25 February 2008

Updated Ballpark Transit Comparison

Some of you had been asking what happened to transit comparison table I put together a year ago. Well, I inadvertantly deleted it during the summer while doing some site maintenance. I took the recent down period to construct a new version of the table, so here it is in its renewed glory (click on either graphic to view a larger version):

The legend above doesn't have an explanation for the "Setting" column. I left it off to cover it in the post. I think it's important to make certain distinctions regarding the various environments that the different ballparks inhabit. In doing this, I came up with three specific categories: Downtown, Urban, and Suburban. Here's what they mean:
  • Downtown: Refers to a specific neighborhood within a city that serves as its CBD, or Central Business District. A downtown usually includes an already pre-existing dense, vibrant neighborhood that serves as a central focal point for retail and entertainment. Downtown will usually have a major transit hub or similar facility within walking distance of the stadium. This is important as the locale and its proximity to the transit hub may reduce the need for transfers on public transit. The ballpark site may have limited parking immediately adjacent but other independently operated facilities serve the public, filling demand.
  • Urban: Covers a large and somewhat disparate group. In all cases, the site is somewhat centrally located within a market or region. However, the ballpark is not located within the designated downtown area, which usually means a transfer is required for a sizable portion of the fanbase. In some cases, an extensive parking facility may be onsite or adjacent (examples: US Cellular Field, McAfee Coliseum, Miller Park). Alternately, there may be an active legacy neighborhood for which the ballpark serves as an anchor (Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park).
  • Suburban: This type of venue is usually surrounded by many acres of parking. Public transit availability is not generally a major factor for its fanbase. The site is often far from an established CBD or other established neighborhood, making trips the ballpark an in-and-out affair. Some ballparks straddle the line between Urban and Suburban due to their location (central to the populace), and (re)development occurring in the area adjacent to the site.
As Cisco Field and the ballpark village are completed, we may see new proposals elsewhere that mimic the A's efforts. If so I may add a new category called quasi-urban, which denotes a facility that has urban traits but is in a decidedly suburban location.

The hollow X's indicate transit options that are planned or are under construction. In Phoenix, the first leg of its light rail line is due to open this December. Seattle's light rail is scheduled to open in 2009. Fremont's Warm Springs BART station would open a few years after Cisco Field and would require a shuttle for access. The south Fremont train station may be up and running sometime before that, it would also require a shuttle.

At some point I'll add a column showing the percentage of fans that use public transit in its various forms.


bartleby said...

This is a very interesting chart, but some of the distinctions seem a bit arbitrary. For example, Miller Park and Angel Stadium are essentially similar locations; it's not obvious why the former should be considered "Urban" if the latter is considered "Suburban." One could also argue that Dodger Stadium is essentially suburban under the stated criteria, notwithstanding that it is in LA city limits.

Also, why is Kauffman Stadium listed as a "Suburban" location pre-renovations and an "Urban" location post-renovations?

Marine Layer said...

The KC setting was an oversight. It's now correctly "suburban."

The difference between Miller Park and Angel Stadium is a subtle one, mostly related to marketing. Despite Miller Park's environs, it's still very central to its market. Had the Angels continued to be an Anaheim team, the same would apply. Since they're now marketed as an LA team (even though much of their hardcore fanbase is still OC-based), it's more difficult to make such a claim.

Anonymous said...

Biggest pile of self serving crap I've seen in some time. Fremont plan should have a big goose egg across each category. What a friggin homer you are!

Tony D. said...

For Cisco Field, perhaps "FAUX" urban would be more appropriate. Or how about "SANTANA ROWISH-urban?" Some of my friends refer to Da Row as "our fake A$$ downtown," but that's another discussion for another blog. And while I hope Cisco and the village won't have to much of that fake appeal, it will sure beat where the A's play right now.

Georob said...

So much of this is subjective and based on one's own perception. I mean, Dodger Stadium is surrounded by freeways and parking; but is clearly near the center of the LA metropolitan area. But just because you don't have the density of a New York, doesn't automatically make you suburban.

Marine Layer said...

As I was going through each ballpark and placing them into their respective buckets, I thought this is good subject matter for a formal study. Maybe after the current events stuff is done.

In any case I'm glad it's provoked further discussion.

Marine Layer said...

No LRT in DC bbison, the table has been updated to reflect that.

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in meeting up to discuss ideas about keeping the A's in Oakland?

Yes, we do still have a chance to keep the A's in Oakland ... but we have to ACT NOW!!

We are having a brain-storming/planning meeting with the folks from Keep The A's In Oakland and would love for anyone interested in sharing your ideas to join us!

Date: Tuesday, March 4th 2008
Time: 7:00 PM (meeting will begin shortly thereafter)
Place: Pacific Coast Brewing Company, 906 Washington St., Oakland, CA 94607, (510) 836-2739

Please email me with any questions or comments.
I hope to see you all there!

Details can be found here:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the notice ... I'll be there. Beers on me!!!

James said...

Well, I certainly hope the agenda items includes a lengthy discussion about how to pay for a $500 million ballpark.

Marine Layer said...

I imagine there'll be a large number of people who say, "Pay for it? The owner should pay for it out of his own pocket!" Now that's an idea that'll really go far.

Anonymous said...

Who should "pay for it?" Taxpayers???

bartleby said...

A few additional (possible) errata:

- Kauffman Stadium is shown as having three rail options post-renovation which do not currently exist.
- Both the Yankees and the Mets are shown as having picked up a light-rail option in their new parks which does not currently exist.
- Does the Cleveland ballpark really have the heavy rail/commuter rail options listed? I checked both the team website and Cleveland transit website and could only find reference to a trolley.

ML: I take your point regarding Anaheim being "Suburban" relative to LA and not "Suburban" relative to, um, Anaheim. However, I'm skeptical that the ballpark location warrants reclassification based solely on a team name change. After all, the team name change didn't affect site access, neighborhood character, or entertainment options relative to the ballpark, and isn't that really the point of this discussion?

Marine Layer said...

bartleby - thanks for picking those up. That's what happens when I try to arrange these midstream.

Cleveland's Red Line is not like BART or other third rail types because it uses an overhead catenary wire for power, like light rail, but it's grade-separated at crossings so that it doesn't share the road.

Anaheim's site has little to make it urban, other than the fact that it's in the middle of Orange County. Even then, it could be considered urban. I thought about putting together another descriptor that covers ballparks in urban locations with large amounts of parking, but I couldn't do it with a single word.

bartleby/Georob - Sorry guys, I accidentally removed your last two comments while removing some of the troll posts. Please repost.

James said...

Anon 2:38, I didn't ask who should pay for it (clearly, taxpayers won't). I asked how to pay for it. Assuming Wolff will pay for the new stadium, please explain how one would expect him to fund a hypothetical ballpark in Oakland.

Anonymous said...

You can't force Lew Wolff to stay in Oakland. You have that stupid keeping the A's in Oakland meeting. It won't change Lew Wolff mind and A's are going to move to Fremont. (One more thing "You will Lose A's").

If you want A's to stay in Oakland, you must pay $500 million to fund the ballpark.

The only he can fund the $500 million to fund the ballpark, is to build retail and housing.

bartleby66 said...

I'm not actually arguing that Anaheim Stadium should be classified as "Urban." My main argument is that the classification for Miller Park, Anaheim Stadium, and Dodger Stadium should be the same.

If the main thrust of the "Urban" designation is, "lively city neighborhood that happens not to be downtown and which has good transit options," all three of these parks should be "Suburban." (This is actually how I would classify them). Let's face it, if you're going to one of these parks you are probably driving and you're not sticking around the neighborhood once the game is over. Is there really a big difference between Kauffman Stadium and Miller Park? Miller is a couple miles close to downtown, but they're both in city limits and it's a car ride either way.

On the other hand, if the main thrust of the "Urban" designation is, "centrally located to the population center it serves, whether or not transit is available" I would classify all three of themm as "Urban." Marketing aside, I have to believe the vast majority of people going to Angels games are from Orange County.

Jeffrey said...

Oakland Dudes... It is impressive that you all are still committed.

As a fan, I wouldn't mind if the A's landed in old Auto Row.

That said, I am excited about Fremont and honestly had there beena San Jose option, I would have been excited about that.

As long as the A's stay in the Bay Area, I am excited.

That said... what is it about your meeting that will be different than the years of work done by the OAFC? How will you persuade the city politicos to support keeping the A's rather than giving lip service to keeping the A's?

I have watched for years while the "Keep the A's in Oakland" movement has been well publicized but never supported by more than a small number of people.

I have personally exchanged emails and had phone conversations with Oakland City Council members. It is an understatement to say that they aren't really concerned with the A's staying.

What will be different about that?

That needs ot be answered ina ddition to funding.

Anonymous said...

What needs to be answered is how a small town like Fremont can support the infrastructure entailed for a development of this size. Heck, they can't even afford to pay for the police officers that would be required on game days. What also needs to be answered is how this plan will deal with the lack of access and lack of public transportation.

Marine Layer said...

The A's will pay $1 million per year for gameday police presence. That should cover 7 officers. The A's will use private security inside the ballpark, police for outside the ballpark and normal police procedures (arrests, citations). Increased sales tax revenues should cover additional officers for the residential/retail areas of the village. Of course I wrote this almost a year ago but apparently some people don't know how to read. Or search.

The interchange system in the area is plenty beefy enough to handle traffic, and as previously mentioned, the 880 widening project (scheduled to be completed next year) will go a long way towards alleviating traffic concerns. There's already a rail station project on the west (ACE/Amtrak) side, and progress is being made on the BART extension front.

bartleby said...

Small town? Fremont is the fourth largest city in the Bay Area.

Fremont: Pop. 211,000, Median Household Income $88K

Oakland: Pop. 410,000, Median Household Income $40K, already hemorraging money from the Raiders and Warriors deals.

When you take into account their relative economic circumstances, Fremont is a lot better positioned to bear costs associated with a ballpark than Oakland.

Lack of access? Fremont is served by the same freeways as Oakland. Capacity at the new park will be about 20% less than the pre-tarp Coliseum, more than enough to offset the 15% of fans that ride BART. Cisco Field will have indirect access to two major transit systems. And A's fans won't have to fight Warriors fans or concert fans for access and parking. There's a decent chance access will actually be BETTER than at the Coliseum.

OK, your questions have been answered (for the umpty-umpth time). How about a reasoned response to Jeffrey's question?

No? Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks - I'm a Giants fan - stumbled across this site then went over to the OAFC site and I find it amusing how there is such animosity between the pro-oakland gang and the fremont backers. Seems as though both groups hate each other. Oh well, Giants may have ups and downs but I'll be enjoying them in the best venue in all of MLB!!

transic said...

I can't speak for other cities but I can comment on the city I live in: NYC.

Starting off, the best option by far to get to a game by public transportation is the subway. I'm talking convenience, not necessarily comfort or style, mind you. ;) For Shea Stadium, it is the #7 train. One big problem here is that the subway system was built primarily to service the commute between Manhattan and the outer boroughs. So if someone lives in, say, The Rockaways and wanted to go to Shea, located near the neighborhood of Flushing, he may have to take three separate subway lines or take a train to Manhattan then switch to the #7. However, a sizable group of fans live in Nassau and Suffolk and the subway is not an option for them. So they drive into the city. There are three bus lines that mainly serve the Flushing area which is great if you live along Northern Blvd, Astoria Blvd or coming to a game straight from the airport. Otherwise, take a bus that would leave you to one of the stops on the #7 line. Regional rail is a spur of the Long Island Railroad, which ends at Port Washington. It is a logistical oversight not having direct service between Shea and most of Nassau and Suffolk. People coming from Hicksville, Oyster Bay or Long Beach would have to transfer at Woodside station to go to Shea.

Shea Stadium was built with the automobile in mind. On three sides there are major highways, one going east-west and the rest north-south, making it more tempting for folks to take their cars.

Yankee Stadium is a bit easier to get to. You have the choice of not one but two subway lines (the D/B or the #4 lines). Both are also express trains, meaning they have built-in right-of-ways that allow the trains to skip several stops. I take the #4 or #5 train on my way to work and it's pretty fast once you get over the overcrowdedness. There are two bus lines, which mainly service upper Manhattan, Highbridge, Melrose through Hunts Point, that have stops at Yankee Stadium/Macombs Dam Park. Another bus line runs along the Grand Concourse, near the Stadium. But that one is for Bronx residents primarily.

The funny thing is that there has been a track built decades ago that is used by Metro-North that runs right near Yankee Stadium. However, no one had a serious plan of building a train station at that spot until now. (BTW, here's a good pic of that that I found)That has only come about partly because of the new Stadium being built and mainly due to pressure from neighborhood activists and rail advocates. The new Metro North station will also service commuters coming in from other train lines for a straight shoot into Grand Central Station (thereby cutting down on the time needed to go to work). There are also new businesses coming into the Bronx who will also benefit from the station. So the Yankee will only be a factor in this (albeit a big one).

But as with Shea Stadium, Yankee Stadium also has a sizable portion of fans coming in by car. They are mainly from New Jersey and Connecticut, with some from Long Island. This has led to problems with the neighborhood because of fans trying to find curbside parking spaces. I hear rumors that the city will finally start a program that limits street parking only to neighborhood residents. It remains to be seen whether that becomes a reality.

However, no light rail for either stadium and I see many difficulties to building light rail when there are already other options available.

James said...

Anon 4:29,

Assuming your concerns had any validity (Fremont is neither a small town or lacking infrastructure, and as has been pointed out numerous times, the vast majority of A's patrons already drive to games) you still haven't answered my question. How will construction for a stadium in Oakland get funded?

Tony D. said...

If anyone cares, Diridon South would have had Light rail, Caltrain, Amtrak/Capitol Corridor, and ACE (perhaps future high speed rail and BART as well). Such a shame.
Anyhow anon 507, AT&T Park is ONE of the best venues in all of baseball. Cases could be made for the classics of Wrigley and Fenway, the retros of Camden Yards and PNC Park. Cisco Field will prove to be an outstanding venue that will ensure the A's success in the Bay Area for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Ask your buddy lewwolf - he's the one who proposed the orig park(s) in oaktown, not me.

James said...

Anon 7:13... you Wolff bashers continue to talk out of both sides of your mouths. First you say that Wolff planned all along to move the team from Oakland, then you say that Wolff proposed a park in Oakland. Which is it?

In any event, yes, he did discuss a couple of Oakland options and Jerry Brown wouldn't have it. He had his own plans as to what he wanted to be in any redevelopment areas, and an A's ballpark wasn't in any of his plans. Hence, Wolff looked as far south as he could while staying in the A's territory (i.e., north of the Santa Clara County border). If you don't like it, it's too damn bad and too damn late. The people of Oakland elected Jerry Brown. Even if Dellums were decide to support a Ballpark in Oakland, it too late? Wolff, rightfully, looked southward and the more he looked the more he liked the idea. If the Oakland elected officials would have banded together as late as two years ago and made keeping the A's a priority (and I submit to you that they had and have bigger fish to fry) then maybe the A's would have relocated within Oakland. But the Fremont process is too far along. He's spent many millions of dollars already, on the land, on the planning, on the EIR, etc. And he's made the announcement that the team is moving to Fremont. Don't get me wrong, I applaud anyone with the conviction to try to stand up for and support something that they want and believe in. But what I'm saying is it's too late. Even if Fremont were to fall through, and that is highly doubtful in my mind, I think it's probable that the A's will move out of California altogether. It is your merry band of Oakland fans that are going to have a meeting and raise hell with the false hope that anything can be done now. I simply said, in the very beginning of my involvement in this string, that y'all better find a way to finance a stadium, because I don't know of an available parcel in Oakland that's large enough to support the ballpark and ancillary develoment that will pay for the park. The few parcels that might be available in Oakland have big problems (toxic cleanup, multiple owners, etc.).

The only thing that is going to give you any credibility on this board is to answer my original question... how do you propose that a ballpark in Oakland would get financed?

Anonymous said...

Lew Wolff's group has purchased the land ( 160 acres ) from Cisco for $150M . ( Cisco asked $175 M ) . He has already spent another $50 -70 million to buy other surrounding properties from ProLogis and more than half a dozen property owners for an additional 70-100 acres . He and his investment group ( who are housing and shopping center developers - baseball team ownership is a fun distraction as is the case for all owners ) realize the timing for the Ballpark Village /stadium is perfect for the rebound we will see in real estate in 4-5 years , as people will be clamoring to buy this type of faux-urban development where you have East coast urban -feel lower yard maintenance townhomes ( without real street thugs , homeless and muggers ) , neighborhood elem school, themed parks and playgrounds , all WALKABLE ( hey ! ..healthy green weekend lifestyle , LOL ) to entertainment ( movies, baseball,concerts)and wide range of everyday and high end retail and dining . All closer in to Silicon Valley jobs , without dealing with the Altamont Pass or Sunol Grade ( again - shorter commute slog equals selling the greener lifestyle to the home buyer . So they can keep their Priuses parked in the garage all weekend and enjoy the same " yuppie " experience the casual non-hardcore fans who now pack AT&T do.

You have to understand the psychodemographics at play here . The buyers are intended to be highly educated techies who are from overseas or grew up in safe suburbs if American born, They are not interested in living south of Market , dodging homeless and hagning out at the latest bleeding edge foodie places that stay in business for 9 months. They want a safe " Disney " facsimile of that lifestyle and you see that type of development springing up all over the country now , potentially done right when you have the raw land , as here , or done not so well when you plop just the retail part of it in the middle of a vast strip mall hell ( Santana Row on Stevens Creek Blvd ) .
It's all about total "entertainment" 24/7 : " A Good Time Out " as the Warriors used to say .

Marine Layer said...

To the troll(s) - If you're going to comment, you should at least attempt to expound on your opinion instead of simply shouting someone down.

Anonymous said...

What are the "trolls" saying ... this is interesting.

- Matt

Marine Layer said...

Namecalling, saying someone's comment is "bullshit" and then not backing it up with any kind of argument, typical flamebaiting stuff. I'm just trying to keep the level at discourse at a modicum.

Georob said...

I know you're resistant to blocking anonymous posters, but I beg you to consider trying it for 30 days and see what happens. It'd likely make your job easier.

..and yes, I know you don't get paid for this.

Anonymous said...

Please, don't block annon posters. the crazy trolls ruin it for everyone. Look I live in Oakland, but I'm still going to go the games in fremont.

On a side note, its kind of funny that there's this dodgers fan I know who hates all bay area teams (he also loves the halos) and he's convinced that Cisco Field won't happen. I ask him why and he never gives a reason. Its crazy how people don't think it will be built after all of the progress so far. I love reading your blog ML.

Marine Layer said...

Not gonna happen right now Rob. I may at some point move to the new OpenID option that's available. I'm not worried about spending a few minutes each day filtering comments. I appreciate your concern.

Zonis said...

With all the money they've invested into this project, it would make no sense to chance it at all now.

That means no to Oakland, and no to San Jose, even if it were to magically become available to move to.

Especially with the market as it is, the Ownership group can't afford to give up all the money they've sunk into Fremont, especially because the whole project will fall apart if the A's removed the Stadium from the deal. If they remove the Stadium, Fremont will probably reject the plan. Fremont wants to be put on the map, though I don't think they'd mind if they are given the Anahiem treatment, ie: the team being named San Jose, but given At Fremont in the name, either team or stadium.

Anonymous said...

There are two MetroRail stations within one mile of the proposed Ballpark at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

bartleby said...


Some further questions/possible errata re transit:

- In Cleveland, I'm confused. Are you counting the Redline as Rapid Rail, Light Rail, Heavy Rail, or all three?
- In Detroit, I'm not aware of any mass transit other than busss (and the totally useless People Mover). What is the "Heavy Rapid" system mentioned?
- In New York, if transic is right, shouldn't "Heavy Regional" be removed from both the Yankees and Mets chart?

Don't mean to seem nitpicky, but I'm sure your chart will be referred to often in future posts, so want to make sure it's as complete and accurate as possible.

Marine Layer said...

bartleby & others - Thanks for your contributions. It never hurts to have another set of eyes looking at the content. Soon there'll be a link on the sidebar to the chart so that you won't have to search when the original post disappears.

Cleveland - the Red line is Rapid Rail. The Green and Blue lines are Light Rail. I had a regional rail option listed but that was incorrect as the Amtrak station is near the Browns stadium and there is no commuter service.

Miami - I retraced the route from the OB to the nearest Metrorail stations. The closest is about 1.25 miles away, qualifying it as an indirect transit mode with bus transfer.

NY - The new Metro North station is listed as "Planned" though I'll change it next year when the station is expected to open. Shea has always had event service on the LIRR.

Detroit - People Mover is a failure and it doesn't fit the description of either Rapid (not fast) or Light (not street-based). Utilization is also poor. But it belongs somewhere, and as mentioned in the disclaimer I'm not making any judgments about utilization or buildout within the table.