Dodger Stadium post-renovations

The middle game of a three-night set at Dodger Stadium had thousands of discounted tickets available on StubHub, a reminder that even for teams with $200 million payrolls and season attendance totals surpassing 3 million almost regularly, it’s still possible to find a deal. Or in Tuesday night’s case, an empty house.

I came because I happened to be in town for a week and I wanted to catch a game at either Chavez Ravine or Anaheim. I also wanted to take the Dodger Stadium Express, the bus that runs directly from Union Station to Dodger Stadium. This year there was also the added benefit of a bus-only lane going up Elysian Park Drive to help speed up the trip. I calculated that it took 15 minutes to get from Union Station to the intersection of Sunset and Elysian Park, then less than 5 minutes to get to the final destination behind centerfield. As you can see from the picture below, the buses get packed. It’s a good option for those who want to take Metro or a Metrolink train in. The $1.50 fare is waived if you show a ticket on the way in. The driver doesn’t bother to check for anything on the way back.

Inside a packed Dodger Stadium Express bus

The Tuesday night game had no giveaway and was billed as Taiwan night. Pre-game festivities included a traditional band from Taiwan who played a mournful version of The Star Spangled Banner. Since this is Hollywood, there was also a purely commercial wrinkle as the American band Fall Out Boy was on hand to promote their new record. Pete Wentz threw the ceremonial first pitch. I entered the stadium greeted by this view.

Before sunset with the normally late-arriving crowd

There isn’t much else to say about the experience, other than that the scoreboards by ANC Sports are quite impressive. Circulation between the levels is still impossible, and since I got the $11 ticket near the RF foul pole, I couldn’t go any higher than the club concourse. The final crowd (announced 35,898) was not much better than what you see above. I assume that the events surrounding the Boston Marathon incident may have scared some people off. The Padres dropped a 4-spot on the Dodgers in the first inning off Chris Capuano, so the small crowd that showed up wasn’t tempted to stick around for long. Security didn’t seem heightened to a great degree.

A new display set above the RF Pavilion

The best way to describe the new scoreboards is to think of them as a set of three. The lower part along the outfield fence is an out-of-town board and a State Farm ad. When a Dodger comes up to bat it usually changes to an animated intro. This is mirrored on the small display underneath the diamond/hexagon large display. The strip is a great addition because it’s the perfect spot for a perpetual in-game line score. Unfortunately, the geniuses at Dodger Stadium don’t keep it perpetual at all, instead choosing to include the strip as part of the ongoing multimedia presentation. The big board is very impressive. Even the funky shape works to the team’s advantage, as there are little nooks for the clock, the on-base situation, even logos for the teams above the lineups. When a Dodger comes up to hit, the LF board shows a big picture (in keeping with the old setup) and on the bottom corner is the player’s Twitter handle. Statistical presentation is clean and modern, though it could use more advanced stats.

I was eventually able to sneak down to the field club seat area down the lines. By the 8th inning everyone wanted to go home. An attempt to sing Sweet Caroline in honor of Boston was met with a big SoCal “meh”. WiFi was supposed to be better, but I couldn’t tell. Who knows what would’ve happened if the game were better? We’ll never know. Maybe the next time I go to Dodger Stadium, someone will give a damn.

16 thoughts on “Dodger Stadium post-renovations

  1. Dodger Stadium has held up well after 50 years. Unlike the Coliseum, which clearly has not.

  2. Dodger stadium don’t have 350lbs men running over it 10 times a year…hence it has survived quiet nicely…Oakland without the Raiders will be a great stadium ie no mount davis…

  3. That was a 36,000 person crowd?

  4. Wow,must be tickets sold.I have been watching the MLB package,and noticing small crowds in a number of Ballparks.Cleveland has been very sparse and even some Yankee crowds look quite small….great shot of Dodger stadium at sunset ML.

  5. After noticing all these small crowds across MLB, now I understand the 32k capacity at diridon cisco..maybe not such a bad idea after all

    • @Dan – Here’s the pic of the 2nd/3rd inning crowd.

      @Robo – Thanks! That’s why they call it magic time.

      @Larry E – It’s been an unseasonably late winter throughout much of the country. A similar phenomenon happened last year as well, yet overall attendance ended up over 2010/2011. As for the Cisco Field – it’s only smart to keep it relatively small.

      • I keep having to delete a certain commenter’s comments. It makes more sense to ban him for a while.

  6. Never been to Dodgers Stadium (on my bucket list), but while it is older than the Coli it appears better designed for baseball; not as round, less foul territory. What are the concourses like RM?

  7. Concourses are about the same as at the Coliseum, except the lines aren’t as slow. I guess they took out the back two rows in most levels but that’s not enough to make that much of a difference. The main difference is that there are 4 concourses instead of 2, so they are far less crowded.
    The indoor ones are not much brighter than the first level of the Coliseum, and are painted cinderblock walls instead of concrete (whoopdee whoop).

  8. nota bene, well, ot, but brief: the final challengers to the high-speed-rail EIR in the central valley settled yesterday. (Their hearing would’ve been today.) So now construction will get going. The first segments will run from Bakersfield to San Jose. The big 225 mph trains will stop at the Diridon station. (Yes there are additional legal challenges pending, but don’t hold your breath on those. We’re talking huge employment on this project — overall, the biggest public works project in Calif. history.) nb over.

  9. Good observations from ML about Dodger stadium. The lack of a large security presence likely is that the Dodger opponent was not the Giants though – the Dodgers don’t have that problem with other teams.

  10. @Tony D
    Even though there is less foul territory, if you’re not in the premium seating on the lower level you’re not any closer to the action than at the Coliseum (this is a good pic that shows how far away the upper levels are: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lMRYDk99CfE/TaUgrPi-pHI/AAAAAAAAAIs/mkWXJ2ELWng/s1600/DodgerStadium.jpg ). That’s just how stadiums were built back then. Really the only thing that makes the Coliseum worse than Dodger Stadium is Mt Davis, IMHO. But I seem to be one of the rare few who think the Dodgers need a new stadium.

  11. ^^^* your not the only one Ezra… I also think the dodgers need a new park.. Dodger stadium = very overrated

  12. Thanks also Ezra. Again, I’ve never been to Dodgers Stadium, so perhaps seeing it on TV with the bright colors, facia boards and the close seating near the dugouts is giving me a false impression. Make that THREE folks who think the Dodgers need a new stadium. Don’t care one way or the other, but they should build where Farmers Field would be located and put football stadium at Chavez Ravine. Just my opinion …

  13. I’ve sat in each deck of Dodger Stadium except Field Level. The height/distance from the action can be vertigo-inducing. That said, it’s still an enjoyable place to take in a game. Like any great ballpark, it’s more than the sum total of its parts. I’m seeing the A’s in Anaheim this summer where I hope to go on the Dodger Stadium tour while I’m down there.

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