SABR 43: Philadelphia transportation tips
SABR 43 will be held July 31-August 4, 2013, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, just blocks from City Hall , Independence Hall and many other Philadelphia landmarks.
- To register for SABR 43, click here. All baseball fans are welcome to attend.
- Click here to book your room online or call (877) 212-5752. The hotel's website is www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/phldt-philadelphia-marriott-downtown.
Members of the host Connie Mack Chapter have compiled a list of transportation tips to help visitors and convention attendees enjoy their stay in the City of Brotherly Love. If you have any questions during your stay, please don't hesitate to ask a friendly SABR 43 volunteer for assistance (they'll be in the bright red shirts throughout the convention!)
- Related link: Click here for special tips from the Convention Planners to make the most of your stay in Philly
Getting to and around Philadelphia without a car
The Marriott Downtown, at 12th and Market Streets, is conveniently located in the heart of Center City and easy to get to. SABR 43 in Philadelphia can be done without a car. SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) can get you everywhere you want to go, including the home of SABR 43, the Marriott Downtown.
Airport to Marriott Downtown via SEPTA
SEPTA can get you from the airport to Center City and the Market East Station, which is a short 2-block walk to the Marriott Downtown. The airport is served by SEPTA’s Regional Rail. The Airport Line has stations in all airport terminals, and all stations are located near the baggage claim areas. If you don’t need to use the baggage claim area, the train stations are before you get to baggage claim. The fare for the 30-minute trip is $8.00, with trains leaving every half-hour. Your destination is the Market East Station. From Market East, follow the signs to the Marriott. Go up the escalators to the old Reading Railroad train shed. Turn left and cross over 12th Street to the Marriott. You can also go outside on Market Street, walk past the Hard Rock Cafe and cross 12th Street to the Marriott. Limousines and taxis are also available from the airport. All major car rental companies serve the airport.
If you’re coming from the airport and plan to use SEPTA often during SABR 43, a weekly TransPass is an option. The $24.50 pass is good on any bus, subway, or trolley line for one week, from Monday to Monday. It may only be used on the Airport Line of Regional Rail during weekdays. On weekends, the TransPass is good on Regional Rail to any zone.
Amtrak’s 30th Street Station to Marriott Downtown via SEPTA
Amtrak trains from the north, south, and west all stop at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. Connections to SEPTA’s Regional Rail and the Market East Station, only 10 minutes away, can be made easily. Take any SEPTA train going to Center City and the Market East Station. From Market East follow the signs to the Marriott. Go up the escalators to the old Reading Railroad train shed. Turn left and cross over 12th Street to the Marriott. You can also go outside on Market Street, walk past the Hard Rock Cafe, and cross 12th Street to the Marriott. Taxis are also available from the 30th Street Station.
Trailways Bus Station
The Trailways bus station, also served by Greyhound, is located at 10th and Filbert Streets, and is a short 2-block walk to the Marriott Downtown at 12th and Filbert Streets.
Driving a car
From New York, Boston:
- Take the New Jersey Turnpike to exit 4. Take Route 73 North to Route 38 West. Continue on Route 38 West to Route 30 West and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia. Over the bridge follow I-676 West. Continue on I-676 West for one mile to Broad Street. At the end of the ramp, make the first left on Vine Street/Local Traffic. Proceed on Vine St. for 3 traffic lights and turn right on 12th Street. Go three blocks on 12th Street to Filbert Street. The Marriott Downtown and SABR 43 are on the right.
From Trenton, using I-95 South, from Baltimore, Washington, and the Philadelphia International Airport, using I-95 North:
- Take I-95 to Exit 22 in Philadelphia, I-676 West. Continue on I-676 West for one mile to Broad Street. At the end of the ramp, make the first left on Vine Street/Local Traffic. Proceed on Vine Street for 3 traffic lights. Turn right on 12th St. and go three blocks to Filbert Street. The Marriott Downtown and SABR 43 are on the right.
From the Pa Turnpike Northeast Extension, I-476 South, Allentown, and Scranton:
- Take I-476 to Exit 16, I-76 East. Continue on I-76 East to Exit 344, I-676 East. Continue on I-676 East to Broad Street, and follow signs for Vine Street/Local Traffic. Proceed on Vine Street for 3 traffic lights. Turn right on 12th Street and go 3 blocks to Filbert Street. The Marriott Downtown and SABR 43 are on the right.
From the West, via the Pa Turnpike, I-76 East:
- Take Pa Turnpike, I-76 East to Exit 326. Continue on I-76 East to Exit 344, I-676 East. Continue on I-676 to Broad Street, and follow signs for Vine Street/Local Traffic. Proceed on Vine Street for 3 traffic lights. Turn right on 12th Street and go 3 blocks to Filbert Street. The Marriott Downtown and SABR 43 are on the right.
Parking at or near the hotel
The fee for valet parking at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is $48 daily.
For discount parking, try the Convention Center Parking lot at 142 North Broad Street. The max daily rate Monday-Friday is $20 and overnight weekend parking is $17.76.
There are about a dozen additional parking lots near the Marriott. To download a PDF of nearby lots that offer 24-hour parking at discounted rates, click here.
Getting around Philadelphia
Even if you drive to SABR 43, you can park your car and still get around Philadelphia. SEPTA runs subway, trolley and many bus lines in addition to the Regional Rail. The one-way fare with cash is $2.25. Tokens, good for a one-way fare, come in packs of two at $3.60, packs of five at $9.00 and packs of ten at $18.00. Tokens can be purchased at the Market East Station and at the SEPTA headquarters, 1234 Market Street, across the street from the Marriott Downtown.
For seniors age 65 and older, it’s free to ride any bus, subway, or trolley line. You must show a Medicare card, issued by the Social Security Administration. Regional Rail is just $1.00 when you show your card.
The easiest way for a visitor to get around is with the One-Day Independence Pass. You get unlimited travel on any bus, trolley, subway, and Regional Rail (after 9:30 am for Regional Rail) for one day. The cost is $12.00 for an individual pass or $29.00 for a family pass, good for up to five people. A One-Day Convenience Pass is good for eight rides (four round trips) on subways, buses or trolley and costs $8.00. It can’t use it on the Regional Rail. Tokens can also be purchased if you need only one round trip ride.
If you plan on using SEPTA often during SABR 43, a weekly TransPass is another option. This $24.50 pass is good for one week, Monday to Monday, on any bus, subway, or trolley line. During the week, it can only be used on the Airport Line of the Regional Rail. On weekends, it can be used on any Regional Rail line.
Since SEPTA will have a fare increase on July 1st, the prices listed are for the new fare. Please check with www.septa.org for more details.
All passes and tokens can be purchased in advance at www.septa.org.
There are two SEPTA subway lines.
The east-west line is the Market-Frankford Line (Blue Line) and it has a station at13th Street, right at the Marriott. The 11th Street station is nearby. Go eastbound three stations to 5th Street and you are in the middle of the Historic Area. Go westbound past the 30th Street Station, for the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and University City.
The north-south line is the Broad Street Line (Orange Line). The City Hall Station, reached from the City Hall Courtyard, is just a two block walk from the Marriott. The Race-Vine station and the Walnut-Locust station on the Broad Street Line are also near the Marriott. Since there is construction at the City Hall Station, using the Race-Vine Station will be a better option. Go northbound to Temple University. Go southbound to everyone’s destination, Citizens Bank Park and the Sports Complex.
There is a free transfer between the Broad Street Line at City Hall and the Market-Frankford Line at 15th Street. The transfer is only free between City Hall and 15th Street. Don’t use the 13th Street station of the Market-Frankford Line to transfer to the Broad Street Line or vise versa.
Both subway lines intersect with the Patco Line, which serves Camden County in South Jersey.
There are many bus lines in all directions that run near the Marriott. You can go east on Market and Chestnut Street to reach the Historic District. Walnut Street has several routes that go to University City. And several routes can get you to the Ben Franklin Parkway/Museum Area.
Getting to the SABR vintage game at 12th and Wharton Streets on Saturday, August 3 could not be easier. The Route 23 bus goes south on 12th Street. Getting the bus outside the Marriott at 12th and Market, it will take you to the Vintage game at 12th and Wharton in about 12 minutes. The return trip goes north on 11th Street.
The Airport Line is just one of 12 lines that run from Center City out to the suburbs. Half of the lines are on the old Pennsylvania Railroad tracks and the other half use the former Reading Railroad tracks. The fare is determined by zones, from 1 to 5. The cost goes up the further away from Center City you travel. The Airport Line is the only one with the flat $8.00 fare.
Phlash Downtown Loop
Another option is the Phlash Downtown loop, which runs from the Historic District, through City Center, making a stop at the Marriott at 12th and Market, then along the Ben Franklin Parkway to the museums and back. This may be a better option getting to the museums along the Parkway and the Museum of Art. If you get off at 22nd and the Parkway, you can walk through Elkins Oval to the Museum of Art. If you stay on Phlash, it will take you to the Eastern State Penitentiary and then to the back of the Museum of Art.
Going to the Historic District is also easy on Phlash. The route goes east on Market Street, stopping at 6th and Market. It continues through Old City and then to Penn’s Landing and then west to 12th and Market.
Phlash honors SEPTA’s One-Day Independent Pass, making it easy to use. Phlash will run every day during SABR 43, but only during the hours of 10:00 am until 6:00 pm.
Things to do
SABR 43 Historic Philadelphia Walking Tour
This optional SABR 43 tour will take place Wednesday, July 31 beginning at 1 p.m. Your tour guide, Scott Knowles, along with SABR co-chair Seamus Kearney, will take you through the Historic Area and Old City. The 2- to 3-hour tour will be one of a kind because it will be only SABR members and their families. This is an event you don’t want to miss. More details to follow.
Braves vs. Phillies
The Atlanta Braves and the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, August 2 at 7:05 will be one of the highlights of SABR 43. If you buy a ticket as part of SABR 43 registration, SABR has arranged for two free tokens from SEPTA through the Philadelphia Visitors and Convention Bureau. A free ride to the game!
To get to the game, the City Hall station on the Broad Street line is just a two block walk from the Marriott. The station can be reached from the City Hall Courtyard. The Race-Vine station and the Walnut-Locust station are also near the Marriott. Since there is construction at the City Hall Station, the Race-Vine will be a better option. From the Race-Vine station, the southbound local trains will get you to the AT&T station, at Broad and Pattison, in 13 minutes. The Sports Express Service for events at the Sports Complex will take you southbound to the AT&T station in nine minutes. When waiting for the train, take the first train, whether it is an express or local, because it will get you to the Sports Complex first. Once you get there, just follow the crowd.
SABR vintage game
A game with rules from the 1860s will be played on Saturday, August 3, at 12th and Wharton Streets, in South Philadelphia. The game will be between the Mechanicsburg (PA) Nine and Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia. SABR members Dennis Link and Jeff Watson will be playing for the Athletic Club. More details to follow.
The Route 23 bus from the Marriott at 12th and Market travels south on 12th Street and will get you to the game in about 12 minutes. The return trip goes north on 11th Street. The game can also be reached by using the Broad Street Subway and walking. From the Race-Vine station, go south four stops to the Ellsworth-Federal station. (If the Sports Express trains are running, you must use the local train.) It will take about four minutes. Using the Federal Street side to exit, walk one block south (away from City Hall) to Wharton Street. Go left, east, on Wharton St for two blocks to 12th and Wharton.
Be sure to come to the game hungry. Three blocks east of the game, at 9th and Wharton, is the cheesesteak capital of the world. At that corner are two of Philadelphia’s best cheesesteak shops, Pat’s and Geno’s. You’ll need to be hungry so you can eat one of each. Then you can decide for yourself which one is better.
Historic Ballparks and Other Baseball Sites Tour
This bus tour will be Sunday morning, August 4 and go to many former ballpark sites, including: Citizens Bank Park; Veterans Stadium; Wharton Parade Grounds (11th & Wharton); Camac Woods (12th & Montgomery); Mercantile Ball Grounds (18th & Masters); Athletics Grounds (17th & Montgomery); Masters Street Grounds (25th-27th & Masters); Athletics Association Grounds (27th & Jefferson); Recreation Grounds (24th & Columbia/Ridge Ave.); Columbia Park (30th & Columbia); Oakdale Park (12th & Cumberland); Forepaugh Park (Broad & Dauphin); Baker Bowl (Broad & Huntingdon/Lehigh Ave.); and Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium (21st & Lehigh.)
Other Things To Do
Independence National Park and Old City
If you can’t make Seamus Kearney’s Historic Philadelphia Walking Tour, it is still easy to get to and see the Historical District. From the Marriott at 12th and Market, Independence National Park is just a six block walk to 6th and Market. Traveling on the Market-Frankford Line from 13th Street, the 5th Street station is just three minutes away. The Route 17, 33, and 44 and Phlash buses go east-west on Market Street.
The Independence Visitors Center is on the north side of 6th and Market. Timed tickets for tours of Independence Hall must be obtained there. They can be obtained in advance through www.nps.gov. The Liberty Bell Center, home of the Liberty Bell, is on the south side of 6th and Market. You can stand next to the Liberty Bell and view Independence Hall across the park on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th. Other sites include Congress Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, Independence Square and Washington Square. The National Constitution Center is one block north at 6th and Arch Streets. Tickets for the Constitution Center can be purchased in advance at www.constitution.org. Old City highlights include the Betsy Ross House and Christ Church. Any walk through Old City should include Elfreth’s Alley.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway/Museum Area
Many of Philadelphia’s museums are located on or near the Ben Franklin Parkway. They include the Academy of Natural Sciences, at 19th and Race, just off the Parkway, the Franklin Institute, at 20th and the Parkway, the Rodin Museum, at 22nd and the Parkway, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of the Parkway. Eakins Oval connects the Parkway with the Museum of Art. The Museum of Art is famous for the Rocky Steps. Rocky’s statue is located to the right of the base of the steps. And if you’re looking to get a little research done while at SABR 43, the Free Library of Philadelphia is at 19th and Vine, just off the Parkway.
If you’re looking for a nice walk in Philly, a great one is to start at City Hall, go to the Ben Franklin Parkway, and out to the Museum of Art. Along the way is Logan Square, one of the many good places to stop and take a break.
Minor League Baseball
Class AAA: The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, are home on July 31 at 11:35 am and August 1 and 2 at 7:05 against the Rochester Red Wings, affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Lehigh Valley plays in Allentown at Coca-Cola Park.
Class AA: The Trenton Thunder, the New York Yankees affiliate, will be home during SABR 43. They play the Harrisburg Senators, affiliate of the Washington Nationals, July 31 at 12:00 noon and August 1 at 7:05. Trenton then battles Eastern League rival Reading, affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, August 2 and 3 at 7:05 and August 4 at 5:05. Arm & Hammer Park, along the Delaware River, is the home of the Thunder. If you’re lucky, SABR member Mike Nolan will usher you to your seat.
Reading is home at FirstEnergy Stadium on July 31 and August 1 at 7:05. The opponent is the Erie SeaWolves, affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
The Camden Riversharks, of the independent Atlantic League, are home August 2 at 7:05, August 3 at 5:35, and August 4 at 1:35. The opponent is the Lancaster Barnstormers. The ballpark, Campbell’s Field, is located along the Camden waterfront and has a great view of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
More Sports History
Just across the Schuylkill River on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania are two historic college sports buildings. Franklin Field, at 33rd and Spruce Streets, has been the home of the Penn Quakers football team and the Penn Relays since 1895. The current lower deck was finished in 1922, and the upper deck was added in 1925. And yes, it is the place where Eagles fans booed Santa Claus. Just to the north of Franklin Field is the Palestra. The 9,000 seat “Cathedral of College Basketball” was completed in 1927 when Penn was led by All-American Joe Shaaf. Over the years, many Big 5 (LaSalle, Penn, St. Joe’s, Temple and Villanova) battles were fought at the Palestra.