Maybe the biggest complaint that anyone has about any stadium is the traffic tie ups caused on game days. But for residents of Los Angeles’ east side, Dodger Stadium is in its own category.
Sitting off the 110 Freeway, not far from downtown L.A., the stadium boasts a rich history ranging from its opening in 1962 to the five World Championships they’ve won since then. But through it all, fans have had to deal with everything that comes with attending a Dodgers’ home game. First, the trip in can make a half-hour drive a two-hour baseball quest. If you know your way around the city, you can find free parking near the stadium, but most people just take Academy Road to the large parking lot and pay the $15 fee — but that could well be after doing battle with Angeleno drivers who have their own colorful way of navigating the hilly roads.
Once you get in the stadium, you’re treated to a breathtaking view of the nearby Santa Monica mountain range (if there’s no smog that day), then you discover climbing to your seat is not unlike climbing those mountains. By the time you find your seat, you’re thirsty from the L.A. heat and a hot dog wouldn’t be bad either. So why not grab a Dodger Dog — for $3.50, an $8 imported beer and $5 for peanuts! This is probably not what Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer had in mind when they wrote Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
So after you’re in your seat, eating expensive ballpark food, now it’s time to enjoy the game, and Dodger fans are as zealous as any in the nation, and they show it as fisticuffs may fly at any time. In fact, Bryan Stow, a 41-year-old fan who had the misfortune of being dressed in a San Francisco Giants jersey got into a verbal altercation in the stands that led to a full blown melee in the parking lot. Stow wound up in a medically-induced coma.
But recently, a new era has come upon the Dodgers and their stadium. A group of investors that includes former L.A. Lakers’ superstar Magic Johnson purchased the team for more than $2 billion. Magic, in hopes of making Dodger fans as happy as he did Lakers fans has dropped the price of parking to $10.
It’s a start.