A few weeks ago I moved to Los Angeles to start a new job. For the most part, all I have been doing is working. I have become familiar with the 110 freeway, the two-block radius around my apartment, and the two South Los Angeles surface streets I take once I exit the 110 to get to and from work each day. Other than that, I really have not seen much of L.A.
Last night however I was able to secure a few cheap tickets to the Dodger’s game against the Washington Nationals via Craigslist.* In a titillating pitching match-up, the great Livan Hernandez matched Hiroki Kuroda for seven innings before turning the game over to the bullpens. The game went to extra-innings, where the Duds won on a James Loney walk-off base-hit in the bottom of the tenth.
*Is there really any reason to purchase single-game seats direct from teams any more? By purchasing second-hand from somebody via Craigslist on the day of the game, you can easily cut your purchase price in half. People selling game-day tickets on Craigslist have minimal negotiating power. Almost always they are people who cannot make it to the game and will take whatever they can get for their tickets. Yesterday, I secured four $35 tickets for $15 each, and frankly, I probably could have gotten them for $10 each.
The game was not overly exciting, and the outcome somewhat disappointing, but it was nice to see Dodger Stadium for the first time. Here are a few observations:
- Access into and out of the stadium is a nightmare. There is minimal public transportation to the game, which means everybody is forced to drive there. The problem is there are not many ways to access the stadium, which creates huge traffic jams. No wonder Dodger fans are notorious for arriving in the 3rd inning and leaving by the 7th. The traffic is not worth dealing with.
- I have never experienced such long lines for food at a baseball game. The cost of my hot dog and beer was much more than the ridiculous $15 purchase price. I also missed the entirety of two innings.
- Speaking of hot-dogs, I was pretty disappointed with my “Dodger Dog.” The “all-beef” dog was thin, wrinkly, and lacked flavor. The bun to dog ratio was way off as well. The thing tasted like a hot dog bun with mustard, ketchup, relish, and onions spread over it. Which isn’t terrible if you are super hungry at home and have nothing left in the fridge/pantry. But for $5, I want to be able to taste at least some of that “all-beef” goodness.
- The home bullpen is one of the sorriest things I have ever seen. Tucked away in left-field, the Dodger’s bullpen is tiny, surrounded by a hideous chain-link fence, and is stocked with flimsy lawn chairs for the players to sit on. That’s the type of accommodations I expect the visiting team’s bullpen to receive. Not the home team.
- Finally, the bathrooms. The stadium is old, so it should come as no surprise that the bathroom’s are pretty ancient as well. They are not necessarily dirty. Just old. As with many restroom’s at old stadiums, the urinals are trough style. Some people dislike trough’s in public facilities, and they are rarely installed at newer stadiums. But personally, I don’t mind them. The line moves quicker. Trough’s allow for a more efficient use of restroom real-estate, and personally, I don’t feel like there is an alarming reduction in privacy. Lets be honest, people who want to “sneak a peak” can do so at traditional urinals nearly as easily as trough style urinals.