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Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played?

For example, would a couple of American vacationers out on a tour in Europe be more likely to call a large, usually roofless facility for soccer/rugby events with tiered seating all around for spectators, a "stadium" or a "park"?

ballpark

A park in which ball games (as baseball) are played. Merriam-Webster

A park or stadium in which ball games are played. (American Heritage® Dictionary)

park

(General Sporting Terms) US and Canadian a playing field or sports stadium. CED

Sports A stadium or an enclosed playing field: a baseball park (American Heritage® Dictionary)

These players play once a week in the spring and fall. At the end of the spring season, all the players, parents, and families get together for a big tournament and barbeque at the league's soccer park. Soccer For Dummies

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  • Some stadiums can be adapted to both American football and baseball games, but most Americans would use ballpark to refer to a stadium where baseball games are played. Interesting question, the percentage of baseball fans who would vacation in Europe. Do you have beer and hotdogs there?
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 12:06
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    I doubt an American would ever use the term ballpark for an outdoor tennis court. Football (AmEng *soccer) is played in a football stadium in Europe, basketball is played on a court not in a park... I mean I know many Europeans believe that Americans are clueless about European traditions, but I think on sport they know their stuff and that includes the differences between rugby and American football, baseball and ... cricket.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 12:22
  • I think it is restricted to baseball, probably an American would call a soccer stadium in Europe a 'ballpark' just because they would not know what to call it. ' Ballpark: 1) [countable] (especially North American English) a place where baseball is played. OLD. 2) 1(North American) A baseball ground. ODO
    – user66974
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 12:29
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    It would be a bit weird to call a football (of either variety) or tennis field a "ballpark". Most Americans would use "stadium" for either football field (if tiered seating is present, "field" otherwise), and "court" for the tennis field. Basketball is a "court" as well. Of course, some athletic fields are hard to pin down as to their intended purpose(s), and so some confusion may result. And I haven't a clue about cricket.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 12:42
  • @Josh61. We would not call a soccer stadium a ballpark. We know perfectly well that football is played in football stadiums, so by analogy, I think most Americans would say soccer stadium. I don't know what we'd call the places they play cricket, though. Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 13:10

2 Answers 2

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According to Wikipedia, the major league baseball venues are named as follows: 12 are "parks", such as PNC Park in Pittsburgh. 10 are "fields", such as Citi Field in New York. Only four are "stadiums," such as Yankee Stadium in New York. Then there is the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, and the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The "park" in Cincinnati actually contains "ball park" in its name: The Great American Ball Park. (Great American is an insurance sponsor, not a descriptor of the park.) And Atlanta's Turner Field will soon be replaced by SunTrust Park.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_stadiums

However, no NFL football team plays in a "park." Nineteen play in "stadiums", nine in "fields", and two in "coliseums" (Oakland and now again Los Angeles). Two teams play in a "dome", one of which is a "superdome" (New Orleans).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_National_Football_League_stadiums

As you can see, the titles of both articles include the word "stadiums", which is the all-purpose word for this type of building. But baseball is played in a park, and football in a stadium. Just ask George Carlin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmXacL0Uny0

In Major League Soccer, there are 10 stadiums, two fields, one place, one center, one bowl, one arena and four parks. But many US soccer venues are owned by franchises in other sports, including one of the parks. None of the parks is called a "ball park." So you can draw your own conclusions.

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When referring to baseball, the word "baseball" is usually used in conjunction with the venue: baseball field, baseball stadium, baseball arena - unless the word "ballpark" is used, in which case, it is understood to be baseball.

"Ball field" is used to describe the playing ground for any sport where there is grass (or a reasonable facsimile) underfoot.

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  • How about "soccer park," Oldbag?
    – Elian
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:24
  • @Elian - How 'bout it?
    – Oldbag
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:39
  • Yeah, can it be used as another term for "soccer field"?
    – Elian
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:42
  • American English is wonderfully elastic. You can say "soccer park" if it makes you happy, and you would be understood. Perhaps a large recreation area, with several designated soccer fields would be called a "soccer park". But, don't hold your breath for "soccer park" to catch on.
    – Oldbag
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:48

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