Finding parking for Giants games can be tricky and expensive. First of all, check out our hints and maps on using mass transit to get to AT&T Park. San Francisco approved a location for the park that makes mass transit easy for fans to use.
Wherever you park, remember to visit the ATM before you come into town because many lots only accept cash — another good motivator to use mass transit!
If you have to drive, here are some tips to help you find the best tradeoffs.
Giants Lots — The official Giants lots are two to three blocks south of the stadium on 3rd street, after it curves after you go across the Lefty O’Doul Bridge. The lots are not covered, and because they’re very large they can be clogged and hard to exit after a game. Cost can run from $15-$30 based on the game and time, and always assume the higher number.
Tailgating is allowed only in Lots C and D, the more distant areas, and you’re only entitled to use a single parking space. For organized tailgating parties the Giants will make special arrangements for a fee if you call them at 415-972-2221.
For disabled fans: Special shuttles for disabled fans serve the Giants lots from 2 hours before a game until 1 hour after the game. This is a great alternative to the expense of the close-in private lots.
Website Reservation Service — If you don’t mind paying a premium price and commission for a pre-reserved parking spot at a fixed price, Parkwhiz offers that opportunity. This would be useful if you know you’re arriving at a game at the last minute.
Handicapped Parking — All of the enclosed private (non-Giants-owned) garages below have the usual designated handicapped parking areas. I presume the uncovered ones do as well, but since we usually opt for covered parking close to the stadium (usually when we have guests) I have not seen them all myself.
Fifth and Mission Garage — This city-owned multi-story public garage offers a series of trade-offs compared to other parking choices for weekend and night games. It’s about an eight block walk to AT&T Park from the 4th St. side of the structure, across the street from the Metreon. On the last Friday Giants game we attended (where we had to drive to a later event and could not take mass transit) we paid $26 to park here, but on a Sunday I recall some charges coming up less than $20. There were private lots three blocks closer at Harrison St. that charged only $20 that day, but they were not covered and did not have much in the way of security. There were private covered lots closer to the ballpark that had good security, but they were charging $45-$60. We need the exercise, so a more distant car and a longer walk is our normal choice.
Parking Meters — These used to be a bargain, but since modern technology allows the City to set event-duration rates at meters near the ballpark it’s now $7.00 an hour to use a meter to go to a game (vs. as little as .25 per hour from 6:00 to 10:00 PM when the Giants aren’t at home). A cynic would say that this allows the City to say they’re encouraging people to use mass transit while simultaneously generating sharply increased revenues. But of course we’re Baseball fans, not cynics!
The meters used to be enforced until 6:00 PM. On game days they are now enforced until 10:00 PM on SF city meters. (See note below about meters from the Port of San Francisco, which run 24 hours, and meters from the City of San Francisco.)
There are signs in the area reminding drivers about the special meter rates, and the area covered is bounded on the north by Harrison Street, on the east by the Bay, to the south by Mariposa Street, and to the west at Seventh Street. If that’s hard to remember you can think of it as “the Mission Bay area, plus about a half block to a full block past Highway 80 in the areas where the freeway cuts through SoMa.”
If you choose to park at a meter most San Francisco meters now allow you to pay via your phone using the touchpad, or via the Net. You only have to register your credit card with the system once, so after you’re in the system I have to say it’s more convenient than always keeping a pocket full of quarters. I’ve become a fan of this system.
Important: Two different government bodies manage parking meters in this area of San Francisco: the Port of San Francisco and the City itself. Generally those controlled by the Port are along the Embarcadero, but you need to check because some places you’d think it’s a Port meter but it’s a City meter, and vice versa.
This is important because the two kinds of meters have very different rules: when the City meters eventually go “off” at night and you can park for free, the Port meters run 24 hours a day. Of course, the time when the City meters turn off (as late as 10 PM) is one of the factors that the City can now alter on a block by block basis.
If you think you’ve found a metered spot, be sure to read the meter itself and all nearby street signs to see what hours the meter is enforced, how long the maximum stay is, what permitted parking hours are, etc. Parking rules around AT&T Park are enforced aggressively and the City and Port make a lot of money writing tickets.
Paid Lots — There are many paid lots surrounding the ballpark. At many places guys with orange flags will try to induce you to turn in and park in their lot, but be sure you see the price for the event parking before you turn and get hemmed in and pressured to spend an extra $50.
In general, the closer parking lots are the more you will pay, and prices go up significantly for Dodger games, Red Sox, Cubs and Yankees games, and (God willing) for the post-season. You can tell where we stand in the pennant race by how the parking prices trend!
Covered parking in a garage will cost more than outdoor parking, and some places require a valet to park for you and others let you park yourself. Be careful using lots where the valet packs cars in if you have to leave early to catch a plane, attend a wedding or accept the Nobel Peace Prize.
Close in prices will generally be $25-$60 per car, higher in the special cases noted above. A longer walk puts the range at $10-$20 for outdoor parking on weekends and evenings, but weekday day games overlap the business day in downtown San Francisco and thus require higher prices — those games especially are a good time to use mass transit. Many places charge more for full size SUV’s and trucks.
On days when we drive we tend to park farther away and walk so we can congratulate ourselves on burning calories and saving money!
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