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Stadiums, sports arenas, and public transit


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#1 DET63

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:29 PM

The recent Philadelphia Eagles home game with the Minnesota Vikings was postponed not necessarily because the NFL expected a lot of snow on the field at game time, but because of concerns about fans getting to and from the game safely. If someone got killed in a car wreck en route, there could be thousands of dollars in medical and funeral expenses that wouldn't be going into the NFL's coffins—er, coffers.

How much thought goes, from either side, into locating stadiums and sports arenas near public transportation? On the one hand, Madison Square Garden is literally only a few feet (and vertical feet at that) away from Penn Station. On the other hand, Jerry Jones's Cowboys Stadium seems to be about as far as you can get from public transportation in any major metropolitan area in the U.S., if not the world.

It would seem to me that locating outdoor stadiums in cold-weather areas close to public transit would be quite desirable in order to avoid situations like the one in Philadelphia, where the safety of spectators traveling to and from the event could be an issue during a winter storm. This logic would also seem to recommend the existence of rail, rather than bus (including BRT or "quality bus" or whatever they call it), transit, since buses are subject to many of the same issues as other vehicles negotiating icy roads.

However, it is not enough to have stadiums near subway stations: stations must also be located wherever potential spectators live. You're not going to take the subway to the game if it doesn't also go by your house.

In the Bay Area, BART serves Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena, both of which are about a 5-minute or less walk away from the Coliseum BART station (and much of the walk is on a pedestrian bridge), while AT&T Park is served by S.F. Muni streetcars (not the cable cars) and buses. I'm not sure what kind of transit serves Candlestick Park or the Cow Palace; I'm sure that at least a few bus lines run to each. I don't know what the transit service will be like if and when the A's and/or 49ers get new stadiums, however.

#2 Shawn Ryu

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:00 PM

I always said Jerry Jones is a greedy piece of **** and thats just one of the many reasons why. he charges at least 40 dollars just to park. He doesnt want public transit because he wants everyone to drive to his stadium.

MSG is RIGHT ABOVE NYP. Literally. Yankee Stadium and Citi Fields are accessible by subways AND commuter rails.

Boston TD Banknorth Garden is also RIGHT ABOVE the Boston North Station.

In Philly, all 4 major sports teams' games can be accessed by using the SEPTA orange line to Pattison (now called AT and T). Because all of their home fields are in one location.

#3 RyanS

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:20 PM

The Redskins really missed the mark with having the WMATA blue line just over a mile from the stadium - the plans were underway for the line to be built where it was and the Redskins had no desire to try and get the line closer to the stadium to protect their parking revenue.

Contrast that with the Nationals, Ravens, Orioles and Capitals, all who have mass transit right at the stadlum/arena.
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#4 AlanB

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 02:39 PM

In Philly, all 4 major sports teams' games can be accessed by using the SEPTA orange line to Pattison (now called AT and T). Because all of their home fields are in one location.


While you are correct, fans could have taken SEPTA to the game and many do just that. there is no way that SEPTA could have handled a full stadium on its own. The line simply doesn't have that much capacity. Emptying that stadium soley with the subway would probably take 2 hours or more.

And of course there are plenty of people who simply don't have easy access to any of SEPTA's rail lines.
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#5 Shawn Ryu

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:02 PM


In Philly, all 4 major sports teams' games can be accessed by using the SEPTA orange line to Pattison (now called AT and T). Because all of their home fields are in one location.


While you are correct, fans could have taken SEPTA to the game and many do just that. there is no way that SEPTA could have handled a full stadium on its own. The line simply doesn't have that much capacity. Emptying that stadium soley with the subway would probably take 2 hours or more.

And of course there are plenty of people who simply don't have easy access to any of SEPTA's rail lines.


The fans tend to hang out in the downtown area before going to the game. So its no worry. Its easy to access any of the subway lines from downtown area.

Plus the parking lot is huge. There is nothing around the stadium but the parking lots. so most people will still take the car. Orange Line will never be like the subways servicing the Mets or the Yankees fans. But its still an option. A great option. After a baseball football hockey or bball game the trains anywhere are always going to be packed.





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Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:59 PM

Toronto Union Station (VIA, Amtrak, GO Trains & TTC) has a direct interior connection to the Air Canada Centre (Leafs NHL & Raptors NBA) and the Rogers Centre (SkyDome) is adjacent (Blue Jays, Argonauts CFL and the NFL Buffalo Bills when they play in Toronto)

Montreal’s Bell Centre (Canadiens NHL) is built above the former CPR Windsor Station and has an interior connection to the AMT commuter train station. It’s also connected through underground passages to Central Station (VIA, Amtrak, AMT) the Metro and several large Hotels.


Boston TD Banknorth Garden is also RIGHT ABOVE the Boston North Station


F.Y.I. "TD" stands for the "Toronto Dominion" BankNorth Garden in Boston

#7 FrankStar

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:29 PM

I live within short walking distance of the stadiums, so it's not an issue for me. People were due to pre-game at my house on Sunday before the game and walk the rest of the way.

If Septa (and the political powers that be) had the will, they could probably fill the stadium using only public transit. There are park-and-rides on both sides of the rivers that connect to public transportation.

In fact, a friend of mine suggested that for this past Sunday. Give plenty of warning (the decision was made more than eight hours before game time)and close down the parking lots and vehicular access to the area - and force people to use public transportation. PPA already strictly enforces a non-resident parking ban in my neighborhood during big events in my neighborhood.

They still would have filled the stadium - even in a blizzard.

There are also other Septa bus routes that will get you fairly close to the stadiums.

Another thing to note: Originally, this game was scheduled for 1 p.m. and the NFL only changed it to a night game a few weeks ago. The conditions would have been OK for the 1 p.m. start and the weather only got really bad well after the usual 4 p.m. end time.

#8 JayPea

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:36 PM

Qwest and Safeco Fields in Seattle, home of the Seahawks and Mariners, respectively, are within a few short block of King St. Station and both have easy access to bus and light rail service.
Amtrak Routes Traveled: City of New Orleans, State House/Lincoln Service, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited
Pre-Amtrak Routes Traveled: Empire Builder (Great Northern), North Coast Limited (Northern Pacific), Abraham Lincoln (Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio), City of Hinkle (Union Pacific)
Bustitutions: Portland-Spokane (EB)
Amtrak Miles: 47,693
Pre-Amtrak Miles: 8,482
Bustitution Miles: 362

Excursion trains ridden: Chehalis and Centralia Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, and trains at the
Illinois Railway Museum, Monticello (IL)Railroad Museum, and the California Railway Museum.

#9 Pastor Dave

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 10:11 PM

I've taken SEPTA to several sporting events and concerts in South Philadelphia. It works quite well and they usually add service for big events. But I agree that they couldn't possibly handle an entire stadium.
Routes I've traveled. Lake Shore Limited (aced NY section); Capitol Limited (aced); Silver Star; Silver Meteor; Crescent; Carolinian; AutoTrain (aced - but that's not hard to do); NEC; Cardinal; Adirondack; Empire Service; Three Rivers; Pennsylvanian; Sunset Limited (ORL - NOL).

#10 Shawn Ryu

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:00 AM

No public transit can actually handle an entire stadium. Not even in New York. Just enough to ease the car traffic.

#11 jimhudson

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:30 AM

The comment about Coach Jerry Jones (aka "The Owner")is spot on! Also the Texas Rangers Stadium is next door as is Fiesta Texas Amusement Park. When the City of Arlington cut their deals with these Greed Merchants, er Sports/Amusement Organizations, it is commonly believed that NOT having Public Transportation to Arlington from neighboring Cities was part of the "Give Away the Store Deals" that Arlington politicians cut with these con artists!

Interestingly, when the upcoming Super Bowl is played there, the NFL has insisted that special trains and busses must be run to transport the 100,000+ that will pay Big Bucks to attend the festivities surrounding this event. Contrast this with DART which runs special trains for events at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas and AMTRAK which runs the Heartland Flyer from OKC to the Fairgorunds in Dallas for the Texas-Oklahoma game each year!
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#12 Traingeek

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 08:02 PM

In smaller Cities like Aberdeen, Baseball stadiums aren't big enough (ours is 6,000) to be practical for Mass transit. Every time I go down to to Ravens or Orioles game in Baltimore, I use Amtrak and MTA Light rail right to the stadium. It really depends on the city.

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#13 DET63

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 02:00 PM

Qwest and Safeco Fields in Seattle, home of the Seahawks and Mariners, respectively, are within a few short block of King St. Station and both have easy access to bus and light rail service.

Isn't KeyArena, former home of the SuperSonics, and originally known as Seattle Center Coliseum, close to one end of the monorail?

#14 JayPea

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 08:50 PM

True. KeyArena is at the Seattle Center/Space Needle end of the monorail. And the northern terminus of Seattle's light rail service, Central Link Light Rail, is at Westlake, which is at the other end of the monorail system.

Edited by JayPea, 01 January 2011 - 08:56 PM.

Amtrak Routes Traveled: City of New Orleans, State House/Lincoln Service, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited
Pre-Amtrak Routes Traveled: Empire Builder (Great Northern), North Coast Limited (Northern Pacific), Abraham Lincoln (Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio), City of Hinkle (Union Pacific)
Bustitutions: Portland-Spokane (EB)
Amtrak Miles: 47,693
Pre-Amtrak Miles: 8,482
Bustitution Miles: 362

Excursion trains ridden: Chehalis and Centralia Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, and trains at the
Illinois Railway Museum, Monticello (IL)Railroad Museum, and the California Railway Museum.

#15 Tracktwentynine

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 04:06 PM

In Atlanta, MARTA directly serves the Georgia Dome (NFL Falcons) and Philips Arena (NHL Thrashers, NBA Hawks) with their Georgia Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center Station on the Blue & Green lines. Georgia Tech's Grant Field (football) is less than 3 blocks from North Avenue Station (Red/Gold lines) and GT's Alexander Memorial Coliseum (basketball) is about 4 blocks from Midtown Station (Red/Gold lines).

Turner Field, which is home to MLB's Braves, is not served by rail. It's about a 10 block walk from Georgia State Station (Blue/Green lines), but it's not particularly feasible for most fans to walk that.

In the 1960s/70s, during MARTA planning, a "future" line to the Model Cities area (southeast Atlanta) was proposed to be built after the Referendum System was completed. The Model Cities Line would have included a stop at the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was located just north of where Turner Field is today. A provision for that spur was built just north of Garnett Station, and MARTA now uses it for train storage below the platform at Garnett.

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#16 me_little_me

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 10:02 PM

Turner Field, which is home to MLB's Braves, is not served by rail. It's about a 10 block walk from Georgia State Station (Blue/Green lines), but it's not particularly feasible for most fans to walk that.

Isn't it still true that MARTA runs special buses between 5 Points station and Turner Field? The bus was included in the train fare and they ran mostly through streets blocked off for the game.

#17 Tracktwentynine

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 03:04 PM


Turner Field, which is home to MLB's Braves, is not served by rail. It's about a 10 block walk from Georgia State Station (Blue/Green lines), but it's not particularly feasible for most fans to walk that.

Isn't it still true that MARTA runs special buses between 5 Points station and Turner Field? The bus was included in the train fare and they ran mostly through streets blocked off for the game.


Not anymore. MARTA will not run the Braves Shuttle during the 2011 season due to budget cuts.

When it did run, the fare policy was exactly the same as for all other buses: a free transfer to/from rail when using an (RFID) Breeze Ticket or Breeze Card.

Amtrak: 29,140 miles, 21 routes, 42 states, 2 provinces. First trip 5/2005. Miles in 2014: 3,694.

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#18 Ozark Southern

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 09:20 PM

All of us who were at the Gathering last year experienced the Metrolink as the Blues (NHL) game let out. The Kiel Centre (NHL), Busch Stadium (MLB), and Transworld Dome (NFL) are all served by both the Red and Blue Lines, both of which connect downtown St. Louis with Missouri and Illinois suburbs. St. Louis also runs Redbird Express (Cardinals MLB) and Rams Express (NFL) buses on game days. Add to this ample parking and good access to all four Interstate highways from the stadium locations, and St. Louis is a very easy town for any sports fan to get around in.

Edited by Ozark Southern, 06 January 2011 - 07:02 PM.

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Commuter rail taken: Berlin U-Bahn, Boston 'T', Caracas Metro, Chicago CTA, Minneapolis LRT, Paris Metro, Paris RER, St. Louis Metrolink, Washington Metro

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#19 DET63

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 06:11 PM


In Philly, all 4 major sports teams' games can be accessed by using the SEPTA orange line to Pattison (now called AT and T). Because all of their home fields are in one location.


While you are correct, fans could have taken SEPTA to the game and many do just that. there is no way that SEPTA could have handled a full stadium on its own. The line simply doesn't have that much capacity. Emptying that stadium soley with the subway would probably take 2 hours or more.

And of course there are plenty of people who simply don't have easy access to any of SEPTA's rail lines.

But it wouldn't have to handle everyone to still be useful. Obviously, the more it could handle, the better.

#20 Rob Creighton

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 11:50 AM

If you ever catch the Cubs on WGN-TV...you'll see the TV commercials where the "Cubs strongly encourage the use of public transportation to Wrigley Field." The spot goes on to outline where the CTA red line stops, and some outlying park and ride options and bus lines from downtown train stations.

Chicago generally has good public transportation to all the local sports stadiums: Wrigley, The Cell, Soldier Field, United Center, McCormick Place. Plus, with Metra, you can get into the city pretty easily from a lot of places. Although, I'm not sure I'd want to use the EL from the Cell or United Center after a night game. If you can get out right after the game heading downtown, it's probably OK. Miss the crowds, it could be a little dicey.



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