July 2, 2008

A Review of Angels Stadium from Amtrak Train 572

So as most of you know, East Coast Bias (well at least 1/4 of ECB) traveled west last week for a little taste of Southern California. Specifically, it was this quarter of ECB.

I didn't make it to Dodger Stadium. However, I was able to "visit" the other "Los Angeles" stadium when suddenly the Amtrak train that I was taking from L.A. to San Diego pulled into the Anaheim station and staring me down from directly across the parking lot was this:

Only a sports geek grabs their camera for a picture like this from inside a train.

Unfortunately the picture quality of the post isn't as good as the picture quality on my computer. But what you see before you is Anaheim Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

So initial point... when Artie Moreno insisted on tagging the team with the Los Angeles moniker to try to prank the rest of the country into thinking the Angels are also L.A.'s team, he pulled one of the biggest jokes ever. Granted, I'm no west coast native. But Anaheim seems to be practically a totally different city from L.A. to me. Hell, it was almost an hour by Amtrak train from downtown L.A. At that rate, Baltimore and DC would be the same city. If Moreno thought that tagging the team with the L.A. moniker would get him lots of play in the Los Angeles media.... well he seems to have guessed right based upon my observations during my week there.

Anyway, on to the stadium. Despite Amtrak and Metrolink servicing this station, really the only way to get there is to drive and park. Any game that goes past 10 p.m. means that there will be no train service home. Hence the ginormous parking lots that surround the stadium. I can't say for certain, but it wouldn't surprise me if Angels fans also park at the Honda Center (home of the Mighty Ducks) which is just on the other side of the railroad tracks from the stadium.

Basically, the only thing separating the stadium of 2008 and the stadium of mid-1980s Naked Gun is a few coats of paint to the outside and some Disneyfied landscaping on the inside (which is visible from the outside but not really in this picture - look at the palm tree inside the stadium just above the sign on the train platform... you can see the fake rock formations on either side of that in person). At left of the picture you can see the famous giant A that is even larger in person. The scoreboard is large and also looks like it has been renovated in recent years.

One of the funniest 4 minutes ever on film actually filmed at Dodger Stadium but who's counting?

Bottom line is the stadium seems cavernous for only holding 45,000 people. I can't really tell what would draw people to Angels games unless they live in Orange County and don't mind dealing with lots of traffic to get to the game and if they want the cheaper beer that Moreno started selling at the stadium as a promotion. It would be pretty cool to see Vladimir Guerrero at every game.

Aside from that, the stadium gets a C-. From the outside. From a few hundred yards away. From the inside of a train.

5 Responses:

Spokker said...

"Any game that goes past 10 p.m. means that there will be no train service home."


The last southbound Surfliner train departs Anaheim station at 10:49 PM daily. You'll have plenty of time to catch this train.

The last northbound Surfliner train departs Anaheim station at 10:18 PM daily. This one is cutting it close.

However, there is a northbound train that departs Anaheim station at 11:15 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is plenty of time.

J-Red said...

Assuming the game doesn't go extras, I guess. It would really suck to have to leave a 2-2 game in the 12th to make sure you catch the train.

Spokker said...

That's certainly one of the disadvantages to taking the train.

In other areas transit agencies offer special event service for ballgames. For example, Coaster does this for Padres home games. It offers a return trip 30 minutes after the game is over I believe, but I would have to double check.

Metrolink could offer something like that for Angels games. Unfortunately Orange County is so anti-rail that I doubt it would attract too many riders.

michael said...

Its not a bad stadium. If you are sitting on the field level you have a nice view of the rocks and waterfall. But if you sit on the upper deck your view is of the 57 freeway (a ten lane monstrosity) and the Honda Center.

I like the DC-Baltimore analogy, since Los Angeles and Anaheim are almost exactly as far apart as DC and Baltimore...and the same as San Francisco and San Jose...and you dont see any of those cities being commingled (except with the 49ers threatening to move to Santa Claram, but thats another story). There really are very few Angels fans in L.A., they really are OC's team. And from the fartherst points away in OC from the stadium (Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente), you are going against traffic to get to a night game, and are still only a half an hour away.

And NOBODY out here really likes the fact that the Angels are the second team from "Los Angeles." Angel fans dont like it because they dont want to be associated with LA (Orange County likes to distance itself as much as it can), and LA doesnt like it because the Dodgers are THEIR team. Its only for Arte and his wallet. But he has repaid that to the fans. Parking at Angels games is $8, whereas it is $15 at Dodgers games. And you can still get a hot dog and a beer at an Angels game for under $10, whereas that costs $15 at a Dodgers game now (and $18 if you want the large beer, which now runs $12.50).

It certainly is not as nice as Dodger Stadium, AT&T; Park, Petco, Camden or any of those...but it is definitely a decent and serviceable stadium. As someone who has been to half a dozen games there, I give it a solid B.

J-Red said...

Baltimore runs light rail 30 minutes after the game, and I don't think the issue has come up yet with D.C. Metro (til midnight on weeknights, 2a on weekends).

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