By Will Reisman, @WillReisman
Along with garlic fries, splash hits and World Series titles, the crowds of exuberant fans streaming from Caltrain to AT&T Park have become synonymous with Giants’ baseball. It’s never a Giants’ game without Caltrain riders in the stands, and you can rest assured they will be there in heavy numbers for the team’s three-game series against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend.
And while Caltrain is the preferred transportation option for backers of the World Champs, we also provide reliable, safe service for sporting fans of all stripes. With direct access to AT&T Park in San Francisco and the SAP Center in San Jose—two of the region’s largest and most versatile sporting venues—Caltrain caters to a wide range of athletic events.
Giants’ baseball games occupy AT&T Park for upwards of 90 days a year—depending on the playoff success of the team—but during the offseason, the ballpark hosts everything from soccer matches to college football contests.
Since 2002, Caltrain has been used by thousands of passengers to attend the annual postseason bowl game held at AT&T Park. Originally dubbed the San Francisco Bowl, the yearly college football contest is now called the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. This year’s clash will be the last time the event is held in San Francisco before it moves to the 49ers’ new stadium in Santa Clara. As always, Caltrain will provide service to the Fourth and King Station, just a short walk from the ballpark.
Caltrain passengers with a preference for more global sporting events have used our service to watch the World Baseball Classic and international soccer matches, both of which have been held at AT&T Park in the last two years.
Located on the other end of the Caltrain line from AT&T Park, the SAP Center—formerly HP Pavilion—in San Jose offers the same kind of sporting experience.
Known locally as the Shark Tank, the SAP Center is famous for its diehard hockey fans filling out the arena to cheer on their San Jose Sharks. Caltrain’s Diridon Station is conveniently located next to the arena, and Sharks fanatics regularly use the service to see their team in action.
When the Sharks are in the offseason, the SAP Center transforms to football country, with the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League setting up residence. Fans eager catch this unique brand of football take Caltrain to the game.
It’s not just AT&T Park and the SAP Center that Caltrain travels to, either. With a stop at the Stanford Station during football season, Caltrain turns into a sea of red on game days, as fans flock to the Stanford campus to see their Cardinal compete.
When the Stanford football team isn’t competing, the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer inhabit the stadium. Caltrain passengers can use our service to see the Earthquakes play there, or at the team’s other home field at Santa Clara University, minutes away from the Santa Clara Station.
Starting in 2014, when the 49ers move to their new stadium in Santa Clara, Caltrain passengers will be able to check out the team by making an easy transfer from our Mountain View Station to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s light-rail line, which will take fans right to the game.
Lastly, there is always the famous Bay to Breakers run, a seven-mile road race through the heart of San Francisco. This quirky event, combining top international runners and flamboyantly dressed amateurs, travels a short distance from Caltrain’s Fourth and King Station. Anyone who has ridden a packed train in the early-morning hours before the start of the race knows how well-connected our system is with Bay to Breakers.
Bay Area residents are the most loyal and passionate spots fans in the country. We’re happy to play a part in their devotion.