On the Land Use and Transit Implications of 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'

The decision of where to locate ballparks, and to what extent the public should subsidize that location, can have ripple effects throughout the land use and transportation systems of a region.

1 minute read

March 7, 2014, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Atlanta Braves Country

Sarah McKagen / Flickr

Dan Hardy starts this exploration of ballpark locations by acknowledging the “debate about the wisdom of subsidizing private sector entertainment” but also that “there’s definitely a historic synergy between an urban ballpark and its environs.”

Hardy details the many varieties of case studies offered by the location of ballparks around the country—the most historic (Wrigley and Fenway) being located on transit lines and the recent trend of moving ballparks close to Downtown (starting in Baltimore, but also in Denver, San Francisco, and San Diego, for example).

The outlier of recent experience is Atlanta’s Major League Baseball team, which is in the process of moving to a suburban location—a decision that has inspired plenty of discussion (and consternation) about the choice. Hardy notes the possibility that because the majority of Atlanta’s season ticket holders live in the suburbs, “one can arguably suggest that the new stadium site would reduce total vehicle miles of travel, which is a key goal of balancing land use and transportation.”

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