Dedicating an evening to a ballgame has one major headache: getting there. Nobody wants to sit in traffic for an hour and a half, and worse, nobody wants to be that commuter/everyday driver trapped going home by an influx of traffic that suddenly swells before and after a game. Public transportation provides an obvious solution to this problem, then, by relieving road congestion and getting passengers there in a safer, more streamlined way.
Unfortunately, not every stadium is well-positioned for this kind of solution. Many stadiums built in the second half of the twentieth century, for instance, were suburban concrete donuts that were meant to be jacks-of-all-trade (and master-of-none), multipurpose venues accessible almost exclusively by car (think of the Astrodome as a primary example). This trend, mercifully, has been reversed in recent years as stadium architects seek nostalgic design elements in city centers across the country, from Baltimore to San Diego.
Today, as urban renewal is roaring through our nation’s cities, more and more transportation options have become available for those looking to root for their home team. Across Major League Baseball today, a round trip public transportation ticket for gameday should cost you about $4.15, and on average you’ll only be walking about 3 minutes to the stadium. When you combine this with the proliferation of dedicated walkways and even special free transit deals in cities like Seattle and L.A., public transportation is clearly the way to go. Because of this, here are the five most accessible MLB stadiums today:
1) SafeCo Field (Closest Stop: Stadium)
This is certainly the splashiest choice around. Seattle has approved a massive expansion of its transportation infrastructure over the past decade, fueled by a demand for light rail. Because of that success, it makes great sense to incentivize baseball fans to get in on the fun: through June 3, Mariners fans only need to present their game ticket to receive a free ride on the Link Light Rail serving downtown Seattle. It’s hard to get any better than free.
2) Dodger Stadium (Closest Stop: Stadium)
Another obvious pick because of its free public transportation to get you that last mile; The Dodgers Stadium Express bus will pick you up from LA’s Union Station and deliver you directly to the stadium. To that end, the Metro has extensive lines in the city with which you can access Union Station and will only cost you $3.50 roundtrip. All in all, a good way to avoid that notorious LA traffic, especially during a hot summer game.
3) Petco Park (Closest Stop: 12th & Imperial)
Baseball fans in San Diego have the most transit options available to them. Not only is the stadium accessible by streetcar (12 & Imperial stop on the San Diego Trolley) and the very reasonable Coaster train travelling from coastal suburbs with connections to the city trolleys, but for those interested in a truly unique experience (or looking for a cheaper parking spot) there’s also the Coronado ferry, which will drop you off a scenic 12 minute walk away from Petco Park. Grab a ride on weekends: the last ferry leaves at 10:55 pm and the trip will cost you $9.50 in all.
4) Target Field (Closest Stop: Target Field Station)
The Twin Cities pride themselves on their public transportation: so much so that they advertise Target Field as “more accessible by public transit than any other ballpark in America.” Besides service by plenty of bus routes and the Northrail Commuter train, the blue & green metro lines running between Minneapolis and St. Paul provide direct access to the stadium 24 hours a day. Even better, if you’re only coming from another station downtown, the fare to get to Target Field Station is only a dollar.
5) Wrigley Field (Closest Stop: Addison)
It’s hard to choose between Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate, but in the end the legendary stadium gets the edge with a slightly wider variety of options, including bus routes and easy transfers from regional trains (Guaranteed Rate is still accessible by the L.) There are convenient Wrigley Field Express buses offered by Pace for $9 round trip, but of course the most iconic way to go is by taking the L: for $5 roundtrip, you can get off right at the Addison stop, and head into a game in one of the best cities in the world for baseball.
Citi Field (Closest Stop: Mets-Willets Point)
Although Yankee Stadium is a popular destination for obvious reasons, Citi Field deserves a mention because of its proximity to the 7 train on the MTA as well as the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), which is the busiest commuter rail in the country. A roundtrip MTA ticket will set you back $5.50, and the system runs 24 hours.
Fenway Park (Closest Stop: Kenmore Station/Fenway Station)
One of the most iconic fields in baseball is very accessible on Boston’s T rail network. If the Green Line is inaccessible for you, the Worcester Line on the commuter rail system brings you to Yawkey Station within walking distance of the stadium. A roundtrip ticket should cost you $5.50 on the T, the same fare you’ll find in New York. While the T does close at night, the stadium’s jumbotron will alert spectators that the last train is leaving Kenmore if the game is running late.
Coors Field (Closest Stop: Union Station)
Denver (and its Colorado Rockies) earns a spot on this list thanks to bus and light rail access to Coors Field. Union Station brings you within a comfortable ten minute walk to the stadium. Even better: if you’re reaching Union Station via another area within the downtown area, the MetroRide bus service can take you for free. It’s hard to beat free! Otherwise, a ride on the RTD will cost you about $5.20, roughly average for this list.