Polar Park, the upcoming home of what will be the Worcester Red Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, is planned to be a 10,000 seat stadium with 350-500 parking spaces.
It should be a beautiful park, but Worcester officials don’t really seem to want you to go there. If they did they would build adequate parking.
So what do other teams have for parking?
I have visited and been to games at other MLB fields, with Angel Stadium in Anaheim CA the most visited, aside from Fenway, and since Anaheim has easy parking access and good dispersion of traffic afterwards, it’s an ideal place to compare to the bad (or lack of) parking plans by Worcester.
This is not about comparing Anaheim to Worcester as a city, or Major League Baseball to minor league baseball. This is about comparing the ease of parking and the seating-parking space ratio. The better the ratio, the more successful the stadium and surrounding businesses will be.
I called Angel Stadium and spoke with Margie (she answered the phone). The stadium seats 45,050 and has 12,000 parking spaces, for 1 parking space per 3.75 people. It has 5 entrances/ exits to multiple main avenues – State College the main entrance/ exit.
The Milwaukee Brewers, with a seating capacity of 41,900, directed me to their website where the “players’ lots” total 10,293 parking spaces but states they have over 12,000 parking spaces, for a ratio about the same as Anaheim – 1 parking space for every 3.5 – 4 seats.
Yankee Stadium has 54,251 seats and 9,000 parking spaces according to Quik Park, for a ratio of 6 seats per 1 parking space, but Yankee Stadium also has a major subway/ public transportation hub at the ballpark, too.
Then there’s Worcester. Polar Park will be a 10,000 seat stadium with 350-500 parking spaces, or 1 parking space for every 20-29 people.
Proportionally, Worcester needs 2,667 parking spaces, not 350-500, to equal Anaheim’s and about 2,500 to match other cities’ ease of parking. Wide and well maintained roads help, too, like other cities have, but Worcester is smarter than everyone else, which is why they think putting a stadium next to one of the most dangerous intersections in the state (Kelly Square), surrounded by other crappy congested roads, without sufficient parking is a brilliant idea.
Don’t like the MLB comparisons, then use the newest minor league stadium – the Las Vegas Aviators, which opened this season, is a 10,000 seat stadium with 2,500 free parking spaces.
In the picture below, using Google Maps, the green represents where Polar Park will be built. Overlayed on Worcester in the green is Angel Stadium. The non-white shaded area represents Anaheim’s 12,000 space parking lot, which basically lies between I-290 and Southbridge Street.
Proportionally, Worcester needs only 22% of the space Anaheim has to have easy accessible parking for a successful stadium.
When you have the chance to build new you have the chance to build an easily accessible place – a place you want to visit again. What you don’t do is clutter things up and not provide the basic necessity of adequate parking.
It’s one thing to smirk when telling people there’s a renaissance going on despite the economic evidence to the contrary, and it’s one thing to think ‘Hey, there’s a Burger King just off the Pawtucket exit to McCoy Stadium, why don’t we put Polar Park off the Worcester exit with a Burger King?’, because, after all, former T&G publisher Bruce Bennett once said the Kelly Square Burger King coming in signaled an economic boom for Worcester, but this level of parking stupidity is beyond even Rod Serling’s imagination.
Worcester mayor Joe Petty & the beautiful people won’t have a parking problem, but you will, and so will current businesses in the canal district.
Without adequate parking, people will park on the already crowded potholed Green/ Harding/ Water/ and Millbury Streets and the little side streets in between, which will prevent customers of local businesses from being able to shop there.
The WBJournal has a great article by Renee Diaz titled “Construction, WooSox, & Regulation Are Killing Canal District Dreams“. Citing the usual abusive policies by the left, she writes how current and future parking problems are and will adversely affect small business.
With current “construction, they [local businesses] are feeling the impact of less foot traffic, the complaints from customers who drove around for 20 minutes looking for a parking spot, and the lack of income.” Worcester’s economic growth is essentially zero.
Stating “there won’t be any parking” when the stadium is built, many fear they will lose their business.
The 2008 WoMag article, Beyond the Canal, is a very interesting article to look back on considering district businesses have gone from optimism to fear, but to be clear, the points made by J. Hamilton Givan in 1996 were made seriously, and imagine how the city could be having an actual renaissance if the powers that be listened to him.
Route 20 could have had an ample parking Polar Park site with an entrance like Anaheim, but there is less space for parking on Madison St, so it’s going to go there. Think of the money Worcester will collect in parking tickets!!! The renaissance continues –