Take that, Milwaukee.
Not only did the Blue Jays lead Major League Baseball in walks in 2015, but their home stadium also leads the league in walkability.
Rogers Centre SkyDome is far from perfect. The statue in front of the park is of the guy who bought the team; the food and beer selection leaves much to be desired; the ballpark feels cavernous when the dome is closed; and no one likes the corporate name. But the 27-year-old ballpark—the seventh oldest in the majors—hits a home run when it comes to walkability and transit access, and that’s good news for fans.
With a Walk Score of 95, and surrounded by residences, parks, stores, restaurants, and attractions such as the Ripley’s Aquarium, CN Tower, Restaurant Row, and the Roundhouse, SkyDome is fully integrated into a vibrant city centre. Unlike many other ballparks, there’s lots to do after the game. With nearby subways, streetcars, and suburban rail lines, the home of the Blue Jays also scores the best for transit access.
SkyDome will be around for a while yet. With the Agros moving to BMO Field, the stadium can become more baseball-friendly. In fact, a new dirt track in the infield will be introduced for today’s game.
In honour of today’s home opener, Torontoist takes a look at the walkability and transit access for all 30 ballparks in Major League Baseball.
The top five ballparks for walkability are:
- 1. SkyDome, Toronto
- 2. Wrigley Field, Chicago (Cubs)
- 3. Fenway Park, Boston
- 4. AT&T Park, San Francisco
- 5. Comerica Park, Detroit
Not surprisingly, stadiums in downtown cores, as in San Francisco and Detroit, did well, and so did baseball’s two oldest stadiums: Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, both located outside their cities’ central cores, but still in dense, urban neighbourhoods. Honourable mentions go to downtown ballparks in Cleveland, Baltimore, Denver, and Houston. Their stadiums are adjacent to urban rail transit stations as well as vibrant nearby streets full of bars, restaurants, and shopping. Coincidentally, the teams with the two best Walk Scores (the Toronto Blue Jays and the Chicago Cubs) were also first and second in in-game walks last season. Baseball stats are fun like that.
The five least walkable are:
- 26. Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland A’s
- 27. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
- 28. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
- 29. Globe Life Park, Arlington (Texas Rangers)
- 30. Miller Park, Milwaukee
These stadiums, like many in the United States, are surrounded by gigantic parking lots. Of the above five, only Oakland Coliseum has access to mass transit; Arlington, Texas, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, has no public transit at all.
In 2017, the Atlanta Braves will be moving from Turner Field, originally built for the 1996 Summer Olympics, to a new ballpark in suburban Cobb County. That’s even further away from Atlanta’s MARTA subway system, in a famously conservative county hostile to public transit. But the new stadium, SunTrust Park, will be adjacent to the junction of two Interstate highways.
The map below shows all 30 major league ball parks, including each stadium’s Walk Score and transit access. We also included a table ranking teams by their Walk Scores.
|Team (Home Stadium)||Walk Score||Transit Score|
|Toronto Blue Jays||95||100|
|Boston Red Sox||92||95|
|San Francisco Giants||91||98|
|New York Yankees||87||97|
|San Diego Padres||87||77|
|St. Louis Cardinals||79||80|
|Chicago White Sox||69||76|
|Tampa Bay Rays||58||41|
|Los Angeles Angels||45||47|
|New York Mets||39||81|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||25||68|
|Kansas City Royals||22||32|