Name: Dodger Stadium
Location: Chavez Ravine, California
Opened: 10 April 1962
Cost: $23 Million
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.
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