Parking for a Bulls game in downtown Durham?
April 20, 2018 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Taking my folks to a Durham Bulls game tomorrow, 4/21/2018. Seeking locals info on parking.

This post from 2016 is informative about the area but specifically not about cars. My pop has somewhat limited mobility due to a spinal stroke a year ago and they have a legit handicapped parking permit. Team-published info specifies both street and paid handicapped parking near the park (50 street spaces, unspecified garage).

It's an early season game. The team has a poor record so far in the season but .500 at home. Tickets available online do not seem to predict a sellout. My experience with driving to games in Seattle indicates it's best to be there three hours before first pitch; that seems excessive in this case.

How early should we be there? The game start is at 6:30ish. I would think 5:00-5:30 should be fine to get a close location. Thanks for your kind advice.
posted by mwhybark to Travel & Transportation around Durham, NC (9 answers total)
My guess is those spots are actually on the street and not in a garage. Blackwell borders the ballpark. I work nearby and the parking decks across from the field don't start getting traffic until about an hour before a game. If you want to be extra safe, you can get there two hours early, but I think you should be fine being 1.5 hours early. You might also be able to drop off right by the ticket booth on Blackwell and then go find parking. I'd call the box office to double-check all of this. They are usually very helpful. If you are in town, you can also just swing by and ask since the store should be open today.
posted by JuliaKM at 4:02 AM on April 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The parking deck is right next to the stadium, and it's very convenient. Elevators service each level of the deck. If you want a space on the first level, you probably do need two hours before the first pitch to get one there, but since even then you might not get one since the deck is also used by people not attending a game.

There is street parking, too, but a good portion of the street parking touted by the city represents a somewhat long walk (20 minutes at the outside).

I'm not sure about how quickly handicapped parking fills up. You can stand for a few minutes right outside the ballpark and drop your dad off while you park in the deck.

For arrival time, you've got the right idea. There are several restaurants and bars right outside the ballpark to kill time in until you head in.

You can generally find parking near the park within 15 minutes of the first pitch but since you probably want to get settled I wouldn't wait quite that long.

Getting into the park with a wheelchair: there is a large elevator to the left of the ballpark's main entrance, which is a little hard to see. Just ask someone if you don't see it. And there's a ramped entrance near the left outfield side.

It's a fun, easygoing experience. Enjoy your time!
posted by Philemon at 4:08 AM on April 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It's minor league, so the games and the crowds are more laid-back and low-key. Parking and concessions are both considerably cheaper than major league games. Today's going to be sunny and cool, perfect ballgame weather.

In general parking around the stadium is much tighter than it used to be. There was a large empty lot to the immediate east of the stadium where parking was cheap and convenient and fit hundreds of cars, but that's been razed and they're building offices/condos there now. The garage to the immediate west of the stadium has handicapped spaces. Also try phoning the stadium for information; it is possible that the parking garages for DPAC (to the north of the stadium) can also be used.

Parking on the street is an extreme gamble, just in terms of availability. There's very little parking south of the highway bridge, although whatever's available on Blackwell St. is easy to spot. There are handicapped spaces on Jackie Robinson Dr. right at the stadium, but they fill up first. That strip is also a hot zone for fouls hit off right-handed batters, so I'd be wary about leaving a car there anyway.
posted by ardgedee at 5:00 AM on April 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Bulls have a Parking info page that states there are 50 handicapped spaces available on Blackwell street. A map is provided as well.
posted by ardgedee at 5:03 AM on April 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Great, thanks guys! I will share your arrival time estimates and push for us to try for 2-1.5h pregame arrival. I will want to walk around the park for an hour anyway! Suspect they will want to head to the seats a bit sooner than that. That will give me time to buy them caps without telling them, anyway.
posted by mwhybark at 5:20 AM on April 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: At 5:00, we arrived at the southwestern intersection demarcating the park's home base to find that the street which was described on the parking information page as offering 50 hadicapped parking spots was closed to traffic! We diverted into the South Deck lot across the street with the help of Waze. We counted two handicapped spots on the ground floor and eight electric-only spots. Happily we were able to find a non-HC spot on the ground level and made our way in without difficulty.

Durham lost to the Lehigh Iron Pigs 8-4, unfortunately. The park was lovely and we enjoyed it very much. By comparison to other parks I have visited, the architecture and maintenance were top-notch. The beer selection (and prices) were directly comparable to both Safeco (Seattle, MLB) and Cheney (Tacoma Rainiers, Seattle AAA affiliate). The food was fine, good quality, basic ballpark food - dogs, burgers, pizza, bbq. I believe I'll be back!

Thanks all here for your helpful info. If you are ever in Seattle or Tacoma and want the skinny, let me know.
posted by mwhybark at 7:52 PM on April 21, 2018

Glad you enjoyed your visit! Next time you're in the area, give us a head's up; there's an active mefite community here and we like excuses for meetups.
posted by ardgedee at 6:07 AM on April 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Will do! I'm still around, until Friday, but am a bit under the weather and unlikely to be rarin' for the duration.

I should note that my pop already had a cap and I bought my mom one in amusing and tasteful seersucker, which she repeatedly took off to chortle at.
posted by mwhybark at 2:30 PM on April 25, 2018

Response by poster: Oh, and something I did not understand until we were there: there are unobstructed, no-ticket outfield views served by several restaurants and bars all around the entire outfield. The playfield itself, in size and outfield geometry, appears to be a copy of Fenway, with a giant wall (The Blue Monster) where there's one in Boston (use Google if you don't follow).

There are fewer seats than in Boston, but, cher MeFites and the French manbun tourist guy who hung out behind our seats, take note: my Pops took me to my first MLB game at Fenway in 1972, DET @ BOS, Spaceman Lee at least putting an appearance and Yaz getting a hit. We were in the uppers out in left and I as a firstgrader was much more interested in the TV cameras than the game.
posted by mwhybark at 2:39 PM on April 25, 2018

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