The Transportation/Winning Connection

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is reporting that plans for a new Yankee Stadium to rise next door to the current stadium include the construction of an adjacent Metro-North Hudson Line station. This is great news for anyone who has ever been stuck in traffic after a major sporting event, which is to say, anyone who has ever attended a major sporting event. When a large event ends and many people wish to leave a place at the same time, the resulting melee of traffic makes plain the inability of the motor vehicle to move lots of people simultaneously. Attempting to leave the Meadowlands is thereby always an exercise in frustration and angst. Not so, leaving Yankee Stadium, which is the most centrally-located of any major league baseball stadium in terms of subway transportation.

Unlike Shea Stadium, which is way out at the penultimate stop on the 7 train, Yankee Stadium sits at the confluence of two lines, the Grand Concourse local (the B stops at the stadium during rush hours, the D other times) and the Jerome Avenue elevated serving the No. 4 train. The D stops in Harlem and then runs express to west Midtown and on to Brooklyn while the 4 makes express stops on the east side before also heading to Brooklyn. Additionally, while most of the subway riders leaving a Yankee game will want to head downtown, a not insignificant number of them will be headed to the 11 stops on the 4 train and the 9 stops of the D train that are north of the stadium. So when a Yankee game lets out, some people head to the downtown D platform, some to the downtown 4 platform, others to the uptown 4 and still others to the D uptown platform. All of this means that Yankee Stadium is better able to handle crowds of fans than Shea, where everyone who wants to ride the subway home has to cram onto the inbound 7 platform.

Fenway Park is served by the Green Line of the T, and the Cubs and the White Sox play on the Red Line of Chicago’s El, but there is no baseball stadium that is as well served by subway transportation as Yankee Stadium. There is also no baseball team that draws as many fans to its home games as the Yankees. Is it a mere coincidence that the team with the most transit-friendly home is the winningest sports franchise in history? I think not.

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