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Is Dodger Stadium truly dangerous?

Apr 4, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

Dodger Stadium

The incident at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day has led to a lot of discussion about fan safety, but for some people who are familiar with Dodger Stadium, this is not a new problem. Here’s freelancer Paul Oberjuerge:

Aside from what appears to be the seriousness of the victim’s injuries, what is new about this?

It may be a dirty little secret, nationally, where the perception is that Dodgers fans are ultra-mellow. You know, “they come late and leave early!” thing. Too cool for school. In point of fact, Dodger Stadium has been filled with dozens, maybe even hundreds of thugs almost every game for years now. Obscenity-spewing, tatted-up gangsters, often-drunk, who can ruin a game for anyone in their vicinity.

They are particularly common in the pavilions and the top deck, but almost no part of the stands are safe, aside from the most expensive seats on the field level.

Yikes. I’ve only been to one Dodgers game in my life. I sat in the upper deck down the third base line where, according to Oberjuerge, the rabble like to rouse.  It was a weekend night and the beer was flowing, but I can’t say it felt hostile in any way. It just seemed like a lot of passionate fans were up there, not unlike the kind you’d see at many east coast stadiums, contrary to the popular stereotype of the L.A. baseball fan.

Was I just there on a good night? Is Oberjuerge right? Is Dodger Stadium a hostile place?  I have no idea.  The tale used to be that guards and ushers at Dodger Stadium were always smiling but always ruthless, enforcing a shiny happy code of conduct on people, turning the place into a somewhat scary but totally safe — maybe unnaturally safe and even sterile — playground.

Has this changed? I’m curious to hear from those of you who frequent Chavez Ravine of what the lay of the land is at Dodger Stadium these days. And how it compares to the Alston-Lasorda years.

  1. Tim's Neighbor - Apr 4, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    As someone who works in baseball, this VERY much sounds like an organizational problem. Not police, fans, etc. The Dodgers seem to be incredibly poorly run. Not that this is a surprise.

  2. andrebeingandre16 - Apr 5, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    i have a ticket plan in the left field pavilion at dodger stadium and go to about 30-40 games a year. i feel that people who are looking for trouble will find trouble at dodger stadium, especially in the pavilions and the lower reserve. i dont see much blue on blue violence, its usually fans of other teams who know the left field pavilion reputation and think they are tough. they try to get the crowd going by popping their jersey or chanting for their team. this never sits well with left field fans and people will throw peanuts and hot dog wrappers but nothing that will ever cause any serious damage. ive never been to wrigley field but i feel that the left field experience would match up simliar to the wrigley bleachers experience since it feels like a party in left field with very knowledgable fans. we always get on the left fielder and start chants. as far as the race issue i notice that many people feel that any latino in LA gear is a thug and left field is probably 60-75 percent latino. as a latino this never bothers me but i could see how people would feel uncomfortable, whether or not thats right is a different conversation. overall if youre a fan of the opposing team at dodger stadium expect to get boo’d but i would never say that dodger stadium is dangerous.

    • garlicfriesandbaseball - Apr 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      It’s one thing to be a fan of an opposing team and get “booed” ~ quite another to be an opposing fan and get your brains knocked out. Once is enough but it’s been more than once; a stabbling and again a shooting, resulting in a murder? For you to say you’d “never” consider Dodger Stadium dangerous is naive at best.

      • andrebeingandre16 - Apr 5, 2011 at 5:04 PM

        and 99% of the time they get boo’d its those 3 incidents that account for the other 1 %. its extremely sad to see this happen but it wont make me feel dodger stadium is dangerous.

  3. blabidibla - Apr 5, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I used to go to Dodger Stadium 4-6 times a year. Not anymore.

    Admittedly, I’m a Giants fan, and it used to be a good time bantering back and forth with the Dodger blue. About 5-6 years ago things started to change, though I’m not sure why. What was friendly banter became food and drink pelting the back of my head, and if I turned around I would be greeted with “wanna do something about it?” Calling security to deal with the thugs only aggravated the thugs that weren’t escorted out. After being followed to my car by three idiots looking for a fight a few years ago I’m done. I had to lock my family in the car while these thugs rocked the vehicle and harassed us while we waited for the entire hour long process of exiting the parking lot (and no security in the parking lot anywhere).

    I’ve been to parks all over this country, lots of great fans. Wish I could say the same for my local park. I’d rather drive to Anaheim.

  4. hbrules - Apr 5, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    MLB executives need to do to the Dodgers what SOCCER executives do around the world! If your fans are too dangerous or rowdy, the next game you play there will be NO fans allowed in the stands! This happens in Mexico and Argentina on a regular basis, and it would teach the DODGERS a lesson!! Provide security! The Next game between the Giants and the Dodgers in Los Angeles should be played in an empty stadium!!! That would send the STRONG message that the Dodgers “NEW” fans are used to and need to see!!

  5. hbrules - Apr 5, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    AHH! Dont you love these future democrats that Obama allows into this country!! They have more money to go to baseball games then most Americans because they get paid in cash, dont have to pay income taxes, and on top of that get welfare, food stamps, free health care, housing etc etc etc!! AHHH!! The sweet life of an illegal alien in Obama’s nightmare, called America!

    • rhandome - Apr 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      Ugh. Take this crap back to Stormfront or whatever Tea Party forum you regularly post in.

    • meeg2005 - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:00 AM

      LOL so inappropriate. using this as an opportunity to badmouth spics

  6. hbrules - Apr 5, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Dodger Stadium now represent the NEW Los Angeles . You have the Rich sitting in the 10% of the stadium that are good seats that include reserved parking so you dont have to mingle with the gang members, and the other 90% of the stadium is filled with “poor” hispanic gang members! Middle class Americans cant afford to live in Los Angeles or go to Dodger games!!

  7. kiddo99 - Apr 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    I am a white, middle class income female, and I choose to sit in the left field pavilion. I park outside the lots and have a 15 minute walk between my car and the stadium. I go to about 20 dodger games a year and I have never felt unsafe. I went to opening day, and yes, although the crowd was rowdy and the beer was flowing, the security teams were a LARGE presence inside the stadium. I thought they were quick to handle any possible incidents. Obviously, the parking lot security is lacking. Obviously, I hope they catch the guys who performed this senseless, abhorrent violence, which makes all dodger fans look like thugs. But I think anyone who feels unsafe inside the stadium must not have very much experience with sporting events.

  8. meeg2005 - Apr 11, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    BAH

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