More Fans Look to Take Transit to See Yankees than Mets [UPDATED]

Monday, July 18, 2011 - 08:12 AM

(UPDATED with data from the MTA on actual transit ridership)

The New York baseball rivalry spreads to a transit search site! In honor of the Yankees-Mets subway series earlier this month, the folks at HopStop crunched some numbers on how fans travel to New York stadia, and it's a Yankee town, sort of.

The trip planning website breaks down how often people used their site for directions to Yankee Stadium and to Citi Field. They also map out from which neighborhoods people traveled to games with mostly expected results.

As the chart above shows, far more Yankee fans sought out transit directions to ball games than Mets fans. The percentages account for the difference in number of games, but not in attendance.

That muddies the findings as far more people go to Yankee games (Editorial Note: though I am a third generation Yankee fan, I will do my utmost to refrain commenting on the relative merits of the teams, or posit theories about why it is that more people go to Yankee games). The 27-time world champion Yankees get an average of 44,000 people for each game compared to the Mets 29,000. Taking that into account, they're almost tied for which team is more transit friendly. That's assuming we can use HopStop searches as a proxy for taking transit.

The hard data from the NYC MTA backs this up. The MTA has previously told Transportation Nation that about 37 percent of Yankee fans take the subway to games, about 15,400 per game. After factoring in Metro-North commuter rail, buses, and even ferries, the percentage who take transit rises to about 45 percent. The figure for Mets games, according to the MTA, is 25-30 percent, not including LIRR regional rail, for an average game and 30-35 percent for subway series games. That last fact indicates that the Yankees fans going to Citi Field are more likely to take transit than Mets fans going to Citi Field.

The HopStop numbers point to slightly lower rates of transit ridership to Mets games, with a couple caveats. For one, it's pretty likely to imagine more fans, especially from Queens, drive to Citi field because it's a lot easier to park and drive around Flushing Meadows than the South Bronx. Also, the number of searches doesn't equate to the number of transit trips. It's a simpler transit trip to Citi field. You take the 7 train all the way there. Yankee Stadium has the B/D, 4, lines, Metro-North and if you like walking, the A/C. So optimizing your options is a more complex calculation, something you'd turn to HopStop for.

Where the HopStop data really start to show interesting results are the origin points of the searches. See their maps here.

For one, the home boroughs of the Bronx and Queens weren't the most dominant to their respective teams--probably because people who live there have the least need for directions.

Check out Brooklyn, which sent the most total searches to Citi.

And Manhattan, where people would be searching from their offices, and tourists from their hotels, well, that's Yankee country.

Maybe the next Census could ask which team you support, then we could get some conclusive maps.


Comments [4]

Anagha Comar

Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed
in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

Aug. 16 2012 07:53 AM
Alex Goldmark

I just heard back from the MTA on Citi Field transit stats and it's fascinating - more fans take transit to Citi during a subway series. So when the Yankee fans go to Citi, they're more likely to take transit than the Mets fans. Probably because Queens fans drive either way.

I'll have to look up the bike numbers for a future post!

Jul. 15 2011 09:30 PM

The only Mets stronghold in Manhattan is thanks to City College.

Jul. 15 2011 07:52 PM
Chris M

Interesting. I think your comment is accurate, that getting to Citi Field is straighforward and you might not need a website to help you optimize your trip.

I try always to ride my bike to the Mets. Maybe you should also check with Ride the City!? Wonder how many fans bike to CitiField vs Yankee Stadium. I bet more Mets fans bike.

Jul. 15 2011 06:35 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.