So, this study by TomTom (that GPS company whose annoying radio commercials I am constantly subjected to in my car) says that the Redskins have the worst game-day traffic in the NFL, followed closely by the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. They base this survey on the difference between how fast people go on the surrounding roads on game days and how fast they go on other days, which seems like a pretty arbitrary measurement, but I digress.
I haven't experienced a game in Buffalo, but I've been to FedEx Field and Gillette Stadium (and Foxboro Stadium before that) often enough to get a sense of how soul-consuming the traffic is in both locations.
Looking at the most grievous traffic spots on this list, I am struck by the apparent correlation between adequate public transportation services (or lack thereof) and traffic problems.
I'll explain after the jump.
Take the Redskins, for example. If you want to pass up the vehicle traffic, you'd have to take the Blue Line to Largo Town Center and walk close to a mile to the stadium, which is conveniently located on the other side of the Beltway. Hardly an enticing prospect.
In the case of the Patriots, the MBTA runs special trains from Boston and Providence each game day, but those only serve a small fraction of the people who travel to the game and are not very well-promoted by the team, as the Directions page on the team's website would indicate.
Many of the biggest offenders (Buffalo, Dallas/Arlington, Jacksonville, Carolina, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Minnesota) on the list have little to no public transportation system to speak of. It's no accident that both New York teams, serving the most populous metropolitan area in the country, are on the bottom half of the list. The Jets and Giants have been heavily promoting new rail lines that ferry fans to the stadium across the Tri-State area. The Jets claim that over 8,000 people used the system last year.
Whether that's a cumulative average or per week is not the point. The point is, those fans represent another 8,000 people not clogging up the road on gamedays.
So, if any NFL owners see this study and want to improve their standing in terms of game-day traffic, the answers are quite simple: a good location (in the case of new stadia), or at least better promotion of public transport might help ease their situations.