If you take CalTrain or MUNI Metro (lines J, KT, N, or S), parking is FREE because all you have to do is walk across the street and you’re there!
But those of you who choose to drive your car, be prepared for the realities of parking in San Francisco if you don’t already know them. Parking near the ballpark on a Friday evening on a game night (Giants vs. Rockies at 7:15 PM) is neither cheap or easy. Actually, it is easy—provided you park in the parking garage for Pablo’s condo, affectionately referred to as Rockstar Science, which is located on the 16th floor of The Beacon. The Beacon and Safeway share a large parking garage operated by City Park. It’s easy to access (enter the parking garage at the signal light off Townsend between 3rd and 4th Streets (Townsend is the street parallel to King Street). By 6 PM there’s usually a guy there waving an orange flag to wave you in. That would be Pablo’s first recommendation. There is other parking, but none closer/easier and probably not cheaper. There is some, but it’s hard to find and 6 blocks (or more in some cases) from Rockstar—I don’t recommend it. You could easily spend an hour looking for something you don’t find and get knarled-up in some nasty traffic. But there is other parking. Here’s the deal.
1) You can park for 90 minutes for FREE provided you get your parking ticket validated at Safeway (which is easy to do—the Starbucks located just inside Safeway usually validates them without a purchase, but this is not guaranteed). Any Safeway purchase will get you 90 minutes free. However, if you exceed your entrance time on your ticket by one minute it automatically bumps you up to the flat rate—which is currently set at $35 (for any amount of time up to 24 hours).
2) There are lots of other small (compared to The Beacon/Safeway) parking garages up and down Townsend and Brannan Street, which are much cheaper ($12-15 flat rate) during the day when there is not a ball game. I walked up and down Townsend Street (224, 153, 148,136 Townsend) and spoke to each one of them personally but none would specify how much they charge Friday evening. This is because as the lots become fuller they raise their prices.
If you’re thinking about finding a free parking spot on the street somewhere like the backside of—forget about it. The City of SF discovered they had a goldmine in parking by the ballpark and changed out all the street parking meters so that they automatically charge you “game” rates of $7/hour or more. You’re better off parking downstairs at The Beacon.
Another option that might be cheaper is Pier 26 across from Bryant Street. But that’s about one mile and a 20-minute walk away from Rockstar Science—much less convenient. Lot C of the Giants is $35, and also not terribly convenient.
Good luck and we hope to see you there!