This post is part of an ongoing series on the economic benefits of bicycling.
Since 2004, the San Francisco Giants have offered free, secured valet parking for folks arriving via bicycle to see games (staffed by volunteers from the SF Bike Coalition). It's a marvelous way to get to the stadium, far faster & cheaper than pretty much any other way, and a lot more sustainable to boot.
It's also excellent community engagement on the part of the Giants franchise, and has probably helped sell a few tickets.
It got me thinking about what other baseball teams have done (if anything) to embrace the concept of biking to the ballpark. I spent some time today combing bike forums and the official websites of all 30 major league teams. Although all 30 teams follow essentially the same website template, only half of them actually make any mention of bikes as a transportation option. Of those that do mention it, only a few do so prominently.
Based on these websites as well as some semi-subjective digging around, I've created a list of stadiums ranked on the ease by which one can safely park a bike during the game.
Scroll down to see the list:
There are 3 hands-down winners, a lot of teams making an effort, and a handful of teams I'd call laggards:
In addition to the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs provide a free, staffed bike valet for every game. The San Diego Padres provide a staffed "Bike Parking Pavilion," but only on Sunday games.
A number of other teams make a solid effort to emphasize biking to the game, with special pages on their sites explaining parking options and access to trails, in particular the Twins and the Brewers. At least one team, the Royals, is explicitly opposed to biking to the game according to The Kansas Cyclist (hopefully that's changed by now).
Please leave comments!
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1) This list offers no ranking of the ease of getting to the stadium, only the parking options. For example, San Francisco may have valet parking but navigating SF streets can be very intimidating for the uninitiated, or for kids. Minneapolis, on the other hand, has miles of safe and easy bike paths criss-crossing the city despite lacking a formal valet. I'll try to amend the list later to take that into consideration.
2) Many of these stadiums have excellent transit options which gives them some distinction, despite not emphasizing bikes.
3) I've made a guess on some urban stadiums (like Yankee Stadium) that theoretical street parking probably exists, though I've no idea how secure it is or whether it's explicitly encouraged by the team.
Nick Aster is the founder of TriplePundit.
TriplePundit.com has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place. It was acquired in 2017 by 3BLMedia, the leading news distribution and content marketing company focused on niche topics including sustainability, health, energy, education, philanthropy, community and other social and environmental topics.
Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He also worked for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.
Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.