Alex Goldmark is the senior producer of Note to Self, a storytelling show about how technology is changing society. Subscribe here to get Note to Self shows delivered right to your devices. Follow him on Twitter @alexgoldmark.
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 HopStop.com 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.