Apr 10, 2024 - News

Petco Park is MLB's most walkable stadium

Data: Walk Score; Table: Axios Visuals

Petco Park is the most walkable baseball stadium in America, according to Walk Score.

Why it matters: Even in historically car-centric San Diego, the East Village area around the ballpark has developed into a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood like team officials pitched to voters in 1998.

By the numbers: Petco Park is tied for the top spot among all 30 MLB stadiums, along with Boston's Fenway Park and the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

  • Its transit score of 80, however, ranks 11th among the MLB's 30 ballparks.

How it works: Walk Score analyzes hundreds of walking routes and nearby amenities to calculate pedestrian friendliness and walkability. Population density and road metrics are also considered.

  • A good score (above 69) means a trip does not require a car and reflects how easy it is to walk to a location or use public transportation. A "walker's paradise" is a score of 90 or above.

Flashback: Before Petco Park, East Village was home to blocks of warehouses and industrial buildings.

  • In 1998, voters approved a deal where the city borrowed about $300 million to help build the ballpark, to be paid back with sales and hotel taxes generated by nearby development.
  • JMI Realty, where Padres owner John Moores was chairman, then got to create a development master plan for the 26-block area, including 10 blocks it acquired, as the New York Times reported.

Friction point: East Village is also ground zero for the despair of San Diego's ongoing homelessness crisis, and Petco Park has been a controversial driver of the city's response.

What's next: The Padres host the Cubs this afternoon to close out a three-game series, before a day off Thursday and the start of a weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

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