June 20, 2008

Dodger Stadium Makes Al Gore Cry

So I'm leaving tomorrow for a week-long trip to SoCal hitting up L.A. for five days and San Diego for two. Both the Dodgers and the Padres will be in town while I'm there. While I'd like to see Petco Park, we only have two evenings in town. Plus they have some horrible interleague series going on that I have zero interest in.
Dodger Stadium on the other hand is legendary. It's a spot that I'd truly love to see. Not to mention the fact that the Freeway Series is going on while I'm there... Angels vs. Dodgers. And not to mention that surprisingly tickets are available.
Our loyal readers know how much my wife loves baseball. So convincing her to go to a game at Dodger Stadium when we're already spending a day of our time later this summer in Chicago to go to Wrigley is pretty much out. Have no fear though. We will be staying with the wife's college roommate. I could be a great husband and tell the ladies to have a fun evening off by themselves while I explore Dodger Stadium and Chavez Ravine. Right? Wrong.
You see, we are opting not to rent a car when we're in L.A. because (a) we'll be staying with aforesaid roommate who will be going out with us, and; (b) checking rental car rates online, it seems like rates are at least 36 times more expensive to rent a car than in someplace less exotic like Baltimore.
So I figure well hell, it's a ballpark. Thousands of people go there every night. There must be some sort of public transportation that goes there. Even if I have to take a train through Crenshaw to connect to a bus, at least it'd be accessible. I mean, a stadium that holds 56,000 fans must have some mass transit opportunities for fans to arrive at the game? Right? Wrong.

Dodger fans practice their well-rehearsed routine of staggering departures from the stadium starting with the upper-deck outfield seats in the first inning so that the wait to leave the parking lot is only three hours after the game.

Somehow, Dodger Stadium has exactly zero mass transit to the stadium. According to their website, the Dodgers have solved this problem by having one of the largest parking lots of any sports venue in the world and controlling access to parking lots so that cars are directed into a lot depending upon which of the various freeways within the SoCal freeway maze they are coming from. Apparently the Dodgers explored a mass transit program in 2004 where for Friday evening games, they ran a shuttle bus to Union Station in downtown L.A. (somewhat like if the Nationals ran shuttle buses to Metro Center). That lasted all of one season because, on average, only 400 fans were taking advantage of the shuttle bus option.
I suppose Los Angelians love their cars. And there's no way I'm taking a taxi to the Stadium because sitting in legendary L.A. traffic and watching the meter tick up on the now-exorbitant SoCal taxi rates (check it out online if you don't believe me) means that my taxi fare to and from the stadium would likely exceed the combined cost of a $20 upper deck seat with a view of the mountains, a Dodger Dog, and a beer, by about three or four times.
So there will be no trip to Dodger Stadium for me. Unless any of our west coast readers can recommend any good hitchhiking sites around the 110.

6 Responses:

SoxAddict said...

That's absolutely horrible. Maybe Dodgers fans have some underground secret carpooling forum that you could check out.

J-Red said...

You have to pick up a hooker to use the carpool lane. Larry David taught me that.

michael said...

Yeah, and very few freeways in LA even have carpool lanes. And nobody uses the ones that do since it is all solo drivers.

Number Three said...

Just a tip on public transport. Dodger Stadium is actually walking distance (broadly construed) from downtown LA. I travel to LA for work and usually get put up in a downtown hotel. If you can get to Little Tokyo or (even closer) Chinatown, then Chavez Ravine is walkable. I've done this, and it's not that bad--if you're in halfway decent shape.

There are plenty of public transport options downtown. It means a 30 minute walk, give or take, and I would recommend grabbing a cab back downtown after the game--that should run you around 11 bucks, but a beer at the stadium is 10 bucks, so it's a deal. The walk is mostly uphill, but if you walk (or jog) in LA, you'll realize how hilly it is.

Number Three said...

Oh, and let me add that Dodger Stadium is definitely a must-see. Worth a bit of a walk.

Anonymous said...

Yes, public transit access to Dodger Stadium is not what it should be, but it's not quite as bad as you've been told, either...just take the Metro number 2 bus to Sunset Blvd and Elysian Park Avenue. It's about a ten minute walk up hill, not too bad unless it's a horribly hot day. You can check out the local transit service at metro.net. Go Dodgers!

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