Streetsblog’s Annual MLB Opening Day Preview! Yankee Stadium Edition
Whatever happened to route, route, route for the home team?
The Yankees will begin their 120th season on Friday afternoon in The Bronx, but the Bombers do nothing to promote — and, in fact, discourage — fans from visiting House that Ruth Built by bicycle.
There are no bike racks at Yankee Stadium itself. We asked the Parks Department why, and the agency referred us to the leaseholder (the Yankees). “Any potential installation of bike racks would falls under their purview — as the lease holder, the Yankees are responsible for operating and maintaining the premises,” said Parks Department spokesman Dan Kastanis. (The team did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
The team’s media guide and website don’t at all mention bikes or safe cycling routes to the taxpayer-subsidized baseball Mecca (scroll down to “Transportation and Parking”). In another section of the stadium guide, the team reiterated that helmets are banned inside the arena, meaning that bike riders are either being encouraged to ride without protective headgear or are required to leave the pricey item outside, where it can easily be stolen. Fans have long complained about that Bronx Bombers bummer, as Streetsblog and the NY Post have reported.
There are also very few street posts to which cyclists can affix their bikes, and this is painfully true at Yankee employee entrances on Rivera Avenue; many of those employees live in the Bronx and could get to work by bike.
There are some bike racks in the city park across the street from Yankee Stadium. You can see them here:
The most depressing part of coming to Yankee Stadium is parking my bike in the nice, covered bike parking area right across the street & being the only bike in the whole place.
Hey NYC! You can bike to Yankee Stadium! It’s very nice and improves the postgame commute by ~1000% pic.twitter.com/QKmRRkaFMh
— Alexander Abnos (@AnAbnos) June 24, 2021
There are several Citi Bike racks near Yankee Stadium:
There are no protected bike lanes near Yankee Stadium. The main east-west roadway past the building — E. 161st Street — is a car and bus speedway that offers no safety for cyclists.
All the other painted lanes near the stadium are typically double-parking lanes for drivers. The city bike map can be accessed here, but here is a close-up (blue lines are painted lanes; purple lines are merely shared routes, marked with sharrows):
It’s odd that the team does not encourage cycling to Yankee Stadium, given that a seven-mile bike ride from the Grand Central Terminal area would take just 40 minutes (and could include a nice ride through car-free Central Park) — though the last stretch is treacherous: cyclists who attempt to reach the stadium from Manhattan over the Macombs Dam Bridge are forced to cross a dangerous on-ramp for the Major Deegan Expressway:
The Yankees do offer bus, subway and commuter rail instructions on their website, and the MTA’s 4 and D trains stop directly at the right-field gate. (Click here for a Bronx bus map.)
A Yankee official joined MTA executives on Wednesday to promote fan usage of Metro-North’s E. 153rd Street station, which was very close to the old Yankee Stadium, but is now a slightly longer walk. (Team executive Doug Behar talked about “the headache” of driving to Yankee Stadium, and urged people to take the train as a “sustainable” option, but he did not mention the bike.)
The MTA provides additional service, called “The Yankee Clipper,” for all evening and weekend games. Click here for information.
Yankee home opener is Friday at 1 p.m. against the Boston Red Sox at the Stadium (bounded by E. 161st Street, Rivera Avenue, E. 164th Street and Jerome Avenue).
Next week: The Mets!