Continuing from yesterday, we move on to our second thread concerning the whole experience of visiting Safeco Field. In this one, we discuss parking and/or getting there. Safeco doesn't really have much in the way of stadium parking, so it seems like everybody has a different way of getting to the game.
In the past, when I've gone to games, I've stayed with friends who either lived close enough to walk, or who preferred to drive and then look for free parking about a mile south of the stadium in the graffiti district. Why not park closer? When I was up for the home opener, I ran across two lots charging $45 and $40 per vehicle. There is a fortune to be made in the parking business, and that's just...really? People would really pay that much? Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those people who'd rather take it easy and pay a little than spend 25 minutes frantically searching through traffic for a small open space on the curb, but I'm not going to pay more to park my car than I'll pay to attend the event to which I'm driving in the first place. $45 could buy you 15 bags of lightly salted peanuts outside the gate.
Granted, I imagine these were extraordinary prices given the nature of the event, but still: parking can be expensive, and annoying.
Now that I live in Portland, I've gone up twice and both times stopped at the park & ride station in Tukwila to ride the light rail. Parking was difficult to find before the home opener, which makes sense, but more often than not this is a solid plan if you're coming from outside the city and don't want to deal with the hassle of driving into town. Parking is free, the light rail runs often, it costs like $4.50, and it drops you off next to the stadium. I love the light rail. Comes with the side benefit of granting you an extra 30-45 minutes to sober up if you drank at the game and have a drive home staring you in the face.