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Could Dodger Stadium be shrinking soon?

Aug 22, 2012, 8:22 AM EDT

Dodger Stadium

This is not a news flash or anything, but getting into Dodger Stadium is a gigantic pain in the butt. While gorgeous, the Chavez Ravine location makes it not too easily accessible, and when you combine that with L.A. traffic and the fact that 56,000 people can fit in the place and really only have one parking option — a giant lot — it’s a recipe for madness and gridlock.

Bill Plaschke describes the scene for last night’s sold out Giants-Dodgers game — just chaos — and suggests a possible solution:

The Dodgers need to shrink the stadium. Fewer fans, fewer cars. Shrink it by replacing a bunch of seats with patios and railings and the kinds of restaurants that are landmarks in other stadiums. Transform the mammoth into a more intimate creature that has been so popular in other cities. Shrink it to also increase comfort, ambience and buzz.

And it’s not just one columnist’s idea. Plaschke quotes team president Stan Kasten, who talks as if it’s something the Dodgers are seriously considering. So seriously that one gets the distinct impression that it’s a plan of which Plashcke was made privy at some point and was waiting for a sell-out in order to float the plan out there.

If done right — and the pleasing Dodgers Stadium aesthetics are maintained, which some other plans have decidedly not done — it could work. 56,000 fans is an awful lot for baseball these days. If you open up the place a bit, lose some seats and add some other revenue-generating amenities and concessions you could definitely have something nice on your hands.

I think it’ll still be a pain cramming, say, 45,000 fans into the Dodger Stadium parking lots, but then again, they’ve been doing that for 50 years.

  1. pjmitch - Aug 22, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    ” but getting into Dodger Stadium is a gigantic pain in the butt”

    That is nothing compared to trying to get out!

    • gogigantos - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Getting there is a nightmare, normal for getting around in LA during daylight hours. Last I was there, and the several times before, lingering or getting out was done in frightening shadows and felt horror movieish, Ducking Fodgers, I wish the place was better, much better, fans in LA deserve a much better place, visiting fans also. A safer more fun Dodger Stadium,, so much for the management to do for LA, California, and baseball. I am not even talking about the team on the field. The ballpark needs to be brought back to the shrine to the game it should be before V. Scully is finished talking about it.

      • yankeesgameday - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Leaving a Dodger game at night is like being dropped by by denzel to play cards with some of his friends in Training Day

    • CJ - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Sounds like they need to implement the New Jersey plan to help resolve this issue: Let them park for free, and charge them to leave.

  2. escapingexile - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    As Dodger fans, yes, we know that it isn’t the nicest looking park around. We know that getting in is a nightmare so for those of us who care, we show up a little early. We know it’s a nightmare to leave, but we cram in like sardines and listen to Kevin Kennedy on the post game hopefully after a victory. For us though, it’s like going home. Yeah, it may be a little run down. Sure, it’s even been known to need a thorough cleaning a time or two. We see the idiots dodging cars at the Elysian Park entrance selling their knock off shirts and scalping their tickets. But you know what? It’s still home.

    • Marty - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      Get an apartment.

    • westcoastfan - Aug 23, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      Spoken like a TRUE fan escapingexile! When I’m at Dodger Stadium, it just feels right. I always get there early and I never have a problem getting into the park. As far as getting out, traffic is a part of L.A., whoever has that big of a problem with it is welcome to leave. Go Dodgers!

  3. snowbirdgothic - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    The Plaschke quote features paragraphs of more than one sentence. Clearly, it is a forgery.

  4. Brian Murphy - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    The only way I know that you can avoid the traffic at Dodger Stadium is to take a Metro rail train downtown and then get on the Dodgertown Express bus at Union Station. It drops you off behind the center-field field. It’s free, and I find it rather convenient. As long as you’re not in a hurry — taking the train, making your connections, and then taking the bus is slower than driving in anything but severe traffic — it’s not a bad option.

    • badintent - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:27 AM

      Public transportation is great for most of us, but for the Cali bubbleheads and their cars, it’s like being told they can’t wear their Oakleys or show off their breast implants. For both sexes.They have to make an entrance in their ragtops or hard top Ferrari. Public transportation ?That’s like asking LA “fans” to support an NFL team for 5 years. Mission Impossible.

  5. gloccamorra - Aug 22, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    It’s ironic that Walter O’Malley wanted the location because of the adjacent freeways – he thought getting to and from the game would be more convenient! As a former highway engineer, I can tell you the connection of the stadium to the freeway network leaves a lot to be desired. It would take city and state cooperation to make it significantly less inconvenient (notice I didn’t say more), and tens of millions of dollars. If the plan includes a new football stadium on the grounds – and that, I think, was a major factor in the sales price – then it will happen. Then the Dodgers can address the multiple parking lots traffic flow issue. Having traffic signals in the parking lots is a clear sign the internal system needs to be changed substantially.

    • badintent - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:31 AM

      Here’s how me and the boys fixed the San Diego Stadium . After a Charger game, the idiot parking Nazi had locked a couple thousand cars in with locked chain gates to slow the traffic out after the game. We got 10 guys to push the gates and break the chains.Don’t mess with Brooklyn,. Cali fools.

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