for the Pirates.

The town of Altoona is steeped in history, and is home to world famous Altoona Horseshoe Curve - a railway engineering project that the team gets its name from. Perhaps the only sports team in the world named after a stretch of railway? The Horseshoe Curve is apart of the Pennsylvania Railroad and is used to minimise the track's incline as it makes its way up the Allegheny Mountains. I've travelled on the railway and it is something to amaze at.

Why visit a Altoona Curve game

Whilst the big hitting Yankees and Dodgers are brilliant sporting days out in mega stadiums that have to be attended, you can't underestimate how special it is to visit a smaller team. Visiting Altoona was one of the happiest days I have had watching sport. The sheer essence of what a sports team is, a community, was more evident here than any other sporting occasion I have been apart of. The locals were super friendly and could not speak highly enough of how Altoona Curve gives them a place to get together every week.

Altoona Curve play their home games at the Peoples Natural Gas Field, which is a 7,210 capacity baseball-only stadium. It's located in the southeast area of Altoona, a town of around 100,000 in central Pennsylvania and the ballpark sits right next to Lakemont Park, an outdoor amusement park which is home to the iconic Skyliner Rollercoaster. Take a ride on it and you can watch the game whilst being thrown left, right and centre.

What I love about this ballpark is its intimacy, something you often don't find at major sporting venues. Seating options range from the grandstand seats to a picnic seating area as well as a party deck and grass mounds to sit on. Somehow Altoona Curve manages to combine big sporting atmosphere with a Sunday lunch in the park feel.

How to get to Peoples Natural Gas Field

Altoona is not a town on the typical tourist trail but is still well worth a visit. If you travel on the Pennsylvania Amtrak service it will take around 4.5 hours from Philadelphia or 2.5 hours from Pittsburgh, so well worth an overnight visit to see Altoona Curve play. Altoona's Amtrak Station is close to the centre of town and the No. 9 bus service will get you to the People's Natural Gas Field. There are also plenty of hotels nearby the ballpark.

What's the best Altoona Curve ticket to get?

All tickets to see Altoona Curve play are normally priced between $10 and $20, so a very cost-effective sporting occasion to attend and perfect for families. Once you are in the stadium you can roam around to the different areas whether that be the grass seating or party deck. It's essentially a free-flowing concourse meaning you can walk around wherever you like. The beauty of smaller scale sporing events!

You can also buy an allocated seat at the party deck. The seats are like bar stools along the front edge of the deck, so an uninterrupted view of the field. These tickets are normally priced around $17.

Top Tips when visiting the Altoona Curve

  • Explore Lakemont Park before or after your Altoona Curve game, it's a brilliant outdoor amusement park and a ride on the rollercoaster will give you a great view of the ballpark.

  • Settle into the action around the party deck, you'll not wait long for a drink and there's a brilliant atmosphere around there.

  • If Altoona win, quite often the game will be followed by fireworks so don't rush off after the game!

Go for: The sheer pleasure of a relaxed, fun and community driven sporting occasion. And the Skyliner Rollercoaster of course!

See a Los Angeles Dodgers game

The Los Angeles Dodgers capture the essence of LA and the Dodger Stadium is a sporting venue that has to be visited.

The team began life in Brooklyn, New York before relocating to Los Angeles in 1958 and have become an integral part of life for LA residents. They are one of the MLB's most supported teams and see huge attendances for their home games.

The Dodger Stadium is located in the area known as Chavez Ravine with views overlooking downtown Los Angeles - you can see the Hollywood sign from the top deck where the team store is.

Why visit a Los Angeles Dodgers game

56,000 packed into the Dodger Stadium, home of the LA Dodgers
Game day at the Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles is home to 11 professional sports teams across the NBA, MLS, NHL, NFL plus the WNBA and even MLC, that's Major League Cricket if you weren't sure. With all that choice it can be hard to pick what sporting event to attend whilst in the city, but if you had to choose one I would go for the LA Dodgers. If for nothing else, the spectacle of the Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles Dodgers have played at the The Dodger Stadium since 1962. It's the largest ballpark in the world, welcoming 56,000 people to games and its unique design set into a hill is something to behold. The art deco architecture is a real delight to see in person too. Not only is it the largest, but it is also the third oldest ballpark in the USA after Boston's Fenway Park and Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Even if you haven't visited the stadium before, you no doubt will feel like you know it with the venue being no stranger to the small and big screen. Well, this is Hollywood after all. Films such as Naked Gun, Rock of Ages, The Fast and the Furious and Superman Returns have all used the Dodger Stadium as a location and even Fleetwood Mac filmed the music video for Tusk at the stadium.

Did you know: The colour of the seats within the Dodger Stadium reflect the climate and lifestyle Los Angeles with blue used in the lower tier to represent the sea, and yellow and orange being used to represent the beaches and mountains.

How to get to Dodger Stadium

The Dodger Stadium is situated in the northeast of LA and doesn't have a dedicated subway or metro station. There is a free shuttle bus called the Dodger Stadium Express that departs from Union Station and will take you back to Union Station after the game. This is a useful transport link to and from the stadium and takes around 15 minutes. The Dodger Stadium Express operates for 90 minutes before the start of a game and for 45 minutes after the last out.

Other options would be to order a taxi or drive, but make sure you leave in plenty of time as the traffic can get very busy leading into the stadium before a game. It's also worth noting, trying to pick up a taxi afterwards is challenging given the amount of people at the stadium. I would definitely opt for the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle bus.

What's the best Los Angeles Dodgers ticket to get?

A lot has been made of the cost of tickets to see the LA Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The increase in ticket prices has been attached to the team signing Shohei Ohtani with average ticket prices at the beginning of the 2024 season around the $500 mark. Considering you can get $6 tickets at the Yankees puts that into perspective.

But with a bit of searching you can still find tickets from around $25. I find that picking mid-week games will give you the best chance of getting a good value ticket and of course a lot of it depends of who the Dodgers are playing and the demand for tickets to that game.

Top Tips when visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers

  • You can take in your own water and food much like the Yankee Stadium, but it must be in a clear bag.

  • Bag drops are available in the car parks

  • If you get a ticket in the 'all you can eat' seats, situated in the left and right pavilions, you'll be able to eat all the hotdogs, nachos and peanuts that you please!

  • Make use of the outdoor escalators around the perimeter of the stadium, they are a great way to get you up to areas such as Top of the Deck, where the Dodgers store is.

Go for: An iconic stadium, 56,000 pack into the Dodger Stadium for a game and it's the largest ballpark in the world. Definitely worth ticking off your 'sporting venues' bucket list.

Go on a Dodger Stadium Tour

The Dodger Stadium during a stadium tour in Los Angeles
The Dodger Stadium during a stadium tour

The Dodger Stadium is a must-visit and whilst I am a big advocate of being at a venue when it is in full flow, with a game on and thousands of fans in attendance, there is something rather nice about taking a stadium tour, especially a stadium the calibre of the Dodger Stadium.

The advantages are plentiful. You feel like you have the stadium all to yourself, there's a sense of anticipation in an empty stadium without its heart and sole, fans and you learn a lot about that particular venue... and there is a lot to learn about the Dodger Stadium!

The Dodger Stadium Tour is well thought out, taking you to some of the most iconic areas of the stadium and even includes a field-walk, albeit, just to the side of the main playing field, but enough for you to get a glimpse of what it must feel like as a player competing out there on the grass. You'll pass though the media and broadcast centre, discover the stadium's history and finish at the Top of the Park team store. The Tour also begins here, and if you look closely through the trees you'll see the Hollywood sign.

The tour takes around 90 minutes with guides who are impressively knowledgable. You would expect this of course, but there is genuine passion, thoughtfulness and love of what they do which only adds to the experience.

You'll learn things like the how the colour of the seats at the Dodger Stadium are to reflect the LA climate and lifestyle. Blue seats at field level to represent the sea, yellow above that for the beach etc etc.

There are a range of Dodger Stadium Tours you can choose from:

  • Tickets for a standard Dodger Stadium tour are priced at $30 for an adult ticket and $25 for concessions.

  • Tickets for a pre-game Dodger Stadium Tour will cost you between $75 and $45.

  • Tickets to a VIP Dodger Stadium Tour will cost you between $500 and $600.


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