Ballpark Review: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

So, one last thing to talk about from my vacation to the other side of the country and that is my first experience at Dodger Stadium. It was, interesting to say the least.

Before heading over to Dodger Stadium on Friday night to see the club take on the Cubs, I was filled with hope. Every time you see Dodger Stadium on TV it looks really cool and that’s probably strictly because A. it’s in Los Angeles and B. it’s a historic place. So this night watching baseball in Chavez Ravine with two first place teams going at it was promising.

Before leaving my hotel I checked up online to find out what the best “Dodger bars” would be. See I think every stadium, especially the old school ones, should have bars that all the big time fans go to. Well, I kind of forgot that sports just don’t matter as much out in LA. The bars looked very hipsterish or like any place you might hit in a city on a night out. They weren’t baseball bars even if they seemed to have baseball names. So anyway, I hopped in the cab and rode through the LA traffic over to the stadium. Little did I know, the stadium pretty much stands on it’s own with big parking lots surrounding it. All of the bars were down the rode behind me in what honestly looked like kind of a shitty area. I decided this trip wasn’t the one to try them out because I didn’t feel like walking all the way back and was disappointed they weren’t a little closer to the actual ballpark.

Walking in through the parking lots was interesting. The Los Angeles skyline was in view as we seemed to be climbing a hill towards the stadium. It had kind of a Disney-like feel with the vast lots and the cars having to drive in through various little toll booth things. Once we got all the way up to the stadium and inside, it was neat to see that we had entered at the upper deck. We were in the nosebleeds looking down at a baseball field in a hole. I guess that’s why it’s called Chavez RAVINE.

So we walked down to our seats which were “premium” I guess because we got them from a company and they sounded swanky. The only difference once we got to them was that they had their own separate doorway to go through to get down to them. The seats weren’t bad, they just weren’t what we were expecting a nice seat to be. We were on the first deck on the 3rd base side which provided a nice view of the park and the mountain backdrop. I liked it a lot. It sounds corny but it’s one of those places that you can feel the history and you are kind of in awe of for about 15 minutes as you take it in.

The people at Dodger Stadium (and LA for that matter) are a weird group. We luckily sat next to a few guys who you could tell were big sports fans and had been coming to games for years. They were really nice and even bought me a beer since they thought it was cool I was from Boston. I think they wanted to get rid of the reputation Dodger fans have of being rude or violent. It was nice of them.

Anyway, the local beer was pretty bad and the service at the vendor was really bad. Not very friendly and barely understood our order. Add that with the fact that the Dodger Dog was pretty gross, they were out of ketchup and mustard at every dispenser near me and the margarita tasted like it was only margarita mix and I’d say the whole eating/drinking portion was really bad.

The place reminded me a lot of the old Yankee Stadium in that it was a historic but falling apart dump. Yankee Stadium was endearing though for some reason and this place just felt grimy. I’m really not that picky about a lot of things and I feel like I’m bashing this place. It had some good parts, like having a few nice team shops with one devoted to all Nike gear. The fact that it was a cool backdrop, played in a ravine and a historic place were it’s biggest redeeming factors for me (none of that mattered to my girlfriend, she hated it). I would say maybe we just caught it on a bad night, didn’t do it right or something. I wanna like it and I’ll give it many more chances over the course of my life because I love baseball, but for this go round the score is poor. I’ll give it a 4 out of 10.

*I did love seeing Vin Scully on the videoboard and hearing him talk about the night’s game. It was cool to be there in his last season.

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