How is it possible that I have had this blog for three years and have not written about Dodger Stadium, one of my favorite things about Los Angeles? Probably because I hadn’t been there for four years. I kept saying, “I’ll go soon,” and then the season was over. Well, I finally made my way back to Chavez Ravine on Wednesday, for Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
I was able to score a ticket on StubHub on the morning of the game for $13. I know the Dodgers were facing elimination and it was a mid-week day game, but come on, $13 for a playoff ticket?! What kind of a sports town is this?
In any case, the stadium was gleaming, a result of the $100 million dollar renovation that started last off-season. I was absolutely thrilled that they have restored the hexagon shape to both outfield scoreboards. The symmetrical stadium was originally built with identical scoreboards. But when a video screen was added at some point, one became a square. The unevenness always offended my obsessive compulsive tendencies, but now that has been rectified.
The renovation was supposed to include improved Wi-Fi and cell service. However, the Wi-Fi was not working (on my phone, at least), and cell service was terrible. I could not even send out a tweet of a picture of glorious Dodger Stadium.
I also wish they had done some work in the parking lot. The lot is massive, and there are not enough signs to help narrow down where you parked your car. Knowing this, I made sure I walked back the exact same way I walked in. Otherwise, there is no way I would have found my car among the 16,000 vehicles parked there.
The Dodgers new ownership does deserve credit for pricing parking at a very reasonable $10, down from $15 under the evil Frank McCourt. Since there is virtually no public transportation option and almost everybody has to drive there, it is nice that we are not getting gouged. Actually, $15 isn’t even that bad, considering that parking at Citi Field in New York is $20 and parking at private lots near Wrigley Field in Chicago can run as high as $45.
Overall, a trip to Dodger Stadium is always an enjoyable time. I do have one complaint, though, that will outrage some. I have been hearing about Dodger Dogs my entire life — “the best ballpark hotdog ever!” As a hot dog lover I couldn’t wait to eat one. I was expecting some sort of taste sensation. Instead, it was a typical ballpark dog, and a substandard one at that. It didn’t stop me from getting another one this time, but alas, I was disappointed yet again.