In the early 1870s, baseball became the first sport to begin forming professional leagues. Many of the teams played their home games at parks and grounds suitable to accomodate a few thousand spectators. This included fields that were on grounds that may have been used to host cricket matches, ice skating parks, expositions, or horse races. The grounds included few amenities outside of simple wooden grandstands and gazebos. As popularity grew, fans typically surrounded the outfield in an arc, as outfield fences did not yet exist. During the late 1870s, the capacity of these parks grew to accomodate upwards of 8,000 fans, and evolved to include amenities such as covered grandstands, dugouts, and outfield fences.
By the mid 1880s, many teams started to relocate to bigger cities and build more elaborate structures to support the growing fan base and revenue of the sport. These wooden ballparks that followed could seats upwards of 20,000 fans and included elaborate construction and facades that were indicative of the Victorian architecture of the time.