Earlier today, our parking guru David LaBua, author of Finding the Sweet Spot, quizzed you on your Giants game parking knowledge. Here's the quiz answer, plus insanely valuable tips for parking around AT&T Park that you might not want to share with your friends!
How much should you expect to spend on parking if you are going to see the SF Giants?
The Answer is E) $0
Says David: A great way to get to the ballpark to see the Giants in a way that's incredibly free and mobile is by bike. There is awesome free valet bike parking at AT&T Park for every Giants home game provided by the SF Bike Coalition. It's as easy as a coat check at a restaurant. It's located on the McCovey Cove side outside of the park between right and center field. You just give them your bike, they give you a claim ticket. Simple.
I also find that taking public transportation before and after big events, such as a Giants playoff game is a ridiculously fun experience. There is no better way to experience the positive vibes of your hometown than riding on a packed train, bus, or ferry populated with people sharing your love and enthusiasm.
But, if you are going to the ballpark to see the Giants and you are driving, here is everything you need to know.
If you’re looking for the average secure, slow, but predictable run of the mill expensive, got-you-by-the-short-ones parking experience, AT&T Park has over 4,000 parking spaces in Parking Lots A, C, and D, as well as Pier 48. These lots are run by IMPARK, and will cost you top dollar for the convenience. Additional expensive parking is available north of the ballpark at Piers 30/32 (Embarcadero at Bryant) and also across the street from the Pier at Lot 26. The only reason I see to use these lots is if you want to make your own pre-game party and tailgate. Tailgating is permitted only in Lots C and D.
Otherwise, if you’re the thrifty and/or adventurous sort, free and easy parking for AT&T Park is fairly easily achievable. First by simultaneously using all 101 tips that are mentioned in the book, such as:
• Circling making right turns a few blocks outside of the venue’s central chaos
• How to spot somebody that is leaving before anybody else does
• Being sure to read the signs for 100 feet in each direction from where you park your car, as this is the legal distance that all parking signs are enforced for.
• Getting a “reserved” spot on a public street
• Knowing when red yellow and white zones are legal to park in,
Second, using the simplistic parking orientation rule of knowing what day it is and what time it is makes a huge difference when parking for a ball game. The rules and strategies change if it’s a day game, or a night game, a weekday, a weekend, a Saturday, Sunday or holiday for many obvious reasons such as:
• If it’s a weekday day game and you park at a 2 hour meter…most games last more than 2 hours and you are probably going to miss the last few innings, or are going to get a $65 ticket.
• Night games start usually after 6pm when most meters or loading zones are not in effect, making most of the time limits irrelevant. However, some Port Authority meters are in effect until 8pm or later, so be sure to read the time limits carefully.
• Sundays are the best as most loading zones and meters (except for those Port Authority Property meters such as along the Embarcadero) are not in effect.
• White zones are legal to park in if it is not during business hours
• Many yellow zones are not in effect on weekends, or after 1pm.
• Also, on the Southbound direction of much the Embarcadero, and a few other streets there is no parking from 3pm-7pm, in order to make room for a commuter lane. So for a 6:37pm first pitch, this spot isn’t great….unless you are willing to miss the first inning.
However, the absolute best ballpark parking for the Giants ballpark, day game, night game, double header, weekday, Saturday, Sunday, or holiday is on Bluxome St. between 4th St. and 6th St., two blocks up from King St. Why is it so great? The spots here are perpendicular to the curb so twice or thrice as many cars can fit into this two block area as opposed to regular parallel parking streets. And, there are no meters or 2-hour limits as there are on every other surrounding street. The one restriction which will only be important if you get beaned and hospitalized by a foul ball, or get arrested for drunken over-enthusiastic behavior, is the Midnight to 2 a.m. street-sweeping restriction on Wednesdays.
So, have fun at the game, and remember that parking karma is real, so being kind, staying calm, and driving courteously always pays off.
To see more of David's SF parking tips, click here.