Monday, October 26, 2009

The Amtrak World Series

2 Months ago the St. Louis Cardinals took Amtrak from DC to Philadelphia. It appears that the Cards set a trend because "for the first time in recent memory, the [Philadelphia Phillies] boarded the Phillie Express from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia about 4:45 p.m., bound for New York’s Penn Station."

The article goes on to state, "When the first members of the team emerged from Penn Station on the corner of 32nd Street and Eighth Avenue, they were greeted by a couple of Phillies fans. Their voices were soon overtaken by more lusty locals chanting, “Let’s go, Yankees.”"

What a shrewd move it would be for Amtrak and Major League Baseball, the NHL, the NBA and possibly the NFL, to utilize Amtrak for travel and marketing purposes. Hannah Kirkner, a native Philadelphian living in New York, was delighted to see her team on a Manhattan sidewalk. “It’s very representative of our city to take the train. It’s so human.”

Hannah is absolutely right! Making players accessible to their fans in a great public space like a train station is a win-win-win for the sport, the fan and the profile of passenger rail. Imagine Cardinal fans greeting their team in Chicago's Union Station as they arrive for a series against the Cubs, or Twins fans wishing their team well before leaving from St. Paul's Union Depot before a divisional series against the White Sox.

Professional and collegiate sports are a key part of American culture, especially in the Midwest. Amtrak/passenger rail must become a larger part of our culture and a stronger public relationship with major athletics is an excellent place to start.

Yankees in 6

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