Dodgers Celebrate Heroes Week with Free Parking

6_8_09_dodger_sign.jpgPhoto from Union Station via JHVU/FlicR

The Los Angeles Dodgers, the same organization which refused to help fund bus service to the stadium and even mocked the service the nearly-broke City of Los Angeles provided at no-cost to them last season, found a new way to kick dirt in the eyes of its transit riding fans.  Via press release:

As the school season closes and spring turns into summer, the Los
Angeles Dodgers will provide Free Parking in the general lots at Dodger
Stadium for the three-game series June 16-18 versus the Oakland
Athletics. Gates open at 5:10 p.m. and game times are 7:10 p.m…

…"This gesture is our latest initiative to help ensure that all of our
fans can enjoy our National Pastime at Dodger Stadium," said Dodger CEO
Jamie McCourt, who helped create the Commissioner’s Fan Initiative at
the beginning of this season. "With the conclusion of the school year,
we want to make it even easier for families to spend their summer
evenings with us."

Well, now it’s official.  The Dodgers don’t consider people that don’t own cars part of their fan base.   For the record, the Dodgers parking lot fits 16,000 cars.  At $15 a pop, they are losing more revenue with this three day promotion to "all their fans" then they would have spent funding the bus service from Union Station to Dodger Stadium for the entire season.

  • Must not let the Dodger’s get away with that sign!

  • While the purists grapple with the correct placement of the apostrophe in that sign…

    The good news in all of this is the fact that July 21 is the 8th Annual ENVIRO night at Dodger Stadium. Imagine an empty parking lot as the fans all arrive on foot or on bike, a wee bit tardy after negotiating that hilland ready to tear into those vegan Dodger Dogs! Imagine the stands filled with Birkenstocks and the scent of patchouli wafting through the air! WooHoo!

    That Frank McCourt has his elbow firmly on the pulse of LA! (fingers still wrapped around the purse strings!)

  • Brian

    Want to break out your math for us? How many people are actually going to show up for mid week games against a last place team from a division we have no rivalry with? Did you see how empty the stands were over the weekend for a series against the world champions? Half the people there seemed to be wearing Phillies gear. Plus season ticket holders still have to pay for their parking. I’d guess there were 5,000 people paying for parking last week against the Dbacks at the most. Therefore he’s forgoing $75000 in revenue at the high end of estimates.

  • Fair enough. I was taking the 16,000 parking spaces and multiplying by the $15 it costs to park there. I would bet that the number of people paying for parking is much higher than 5,000 for a three game series. If you meant 5k per game, then we’re still talking about enough lost revenue to pay for 80+ games worth of Dodger shuttle.

  • But most importantly, how many Flying Pigeon bikes could the Dodgers buy and give away on “Bike Day” and when can we turn the parking lot into a Victory Garden?

  • Veronica

    Just got back from NYC and attended a Yankees game. Not only were the seats jam-packed, but getting there by public transportation (subway) was wonderful. If the Dodgers franchise really cared about its fan base, they’d make it easier to get there and back. I was ashamed to see the empty seats during this weekend’s series against the Phillies.

  • Doug

    Veronica, you may be the only person in the country who likes the new Yankee Stadium (and not just because they’re the Yanks). This is coming from a New Yorker: the best part is the mass transit line that has been there for nearly 100 years.

  • Erik

    Those of you who are enjoying the National League’s second-oldest ballpark might want to look around yourself the next time you visit and realize that Amsterdam, the size it was just before WW2, would fit into the area taken up by Chavez Ravine.

  • Wonder how bad the traffic will be that day. There is just not enough traffic capacity into Dodger Stadium – all those one and two lane roads going in and out are not conducive. Short of a gondola or helicopters, Dodger Stadium is a bad location for any sporting event.

  • Even without Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers have held the top spot in the power rankings for practically the entire season. They have to keep going coz; they’ve always been my favourite teams in MLB. Just read about them here:

  • DJB

    That stadium is surrounded by so much land that could be redeveloped as a dense mixed-use project. I wish they would structure their parking and sell off the land to the CRA or something.

    You can already get to the stadium by transit off of Sunset if you’re willing to walk a few blocks, but I can see how that would be hard on the old timers.

  • Sirinya

    Thank you for writing about this. I get riled up every time I think about how the Dodgers organization refuses to recognize that it can make this really significant contribution to increasing the accessibility of Dodgers Stadium. Every time I read a quote from the Dodgers organization stating that they think that it is the responsibility of the city (or taxpayers) to pay for shuttle service to Dodgers Stadium (ie increase the accessibility of THEIR for-profit venue), I think, these people obviously don’t want us to find out that other sport teams pay to defray the cost of operating shuttles and additional subway trains to serve game-goers in other U.S. cities. For instance, the Nationals baseball team coordinates with their area transit agency (WMATA) to subsidize extra shuttles and trains based on attendance projections.

  • As much as that sounds rediculous I bet he’s making up the cost of the $15 parking in other ways, such as buying those kids “peanuts and cracker jack” root, root for the home team with the marked-up banner pins and foam fingers. This is a business 101 fundamental in having sales it draws you into one thing so they make it up in other ways.

  • Sharon McN

    This tactic isn’t for everyone, and is not an answer for people with disabilities, but my husband and I will often take the Gold Line to Chinatown and hike up for day games. The main attraction is avoiding the $15 per car fee. I don’t think I’d want to do that hike back from a night game, though.

  • Jeff Jacobberger

    From the standpoint of alternative transportation, a shuttle from Union Station to Dodger Stadium is putting lipstick on a pig.

    Instead, tear down the Sports Arena (which is hardly used and hideous). Build a new baseball stadium there; the footprint of Dodger Stadium would fit on the site of the Sports Arena and the adjacent parking lot.

    Voila. A baseball stadium that has excellent transit service from the Expo Line, the Vermont Rapid Bus and frequent bus service along Figueroa. Easily accessible by bicycle along the Expo Line bike path. With 81 baseball games plus concerts and other events, a baseball stadium in Exposition Park would provide an engine for economic development in South LA that far surpasses anything that would be generated by an NFL team.

    Then we can tear down Dodger Stadium, which while a lovely ballpark is not and never will be good for alternative transportation. Even if one could provide good transit access, its location and topography make it pretty inhospitable to bicyclists.

  • Wad

    Jeff, you have the right idea. One of the other things I would add — and it could work even in the present Dodger Stadium — is to cap the parking at 50 percent of attendance.

    This is what Hollywood Bowl does. Hollywood Bowl was built with the same early-mid-20th century architectural masturbation that thought the best way to appreciate nature was to carve out a foothill and place a public event venue for thousands entering and leaving at once. We have several of these abominations: Dodger Stadium, Rose Bowl, Ford Amphitheatre, Greek Theatre.

    One consequence is that it’s hell on traffic flow and it’s hell to park. Hollywood Bowl got around the problem by providing parking at Highland & U.S. 101 for no more than half of Bowl’s capacity. If you figure that at least two people would be going in a car, that means the Bowl only has parking for 25% of the cars that would be going to the area.

    Everyone else has to take a bus. And amazingly, it hadn’t hurt Bowl attendance at all.

    Maybe this is how the city should be beating the McCourts over the head. Fine. The city will pick up the tab for running bus service in exchange for the Dodgers tearing up 75 percent of its parking lot.


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