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Ballpark Profile: Dodger Stadium

Ballpark Profile: Dodger Stadium
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Name: Dodger Stadium

Location: Chavez Ravine, California

Opened: 10 April 1962

Architect: Praeger-Kavanaugh-Waterbury

Cost: $23 Million

Capacity: 56,000

Surface: Santa Ana Bermuda Grass

Well, we've done it. This is the thirtieth and final Ballpark Profile for the 2020 baseball season. And we're ending with an enigma, a ballpark that doesn't seem to fit any category, that doesn't have any comparable park in baseball, and is, by definition, one-of-a-kind.

Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, nearly sixty years ago. But, unlike Angel Stadium, Oakland Coliseum, and Kauffman Stadium -- the only other parks built within 15 years of Dodger Stadium -- it has never had a major or significant facelift. It is, for all intents and purposes, the same park as the day it opened.

Dodger Stadium, 1962

Dodger Stadium, 2018

That's not a bad thing; it's really like stepping in a time capsule. I love seeing a game at Dodger Stadium; it really does feel the way baseball was meant to be seen.

That being said, it (understandably) does not have the bells and whistles of the renaissance parks of the late 1990s and early 2000s, but that's not to be expected. For a park built before corporations got involved, Dodger Stadium does a lot of things right; the sightlines are great, and the concourses are better than they could be. Food options are good (maybe not great, but do you really need fine dining at a ballpark?)

Get me a Dodger Dog and a beer and I'm a happy man.

The down side to Dodger Stadium? Like everything else in L.A., it's the traffic. I hate southern California. I hate Los Anageles. I hate traffic. And Dodger Stadium was built as a shrine to Car Culture, which -- in the 60s -- must have been quite something. But it is the prototypical stadium-in-the-middle-of-a-parking-lot at its worst.

Los Angeles does have a proposed solution for this, to at least alleviate some of the load: a trailblazing cross-city gondola system that would take more than 5,000 fans per hour from several transit hubs (themselves with mass-transit connections) up to Dodger Stadium. A fast, convenient way to get to the game, help the environment, and get some outstanding views of the city.

I wonder if it will actually happen?

Like the Dodgers themselves, Dodger Stadium is a Classic. And with an outstanding ballclub (as I write this, one win away from another World Series Championship), Dodger Stadium is an absolute must-visit. But you'd better leave now if you're going to beat the traffic.

Have your own thoughts or memories at Dodger Stadium? Put them in the comments below for a chance to win a FREE PRINT from Ballpark Blueprints!

4 comments

  • Roddy Hopper: November 03, 2020

    I’ve never actually been to Dodgers Stadium, but I’ve been a Dodgers fan since I was 8 years old. That ‘88 World Series, the Kirk Gibson home run, Orel Hershiser’s performance… that was the reason I fell in love with baseball as a child.

  • Daniel: October 29, 2020

    Excellent summary on Dodger Stadium! Once I beat some traffic, I was able to enjoy a game from the third baseline. There was a unique appreciation for history of the ballpark. Enjoyed the simplicity of being able to enjoy the game without all the fanfare that is found at ballparks today. The Dodger Dog lived up to the hype too!

  • Laura: October 28, 2020

    Your review is spot on! I made the mistake of not leaving my hotel early enough for the game. An hour and a half later in traffic, I arrived in the bottom of the fourth. Just enough time to grab a Dodger Dog and beer and take in the ballpark. Such an appreciation for the ballpark and history. I’m happy to have crossed this ballpark off my list! Thank you for bringing back a great memory and trip for me.

  • Marty Boylan: October 27, 2020

    Great print great stadium got to see my first mlb game there with a Barry Bonds being thrown out at the game. Look fwd to the new changes at the stadium when baseball returns as well as a good old dodger dog

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