It’s Official: Dodgers Not Willing to Pay for a “Few Buses”

3_20_09_Dodgers_Trolley_2.JPGOne of the "few buses" we won’t be seeing again this season.

Yesterday Dodgers owner Frank McCourt held court at a Town Hall Los Angeles luncheon where he addressed how the Dodgers are progressing in their $500 million renovation to Dodger Stadium and their $100 million spring training venue in Arizona according to a report in the Times.  He also mentioned that he believes it to be the city’s responsibility to help deliver people to the stadium via public transit so he can turn a profit.

That’s not exactly how he phrased it, instead he mixed his message on last season’s Dodger Shuttle, the bus service that moved an average of just over 700 people to and from the stadium for the second half of the season and post season:

"The trolley has been a fantastic success," McCourt said. "But it’s a
few buses. We need robust, muscular public transit for Dodger Stadium
to be a vibrant place. But that applies to the whole city, doesn’t it?"

Putting aside the reality that a 2008 federal law makes it difficult for agencies to provide transit service to sports teams, the Dodgers have refused to do anything to help the city cut the $400,000 price tag to run shuttle service for the season.  As originally reported last week at Blogdowntown, the team refused to help line up sponsors for the shuttle, in violation of its agreement last season with the City Council.

I do appreciate the regionalism and pride  that causes people to root for the local 9.  But given the team’s lack of loyalty to its fans, especially those that can’t afford tickets and parking; I have to suspect that at some point their fans will start showing the Dodgers the same respect they are shown.

Photo: The Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Erik

    Since McCourt made most of his money on parking real estate, this does not surprise me. He is bound to optimize for a full parking lot. But it ought to be low hanging fruit to get sponsors for the shuttle. I doubt LADOT can’t pull this off and get the person to do it to get paid by percentage so it doesn’t cost the city any money.

  • Is it just me or does it seem like back in the day capitalists used to have a lot more vision and scope in their ventures? Here this guy is spending all this money to renovate Dodger Stadium and bring it up to date and it seems he wants to leave some sort of legacy. He admits the need for “a robust muscular public transit for Dodger Stadium to be a vibrant place” and then he wants the government to do it for him? What’s wrong with capitalists these days?!?! Take that capital and BUILD something awesome, something well above the shitty mini-buses that the LADOT provided. The service doesn’t have to be profitable, hello, CAPITALIST. Not everything aspect of a business has to be profitable for the entire business to be profitable. Loss leader anyone? Capitalists today are so lame and boring. This why the most “lucrative” and “exciting” businesses today are glorified RSS feeds? Why bother with something with scale and impact, that’s the governments job.

  • Peter

    most sports fans are mindless drones — they do what they’re told and nothing more.

    at least overseas, some of the clubs have membership and the fans get some very small say in how hard and fast they get shafted. there is no such pretense here in the US, generally speaking. Green Bay stands out as one of the least criminal sports franchises in America, and that, obviously, is not saying much.

  • UGh. Glad I’m not much of a Dodgers fan. Not even willing to go halfsies, eh? Whatever. He won’t be getting any of my money any time soon.

  • PaulCJr

    The city should impose an infrastructure tax of some sort on the stadium. Why don’t we call it a sports stadium tax (that way its applied to all stadiums for fairness). The city could put it on the ballot explaining to the voters that this tax will support the infrastructure ( roads, metro system and shuttle buses, and sewage) used by the stadium. Sounds like an idea to me.

  • This McCourt guy has moxie. He’s got brass balls. He understands the legacy of the Dodgers in L.A.

    This isn’t about baseball for McCourt – it’s about continuing what the Dodgers started in the 1950’s.

    Think about: hosing Brooklyn to come to L.A.; ripping apart what was left of a local community to build a stadium on public land.

    This snub with the LADOT’s trolley is just part of the fun! McCourt’s taking our locally generated dollars and poured them into a $100 million Arizona spring training facility for his millionaire buddies to meet their escorts.

    So, you see, this is what Dodger Blue is all about: screwing the little people while reminding us “Don’t be baseball haters!”

  • Rachel

    So… is there any way to get to Dodger Stadium without driving? Is it bikeable? If so, is there a place to lock bikes outside?

  • Alex Brideau III

    Just rediscovered this article in the right column…. Oh what a difference new ownership makes! So, in 2009 the Dodger Shuttle averaged 700 riders per game. Anyone reading this know how many riders they averaged during the 2013 season!

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