Every Major-League Ballpark, Ranked by Walk Score

About an hour ago, the present author published a post in these absurd electronic pages in which he attempted to assess objectively the relative merits of all 30 major-league ballparks by location using the population density of each park’s attendant zip code.

About 59 minutes ago, concerned reader The Wrong Alex (and also other concerned reader Bryan) suggested that perhaps using Walk Scores (from walkscore.com) might be the most effective proxy for what the author is attempting to represent. A Walk Score, according to the relevant site, “is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.”

And here’s a more detailed explanation of the significance of different scores:

Rating Image

Below is a table of all 30 major-league parks, both with Walk Scores included and all the relevant population-density information from the author’s original post. Note that Pop/SqMi is population per square mile for each stadium’s zip code and zPop is the standard deviation of the square mileage from the mean for all stadia.

Rank Park City State Zip Code Pop/SqMi zPop Walk zWalk
1 Fenway Park Boston MA 02215 29952 1.89 97 1.22
2 Rogers Centre Toronto ON M5V 1J1 4245 -0.50 97 1.22
3 AT&T Park San Francisco CA 94107 14131 0.42 92 0.97
4 Wrigley Field Chicago IL 60613 18529 0.83 91 0.92
5 Target Field Minneapolis MN 55403 10812 0.11 91 0.92
6 Comerica Park Detroit MI 48201 6390 -0.30 91 0.92
7 Busch Stadium St. Louis MO 63102 1170 -0.79 91 0.92
8 Progressive Field Cleveland OH 44115 3680 -0.56 88 0.76
9 Petco Park San Diego CA 92101 7536 -0.20 86 0.66
10 PNC Park Pittsburgh PA 15212 4238 -0.50 86 0.66
11 Yankee Stadium Bronx NY 10451 44992 3.29 85 0.61
12 Camden Yards Baltimore MD 21230 4014 -0.52 85 0.61
13 Great American Ball Park Cincinnati OH 45202 5365 -0.40 83 0.51
14 Minute Maid Park Houston TX 77002 8121 -0.14 82 0.45
15 Chase Field Phoenix AZ 85004 2434 -0.67 82 0.45
16 Safeco Field Seattle WA 98134 157 -0.88 80 0.35
17 Marlins Park Miami FL 33125 13075 0.32 78 0.25
18 Coors Field Denver CO 80205 6310 -0.31 77 0.20
19 Tropicana Field St Petersburg FL 33705 3133 -0.61 75 0.10
20 Citi Field Queens NY 11368 41197 2.94 68 -0.26
21 Nationals Park Washington DC 20003 10576 0.09 66 -0.37
22 US Cellular Field Chicago IL 60616 10485 0.08 65 -0.42
23 Dodger Stadium Los Angeles CA 90012 9445 -0.02 58 -0.78
24 Angel Stadium Anaheim CA 92806 4609 -0.47 54 -0.98
25 Rangers Ballpark Arlington TX 76011 2680 -0.65 52 -1.08
26 Citizens Bank Park Philadelphia PA 19148 10290 0.06 51 -1.13
27 Oakland Coliseum Oakland CA 94621 3128 -0.61 45 -1.44
28 Turner Field Atlanta GA 30315 2988 -0.62 38 -1.80
29 Miller Park Milwaukee WI 53214 4771 -0.45 35 -1.95
30 Kauffman Stadium Kansas City MO 64129 909 -0.81 25 -2.47
Average 9645 73

Notes
• By this methodology, Boston’s Fenway Park and Toronto’s Rogers Centre are the most highly rated ballparks in terms of location. AT&T Park in San Francisco and Wrigley Field in Chicago — which the author mentioned by name in that first post — are ranked third and fourth, respectively.

• Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, Milwaukee’s Miller Park, and Atlanta’s Turner Field — all of which appear to be bordered by some combination of parking-lot expanse/interstate highway — are the bottom three parks by Walk Score.

• One element not necessarily accounted for by this methodology is the practice of tailgating. Tailgating at Miller Park, for example, is a ritual which is observed enthusiastically — and compensates somewhat for the lack of a true neighborhood experience.

• It should be noted, also, that there’s not a perfect correlation between those variables for which Walk Scores are accounting and the concerns of a park-goer. As reader Resolution notes, Walk Score seems to account for nearby schools, which isn’t entirely relevant for a baseball fan on gameday.

• There doesn’t seem to be a particularly strong correlation, actually, between Walk Score and population density by zip code — at least so far as the 30 major-league ballparks are concerned. Below is a graph to that effect.

Walk Score Chart




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IZZY2112
Member
IZZY2112
3 years 25 days ago

As a Met fan, I can speak to the fact that Citi Field is not really at a place where anyone walks to the game, despite it being a very dense area (That’s kind of to be expected in New York). Not sure if it makes a difference, but both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are easily accessible by the subway. I know they do an express subway to Citi Field during game days and it’s probably about 1/2 hour to get there.

scout1222
Guest
scout1222
3 years 25 days ago

And while Petco ranks fairly high, not many people walk to the game there, either. It happens to be in probably the most walkable part of the entire county, but not a part where very many of us live.

Interesting list!

DD
Guest
DD
3 years 25 days ago

Good point re: subway/public transit. The subway in Boston drops you right at the stadium, as does the Broad Street line for the Philly stadiums. Not sure how this could be integrated into the score.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan
3 years 25 days ago

This “other concerned reader” thanks the *Very Handsome* author most kindly. Cool stuff.

TheWrongAlex
Guest
TheWrongAlex
3 years 25 days ago

Thanks for expanding this list…just based on my experiences, it seems that many of the stadiums with 80+ scores have a lively bar/restaurant/hotel scene in the vicinity. I would have expected Coors Field to be a little higher though.

ElJosharino
Member
ElJosharino
3 years 25 days ago

I would agree with the sentiment on Coors. Based on personal experience, I would think Coors would be fairly close to Busch.

Resolution
Guest
Resolution
3 years 25 days ago

Coors will probably rocket up in ~5 years or so. If I recall, there is some really excellent spots around there but it’s also somewhat sparse. There’s still a done of developmental opportunity there though.

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
3 years 25 days ago

I’m guessing it gets knocked down for a lack of nearby schools and walkable grocery stores (at least I don’t remember any right near there).

Otherwise it definitely is in a great location with some excellent bars and entertainment nearby.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 25 days ago

Hrm. I wonder how The Ballpark at Arlington is a 52. Its environs are (a) parking lots; (b) other stadia and/or theme parks; (c) low-density industrial complexes. It’s the kind of neighbourhood with a real, actual thoroughfare called “Road to Six Flags Street.”

tz
Guest
tz
3 years 25 days ago

Thinking about Turner Field – zero to do right outside the stadium, but a nice place to watch a ballgame with decent amenities inside.

I have to wonder if sports franchises might desire a low walk score, so there’s more reason to grab some food, beer etc. inside the park. Kind of the same reason most movie cineplexes get built in the suburbs.

Resolution
Guest
Resolution
3 years 25 days ago

Question – do teams profit directly from the amount of food sales made? Or do they just get money from the food vendor? Like does a team just get money from Aramark to rent the space and then the actual food sales just go to Aramark?

John Thacker
Guest
John Thacker
3 years 24 days ago

Well in the case of Turner Field specifically we know that the team does not like outside vendors getting any money from fans.

blank
Guest
blank
3 years 21 days ago

I think I would have defined “Walkability” as the ability and “pleasantness” of leaving one’s nearby home and getting to the game. Consequently, I would have included accessibility to the ballpark from public or similar transportation. With this metric, the Ballpark at Arlington would be finished last, since Arlington is the largest city in the US (probably the world) with no public transportation. We (I live in Arlington) don’t even have public bus system. Your best bet is to drive to Lincoln Square, get something to eat, and catch a shuttle. By contrast, BART takes you right to the stadium in Oakland. I can’t recall how close MARTA takes you to Turner. Whenever I would go to Turner, I would go to a pub in Midtown, where I lived at the time, and take a shuttle and that gave free beer on the shuttle.

Resolution
Guest
Resolution
3 years 25 days ago

Looks like I’m planning a trip to Fenway!

This methodology seems a lot better – the separation between the White Sox and the Cubs is a great example. I’ve never been to Wrigley but I went to US Cellular and didn’t recall there being anything interesting around the park…

DD
Guest
DD
3 years 25 days ago

Agree with the Citizens Bank score. The other Philly stadiums are all right there, so that’s not bad, but it is well outside the huslte and bustle of the city proper. Was pleased with the Petco Park experience – was staying in a hotel in the gaslamp district and could walk right to the stadium as part of the journey around the area. Lots of restaurants and trendy spots too.

MLB Rainmaker
Member
Member
MLB Rainmaker
3 years 25 days ago

Ok, I cannot fathom how Dodgers Stadium is not dead last on this list. It’s literally in a ravine, such that there’s a topographic fence around the parking area on 3 sides. And while you could technically walk up from the south, you’d have to go through one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in possibly the most gang-ridden city in the country to do so.

Walking from Hope & 1st your seat wearing an SF Giants hat would constitute a death wish.

Resolution
Guest
Resolution
3 years 25 days ago

‘Hood Stripes?’ is a category on walkscore.com

TheWrongAlex
Guest
TheWrongAlex
3 years 25 days ago

I walk up to Dodger Stadium from Sunset Blvd. all the time – I find my $10 for parking can be better spent on beer at the Short Stop and a 20 minute walk to the park. You do have to get there on the early side to find street parking, although Dodger fans don’t exactly do “early” well.

gcm
Guest
gcm
3 years 25 days ago

Interesting that the ZIP code for Safeco places it in such a low-population density neighborhood. It is right on the border with 98104, which has a population density of ~15,000 people/sq mi. I suspect some of the other high walk-score/low density parks have similar shenanigans going on. Fix that and convert the population density axis to a log scale and you might have a more useful correlation.

Casper
Guest
Casper
3 years 25 days ago

Used to live in 98104. Unless you had business at the Amtrak station, City Hall, County Court, or the dive bars, it was a long walk to the ballpark from where people actually lived their lives.

rpeltz
Member
Member
3 years 25 days ago

So Dayton Moore was right!

“Moore blames Kauffman Stadium for Royals poor walk rate”

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
3 years 25 days ago

I actually liked the open feel of Kauffmann stadium, with both the Baseball and the Football field right in one area outside the city. It’s excellent for tailgating and lots of bars in the city will run buses to the field. It’s not as ideal as having a field in or adjacent to downtown, but I definitely would take it over a park in a not so nice neighborhood (like say, Oakland).

Dejackso
Guest
Dejackso
3 years 25 days ago

The Royals are in the bottom of the league in a category featuring the word walk. Shocking.

Nathan Shields
Member
Nathan Shields
3 years 25 days ago

Pleasantly surprised that Tropicana Field was rated as high as it was by Walk Score

KillahYeast
Guest
KillahYeast
3 years 25 days ago

Yeah, you could walk around Busch stadium, but….

Anon
Guest
Anon
3 years 25 days ago

The construction across the street is better than a parking lot and a hole in the ground. The team says that some of it will be open by the start of the 2014 season.

Ian
Guest
Ian
3 years 24 days ago

but…what?

Busch has a pretty sizable number of bars and restaurants around it, and downtown is a (slowly) growing residential area. It isn’t Fenway or Wrigley, but its placement on this list honestly seems about right.

AC of DC
Guest
AC of DC
3 years 25 days ago

This list more closely matches my personal experiences than does the prior, and I think that on a site like this we can safely conclude that any statistical finding that confirms pre-existing opinions must be true. Now let me tell you about how good some players are based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes . . .

FamousAmazingGuy
Guest
FamousAmazingGuy
3 years 25 days ago

The Postal Code system used in Toronto is more akin to that of the ZIP+4 system in the U.S., which in practice is closer to that of a large city block. If adjusted, it is certain that the Rogers Centre would be crowned the true true true King of Walker’s Paradise.

In addition, your use of the imperial system of measurement as opposed to universal standard of metric demonstrates a lack of excellence in your work. Really cool and smart kids in Berlin and St. Petersburg are snickering.

David
Guest
David
3 years 24 days ago

Universal standard? are we in the Universe? is it our standard? thats what I thought, ‘Merica (also I guess British people, but they dont have a cool, unintelligent sounding, contraction for themselves?)

FamousAmazingGuy
Guest
FamousAmazingGuy
3 years 24 days ago

The system of measurement in all science is metric, even in the U.S.

Pennsy
Guest
Pennsy
3 years 25 days ago

Have to say I feel the adjusted ranking for Nationals Park is more fair. The accessibility is great, from the Navy Yard Metro station it’s less than a block to the center field gate. But right now that comprises entirely of unused building space and an undeveloped lot. The neighborhood around the ballpark has been slow to build retail and restaurants- and the spaces that have been built and filled somewhat slowly. The Navy Yards area around Nationals Park shows a lot of potential, but mostly unrealized at this point.

Friedrich Nietzsche's Zombie Mustasche
Guest
Friedrich Nietzsche's Zombie Mustasche
3 years 24 days ago

As someone who goes to school maybe 200 yards from Fenway, I don’t see how any ballpark could top it in terms of location.

Friedrich Nietzsche's Zombie Mustasche
Guest
Friedrich Nietzsche's Zombie Mustasche
3 years 24 days ago

Plus they’re in the midst of putting in a commute trail stop about 30 feet from the stadium.

David
Guest
David
3 years 24 days ago

Theres already one there…

David
Guest
David
3 years 24 days ago

your use of Zip code as opposed to Metro area seems to be severely skewing the population density results… I.E. Boston/Brookline (not sure which one Fenway is technically in, but those zip codes are tiny when compared with West coast or southern areas… For instance, the assertion (im sure technically correct) that the area of Boston around Fenway park is more densely populated than the area of Philadelphia around CBP, is not correct in reality, it relies on arbitrary borders.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan
3 years 24 days ago

Fenway is in Boston. And the area around Fenway contains both buildings and surface parking lots; the area around Citizens Bank includes virtually no buildings (save other stadiums) and far, far more surface parking lots. Thus, Fenway’s area is denser than CBP’s – and I think this probably “is correct in reality”. Heck, Boston as a whole is denser than Philadelphia (12,800 ppl/sq. mi. vs. 11,400 ppl/sq. mi.).

Though, of course, those municipal boundaries are also arbitrary – Philadelphia is 2.8x larger than Boston in land area, so it might be that we should call Philly “denser” since it maintains 11,400 ppl/sq mi over 2.8 times as much area as Boston maintains its denser figure. I think this is basically just an endemic problem for comparing densities. Every density measure is going to have some sort of arbitrary nature; just sorta the nature of the beast for these demographic “rate stats.”

Kyle
Member
Kyle
3 years 24 days ago

Apparently walk score can vary over small distances. I tried to confirm your walk score for US Cellular and got this:

“35th and S. Sheilds” Walk Score: 75

“333 W 35th” Walk Score: 65

Those are within a block of one another and there’s a ten point swing.

avg. astros fan
Guest
avg. astros fan
3 years 24 days ago

The juice box in Houston rating an 82 and by definition being “Very Walkable” is not very realistic. Even though Minute Maid is a downtown ballpark, the city is all sprawl and it’s just too hot down here.

http://www.weather.com/weather/weekend/Houston+TX+USTX0617:1:US

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