As a result, local bars and restaurants might see hikes in foot traffic due to pre- and post- game crowds seeking replenishment. In Downtown Sacramento, pedestrian traffic in the immediate area of the NBA Kings stadium grew by 10%, according to the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. Many bars have even leveraged these pedestrian counts by hosting parties that coincide with game days and even hired special DJs or introduced sport-themed menu items to lure passing crowds. Unfortunately, the same impact is unlikely for retailers offering goods and services unrelated to entertainment, dining, or sports and wellness. So the jewelry store, hair salon or local book store aren’t naturally going to be the biggest fans of a stadium.
|Uber at Coors Fields, CO|
Partnering with ride-share services to manage people and vehicle flow near the venue. Designated Uber pick-up and drop-off areas with clear signage and instructions should be made available to riders to reduce congestion near the stadium.
|Photo: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition|
Providing convenient, attended bike parking service. This strategy has in fact made driving to games the more inconvenient option for those in San Francisco. A regulation passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1999 requires monitored bicycle parking if an event incurs a street closure and anticipates more than 2,000 participants. As a result, all San Francisco Giants games played at AT&T park now provide valet bike parking services to more than 200 spectators, thanks to an arrangement with local bike advocacy group, SF Bicycle Coalition.
So if you’re thinking of attracting a sports team to make its home downtown in a new arena to catalyze further investment in the area and attract visitors, think also about the potential impacts it will have on foot traffic diversion and vehicular congestion. Prepare small local businesses for game days and at the same time, make sure that the arena is responsive to and supportive of existing businesses in the area.