A Universal Ballgame Parking Tip

Posted by Kurt Smith on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
In two recent ballpark outings, in Boston and Baltimore, I have learned that not only has the price of parking at a ballgame escalated, but also that the price is higher for high demand games these days.

Thankfully in Boston I always know better than to drive to Fenway Park; I know traffic in Kenmore Square on game day and parking prices are going to be insane. This last visit was no exception, but even I was surprised at what some lots almost a half mile away from the ballpark were charging. Fortunately, I was wise enough to use the T.

But in Baltimore I ran into a situation that someone of my ballpark knowledge should know enough to avoid. I used the common exit from I-95 to get to Camden Yards (Mistake #1), I stayed on I-395 to get to the lots north of the ballpark, in the heart of downtown Baltimore and its insane traffic (Mistake #2), and I settled for one of the first garages I found (Mistake #3).

So Kurt Smith, America’s foremost expert at saving money at the ballpark, ended up paying $20 to park for a game at Camden Yards.

E - Smith.

But in this line of work I need to take one for the team once in a while. Here’s how you can learn from my errors.

I could have avoided all three of my big mistakes by simply reserving my parking beforehand. Had I done so, I would have found a reasonable lot that served my purpose...namely being fairly close to Sliders and their $3 Natty Bohs on game day...and I could have either used Mapquest or a GPS to get there fairly easily.

Many teams will enable you to buy a parking pass beforehand, often at a discount, but this is only for the team lots and usually include those blasted ticket convenience fees, since it’s such hard, sweaty work for a processor to e-mail you a ticket. If you want more choices at the game, try a website called ParkWhiz.

If you’re familiar with StubHub, and I expect you are, think of ParkWhiz as StubHub for parking spots. You can search from a number of lots on the night of your game, find the closest one to your favorite tavern, and buy a reservation that you print and take with you to the game. Easy peezy and spares you not only some cash but some serious traffic aggravation.

Anyone from a public lot to people with driveways can sell their spots on ParkWhiz, and you can even read customer’s reviews of each lot or space. It may take you a few minutes to make a decision with ParkWhiz, but picking a spot in the comfort of your home is a dang sight better than trying to find a reasonable lot on game day.

I will definitely be using ParkWhiz when I drive to ballgames in the future. You should too. Even if you don't though, you should pick a parking spot at the game before you go.

Full disclosure: they're an affiliate of mine too. So tell ‘em Ballpark E-Guides sent you.

Tags: ballgame parking 
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