Thursday, September 6, 2012

NFL Kickoff: Ranking Football’s Most Accessible Stadiums


Republished from Mobility Lab

I love going to NFL football games.

Going to the Ravens' stadium to see my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers is something I do nearly every year. Getting there from anywhere in Baltimore is easy by transit, and the parking lots south of the stadium are located in a way that I can get right onto the interstate and drive back to DC without having to sit in any Baltimore traffic.

On the other hand, heading out to FedEx Field to see my also-beloved Washington Redskins is typically a very-long ordeal, including either a long walk to the stadium at the end of a long Metro ride or, much worse, a traffic jam on the Beltway to get to parking that is nowhere near a stadium that is built in the middle of nowhere.

But I digress, Sports Illustrated has published a really interesting ranking of stadium accessibility for all 32 pro-football teams. Not surprisingly, FedEx Field is ranked near the bottom, at #30, with Giants Stadium keeping the New York Giants and Jets at #31 and #32, respectively. M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens, is ranked as the second most accessible. It must be really easy to get to Municipal Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is the top ranked. SI's computations look pretty thorough and ask just the right questions:
  • How would you rate the traffic to and from the stadium?
  • How would you rate the availability and cost of parking at the stadium?
  • How would you rate the public transportation options?
Respondents then gave an answer of either poor, below average, average, above average, or excellent. Denver, Green Bay, and Tennessee round out the top 5. Some other somewhat-surprising ranks include the #28 Dallas Cowboys, who have the league's premiere facility, which happens to have been located at complete odds with smart and current urban-design best practices, and the New Orleans Saints, way down at #18, which seems like it would be pretty accessible to anyone coming to the game from downtown or the French Quarter.

Check out the full NFL stadium accessibility rankings here.
Photo by Joe Slabotnik

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