Tuesday, June 2, 2015

More Express trains, parking pitched to complex-bound fans

SEPTA, city announces plans to try to ease the weekend crunch around the stadium complex.

More Express trains, parking pitched to complex-bound fans

Complex couldn’t be a better term to explain what it will be like this weekend to negotiate the streets in the area of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue through this weekend.

What already was a weekend packed with events took on a new dimension once the Phillies made the World Series as the team with Games 3 through 5 at home. That sets up the following scenario:

Saturday: Flyers vs. Devils at 4 p.m. at the Wachovia Center, the Celtic Thunder dance troupe at the Wachovia Spectrum at 8 p.m., and Game 3 of the World Series at the ballpark at 8:35.

Sunday: Eagles vs. Falcons at 1 p.m. at the Linc; the Who performing at the Center at 7:30, and Game 4 of the World Series at 8:35.

Monday: Game 5 of the World Series at 8:29 p.m.

Can the schedulemaker who has the Phantoms away on a five-game road trip please take a bow?

That Flyers game already was moved from 7 at night to 4 in the afternoon to try and ease congestion on Saturday. It will a bit, although a 1 o’clock start would have helped a lot more. But a National Hockey League Players Association rule restricts two teams that play the night before from playing too early the following day. The Flyers and Devils play at 7 on Friday at New Jersey before heading to Philly to complete the home-and-home series.

To help alleviate some of the crush on the roads, SEPTA has said it will run Broad Street Line “Sports Express” trains from 6:25 to 7:35 p.m. all three days. That means that trains will operate from Fern Rock every 10 minutes and stop at Olney, Erie, Girard, Spring Garden, Race-Vine, City Hall and Walnut-Locust. Local service also will be running. That puts the last express train down at the ballpark around 8:05, giving fans plenty of time to settle into their seats and see some of the pregame festivities that are planned. Express trains will leave the stadium complex after the game.

Express service also will be implemented Sunday morning to handle the throng headed to the Eagles. Those will run from 10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Service on the Market-Frankford Line also will be upgraded starting at 6:30 p.m., but you are reminded that shuttle buses will replace regular El weekend train service between 30th Street Station and 69th Street Terminal because of construction.

Finally, eight parking lots will be available for commuters who want to drive downtown and then take SEPTA. Those include city-operated lots at the following locations:

* AutoPark: JFK Plaza Garage - 15th & Arch streets
* AutoPark: Center City Lot - 15th & Arch streets
* Gateway Garage: 15th & Vine streets
* AutoPark: Gallery Mall - 10th & Filberts streets
* AutoPark: Jefferson - 10th & Ludlow streets

And Parkway Lots located at the following locations:

* Broad and Race streets
* Broad and Wood streets
* Broad and Callowhill streets

Parking will cost $5; SEPTA tokens ($2.90) will be available from parking-lot attendants. Those lots won’t be available Monday until after 5:30.

About this blog
Paul Vigna still has the seat he wrestled out of the concrete at Connie Mack Stadium parked in the finished basement, a 1980 Phillies championship mirror hanging above it. Now, why he’s kept an autograph of former Flyer Bruce Gamble on a sheet of Hockey Hall of Fame paper is another story. A native of Philly who grew up in Lansdale, he’s an assistant sports editor at the Daily News in charge of special projects who has written two columns related to sports and consumers: View From the Seats and Savvy Consumer.

Athletic contests were, for a long time, simply fun and games. Nowadays they’re just a small part of a sports entertainment industry that puts billions of dollars into play and a number of issues into motion. Moneyball indeed. You might be closer to the action than ever before, but that privilege comes at a price - and often it’s beyond what you can afford.

With that as the backdrop we’ll use this blog to dig out stories and swap advice about how the fan experience is changing and what it’s costing you now and in the future. Some of it will educate, some will let you vent. And in a sports panel format, it should allow for a consensus of opinion that can carry some weight.

Reach Paul at vignap@phillynews.com.

Paul Vigna
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