Nearby real estate up in cities where ball teams destined for greatness

Baseball fans packed the roofs of rowhouses over sold-out Shibe Park to watch the Phila. Athletics in the 1929 World Series. AP, file
Baseball fans packed the roofs of rowhouses over sold-out Shibe Park to watch the Phila. Athletics in the 1929 World Series. AP, file
Posted: March 30, 2013

It was Oct. 9, 1914 - the first game of the World Series pitting the Philadelphia Athletics against the Boston Braves.

Across 20th Street from Shibe Park, fans filled bleachers built on the roofs of rowhouses. Others sat in open windows, or on the roof of front porches or second-floor bay windows.

OK, Boston took the series in four straight, but the defeat of the A's didn't make those rowhouses cheaper than when it began.

These days, especially in cities where the ball teams are destined for greatness in 2013, prices for houses and condos can be higher near stadiums than farther out.

Philadelphians can expect to pay a median of $145 per square foot for houses one or two miles within Citizens Bank Park, says Jed Kolko, chief economist for the search engine Trulia.

That price per square foot is 1.1 times the median price for the rest of the region, he says. Median means that half the sale prices are higher and half lower.

Kolko says Trulia examined sale prices around all the major ballparks except Toronto over the last year.

"Living near the stadium is more expensive than the surrounding metro area for 20 out of 29" stadium areas," Kolko says.

It comes as no surprise that San Francisco's AT&T Park had the highest, at $653, since its overall real estate prices have long been at the top of the nation's cities.

The price is 1.3 percent above the rest of the Bay Area.

Boston's Fenway Park is second at $584, or 2.6 percent higher than its metropolitan area.

San Diego ($435/1.9 percent); Washington ($392/2.3 percent); and Los Angeles ($387/1.6 percent) follow.

The least expensive, Kansas City, is $28 a square foot, or 0.3 percent higher than its region.

The priciest stadium neighborhoods relative to their metros are in or near downtowns, Kolko says.

Based on the odds that bookies are offering on the 2013 World Series, the teams with a better shot at the championship play in more expensive neighborhoods - though the correlation isn't strong, Kolko said.

Washington has the best shot; the Angels second.

Philadelphia's position midway between high and low apparently doesn't translate into great demand to live near the ballpark.

None of the real estate firms doing business near the stadium complex in South Philadelphia uses proximity to Citizens Bank Park as a marketing tool.

"I have worked with many South Philly buyers, mostly for Passyunk Square, and also for Packer Park and Girard Estates," says Prudential Fox & Roach agent and baseball fan Jeff Block. "But I have never had anyone request the stadium area."

Block has worked with a few professional athletes as well, and "needless to say, that is not where they want to be," he said.

Contact Alan J. Heavens at 215-854-2472, or @alheavens at Twitter.

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