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Friday, February 23, 2018

Closest MLB Park by Drive Time

Just for fun, a map that treats baseball in North America as a pattern of watersheds.  Before clicking, can you guess which MLB franchise has the greatest number of people living closer to its park than to any other ML park?

Among other factoids, I see that El Paso is closer to Phoenix than it is to either Dallas or Houston. I’m not sure if there are a lot of D’Backs fans in El Paso, but if you want to drive to a game from there, Arizona is your best bet.

BDC Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:00 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ballparks, franchises, geography, maps, markets

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   1. . . . . . . Posted: February 24, 2018 at 07:44 AM (#5629949)
Seems like this guy forgot to turn off the ferry option.
   2. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 24, 2018 at 07:50 AM (#5629950)
It might be worthwhile to overlay this data and the Facebook MLB fandom map. The first thing I noticed was how the Braves border through North Carolina was roughly duplicated in both maps, but in the Facebook map the neighboring territory was held by the Yankees instead of the Nats.

If you took these two maps, plus a few others -- radio networks, territorial rights, some sort of merchandise sales data, maybe something like IP addressed collected from team message boards, maybe minor league affiliates -- and piled them on top of each other, you'd start to get a very suggestive map of baseball fandom. (I first saw this method in an essay by John Shelton Reed, where he attempted to define the extent of "the South" by piling up things like the distribution of Baptists, the prevalence of outhouses, the ratio of the terms "Dixie" to "American" in local telephone directories, areas where kudzu grows, and so on.)
   3. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5629952)

Seems like this guy forgot to turn off the ferry option.


Naw, hovercraft are all the rage in Mexico and Michigan.
   4. eric Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5629953)
I perhaps find that map much more interesting than I should.

As a Nashvillian, I always knew I was very close to equidistant between St. Louis and Atlanta--little did I know that Cincinnati was right there as well. Looks like Clarksville might be just about equidistant between those three cities.

Before clicking, can you guess which MLB franchise has the greatest number of people living closer to its park than to any other ML park?


I definitely would not have guessed, but in retrospect, it makes sense. What's surprising is just how far ahead of any other team that team is. Looks like over 30MM people where second place is under 20MM, and they're packed in pretty closely from there.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5629954)
Before clicking, can you guess which MLB franchise has the greatest number of people living closer to its park than to any other ML park?


Seattle?

   6. BDC Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5629955)
More factoids: nine states (and DC) are in their entirety closer to one park than any other. Only two of those states (Washington and Minnesota) have franchises. The other seven are Wyoming (Rockies), Alabama & South Carolina (Braves), and Vermont-NH-Maine-RI (Red Sox). But Colorado has a corner closer to Phoenix, Georgia a corner closer to St. Petersburg, and Massachusetts a corner closer to the Bronx.
   7. Obo Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5629958)
Seattle?

Canadians don't count.
   8. eric Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5629961)
Canadians don't count.


Neither do Mexicans or else I'm sure Houston would have the most. To clarify for other people guessing, the map distinguishes how much of the US population is closest to each MLB park.
   9. I Am Not a Number Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5629965)
Seattle?

Canadians don't count.


Canadians in proximity of Seattle may need to be included in Toronto's orbit. To watch a Mariners-Blue Jays game in Seattle, you'd swear it was a Toronto home game.
   10. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5629968)
Neither do Mexicans or else I'm sure Houston would have the most.
They'd have the entire populations of South America if we were including everyone. Though I assume that if someone in Santiago, Chile wants to see an MLB game he's more likely to get on an airplane than get in the car.
   11. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5629970)
It's amazing how little of PA is Phillies territory. Baltimore has almost as much territory in PA as the Phillies. The Phillies look like they have the extreme NE sliver of MD, which makes sense as the ballpark is in South Philly.

EDIT: Never mind about the rest of my comment, I see 1 covered it.
   12. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5629971)
I love maps. More factoids:

State with most closest franchises inside their border: NY with 7: Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Pirates, Blue jays, Red Sox, Indians. PA may have 7, as it's possible the Blue Jays barely sneak accross the north central border. It's hard to tell.

State with most without a franchise of their own: Iowa with 6.

Team with largest geographical range CONUS only: Rockies. Depending on where you cut off expansion noth and south of the border, it cols be any of 5 or 6.

Team with Least: Mets, basically only Long Island.

Team which touches most states: Rockies with 13. Twins and Braves are second with 8.

Lastly, state with a franchise with more of its area closer to a franchise in another state: Illinois.
   13. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5629972)
Is there a bridge across Lake Michigan? Otherwise, how is Grand Rapids in the Brewers territory? ;)


Nice catch. By that logic (Grand Rapids closer to Milwaukee than Detroit), the Nats should have a big slice of the southern Delmarva peninsula.
   14. eric Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5629973)
They'd have the entire populations of South America if we were including everyone. Though I assume that if someone in Santiago, Chile wants to see an MLB game he's more likely to get on an airplane than get in the car.


While true, the map color-codes parts of Canada and Mexico, but does not seem to include those populations in the sidebar calculations with the same color-coding. That makes things a little odd, as well as short-changes Toronto which seems to have a much smaller population base but then we have to remember they aren't actually counting Toronto or its surrounding Canadian areas, only the slice of NY state that's closest to it.
   15. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: February 24, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5629991)
I see that El Paso is closer to Phoenix than it is to either Dallas or Houston.


My first wife's parents lived in Phoenix, & we wound up attending grad school in Tempe; we made the drive there from extreme SW Arkansas & back again more times than I want to remember. El Paso was right at 2/3rds of the way from Arkansas. That's pretty much all I remember of the place, which otherwise seemed ... not particularly prosperous.
   16. VCar Posted: February 24, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5629996)
The team I guessed came in 3rd. I live in the city that's 1st and never thought that may be the answer.
   17. Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 24, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5630006)
Proud to say that I got the trivia question right.

In virtue of being on the north side of town the Cubs get almost shut out, whereas the White Sox do quite well.

The Reds rank better than expected, but that's probably because they get all of Columbus, despite Columbus being almost equidistant between Cincinnati and Cleveland.
   18. eric Posted: February 24, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5630007)
I think equally interesting (and equally sensible in retrospect) is the opposite question: which team has the smallest amount of the US population closer to its ballpark than any other MLB ballpark?
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 24, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5630008)
I think equally interesting (and equally sensible in retrospect) is the opposite question: which team has the smallest amount of the US population closer to its ballpark than any other MLB ballpark?


The answer will amaze you!
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 24, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5630019)
I think equally interesting (and equally sensible in retrospect) is the opposite question: which team has the smallest amount of the US population closer to its ballpark than any other MLB ballpark?

The answer will amaze you!

A more relevant question might be this: What team has the most people who can leave their house and be in their seats within 30 or 45 minutes? Or within an hour?

I mean it's nice to know that someone living on the Montana-Saskatchewan border is closer to Coors than he is to Safeco, but how many games a year is someone like that likely to go to, as opposed to someone who lives in downtown San Francisco or New York?
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: February 24, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5630025)
A more relevant question might be this: What team has the most people who can leave their house and be in their seats within 30 or 45 minutes? Or within an hour?


Do those questions really need to be asked?
   22. BDC Posted: February 24, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5630027)
The furthest ballpark I've ever driven my car to (from Dallas/Ft Worth) … would actually be the minor-league park in Williamsport, PA. Major-league, Pittsburgh. In neither case was I just going to the game and turning around and coming home, but I did drive there and see them.

By contrast, I lived 7½ miles from Shea Stadium for six years and never drove there. Took a train to Shea all of once, though I went to Yankee Stadium frequently.
   23. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 24, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5630039)
A more relevant question might be this: What team has the most people who can leave their house and be in their seats within 30 or 45 minutes? Or within an hour?


Well, given the security theater now going on, it would be the team who has the most people living inside their ballpark.
   24. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 24, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5630042)
While true, the map color-codes parts of Canada and Mexico, but does not seem to include those populations in the sidebar calculations with the same color-coding. That makes things a little odd, as well as short-changes Toronto which seems to have a much smaller population base but then we have to remember they aren't actually counting Toronto or its surrounding Canadian areas, only the slice of NY state that's closest to it.


To me, that really skews the map. It's ridiculous to not count Toronto's own metropolitan area in its fan base. I can understand not including Mexico's population because there are no teams based in Mexico, but not counting Canada shortchanges the Blue Jays especially, and also the Mariners, Red Sox, and Twins.
   25. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 24, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5630049)
It's ridiculous to not count Toronto's own metropolitan area in its fan base.


The map isn't trying to count fanbases, and that should be obvious from a quick look at the two team metro areas. It's just asking how many people in the US are closer to a given ballpark than they are to any other ballpark.
   26. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: February 24, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5630071)
Well, given the security theater now going on, it would be the team who has the most people living inside their ballpark.

Diamond City, baby!

(I expect fewer than 5 primates will get that reference)
   27. TVerik. Old Java Rodney. Posted: February 24, 2018 at 08:23 PM (#5630091)
I've done TV blackouts for MLB for years.

St. Louis is kind of famous for claiming a DMA that essentially is every state without a coastline.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: February 24, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5630092)
Interesting that the map notes "drive times" - so that much of NJ that is geographically closer to The Bronx than Philadelphia still gets listed with the latter.

that makes sense, I think. someone in central Jersey can get quite close to Philly before running into gridlock. but driving north, they are liable to get more traffic - especially crossing the Hudson River.

not that getting into Philly is always fun and games, either, but do Mid-Atlanteans buy the may distribution on that front?
   29. Batman Posted: February 24, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5630093)
Diamond City, baby!

(I expect fewer than 5 primates will get that reference)


Here’s 1! Are there any new games like that one? I’m replaying Red Dead Redemption but haven’t bought anything new for a while.
   30. BDC Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5630100)
I used to live in New Brunswick, NJ and would much rather have driven the ~70 miles to visit my parents south of Philly than the ~40 to Yankee Stadium. This was >30 years ago, and the South Jersey metro area has since grown considerably, but it's not like North Jersey has become less crowded in the meantime.

In fact, during those New Brunswick years (1983-87), I listened to Phillies games on the radio; and went to the Vet quite a bit, to Yankee and Shea much less often.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5630104)
I lived in New Brunswick briefly. I went to one Phillies game and one Yankees game over that stretch, but I think I stayed in NYC after the Yankees game so I can't make the driving comparison. It was easy enough driving down and back for the Saturday night Phillies game, if I recall correctly.
   32. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 24, 2018 at 10:47 PM (#5630106)
Closest MLB Park by Drive Time
Dodger Stadium. A 15-minute shot down the 110.
   33. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 25, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5630167)
It's amazing how little of PA is Phillies territory. Baltimore has almost as much territory in PA as the Phillies.


Yeah - people who don't live in Lancaster, Harrisburg, York areas don't realize how much easier it is to get to Baltimore from there than to get to Philadelphia. Damn Schuylkill "Express"way.
   34. GGC Posted: February 26, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5630667)
It seems like the Ill-Wis border on Lake Michigan might be the most convenient place to be an MLB fan with access to both Chicago and Milwaukee. I used to live near Hartford, so three parks were @ an hour and a half away if I left home on a weekend morning,so I used to live in a pretty fan-convenient locale.
   35. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 26, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5630681)
Is there a bridge across Lake Michigan? Otherwise, how is Grand Rapids in the Brewers territory? ;)

Nice catch. By that logic (Grand Rapids closer to Milwaukee than Detroit), the Nats should have a big slice of the southern Delmarva peninsula.


One can take the Lake Michigan Express ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon, MI, or Muskegon to Milwaukee , twice daily in spring months, three times a day in summer, which would allow for you to attend a game and make it back home same day (day game) with a reasonable itinerary.

It is a 2 1/2 hours ferry ride.
   36. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 26, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5630685)
It seems like the Ill-Wis border on Lake Michigan might be the most convenient place to be an MLB fan with access to both Chicago and Milwaukee.



I have comfortably attended two games (one in Chi, one in MKE) on the same day on a few occasions. It is not that difficult. All 3 on the same day, is a bigger challenge. I lived in the SW portion of the MKE MSA, which means 30 minutes to the state line.
   37. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 26, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5630693)
I see that El Paso is closer to Phoenix than it is to either Dallas or Houston.


El Paso is closer to San Diego than Houston.
   38. dlf Posted: February 26, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5630699)
El Paso is closer to San Diego than Houston.


Last December, my daughter and I drove from San Diego to Atlanta, roughly 31 hours of drive time. El Paso was pretty much 1/3 of the way and the TX / LA state line near Shreveport was the 2/3 mark. Texas is just too damned big. Oh yeah, a warning - there is a dozen or so mile strip of I-10 in Deming NM where the speed limit dropped from 70 to 55 for the sole reason of adding dlf's funds to the city treasury.
   39. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 26, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5630717)
Texas is just too damned big.

Before all the construction on I-10 at the Texas border there used to be a mileage sign when crossing into Texas from Louisiana that read something like

BEAUMONT 25
EL PASO 880
   40. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 26, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5630733)
The team I guessed came in 3rd. I live in the city that's 1st and never thought that may be the answer.


You'll note that the "winners" in this exercise are all southern or western sprawl cities with very few MLB teams near them. Atlanta wins on population closer to the stadium than to any other stadium because the next closest stadiums are in Tampa and Cincinnati. That area overlaps the Braves "fan map" mentioned earlier too. This sprawl is how Atlanta can carry one of the largest overall fan bases in the game, but still have attendance issues. Their fan base outside of the metro proper is quite rural, which means poor, and they need a 150 miles to simply attend a game.
   41. Omineca Greg Posted: February 26, 2018 at 06:21 PM (#5630807)
It's hard to tell from the map if Alaska is counted with Seattle or not. If so, I'm thinking Deadhorse, AK to Safeco Field (2640 miles) has got to be the longest drive to the closest stadium.

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