Attending a baseball game in Dodger Stadium was a surprising experience. It was all about expectation and location. I expected a normal stadium (it isn’t) and I expected a urban local (not even). Living in LA means sitting in your car a lot. Hopefully, moving in your car, but most likely just sitting. I lived in the high desert of San Bernardino County, so it was a good hour drive from my home to Chavez Ravine. After so much start and stop, I exit the 5 onto Stadium Way which then winds through Elysian Park past the Chavez Ravine Arboretum. While driving through a park I saw families eating picnic lunches. I began to question if I was in the right place. At that point the trees opened to provide a view of one of the most unusual stadiums in baseball. From the parking lot the Think Blue sign is large and sets a very Hollywood sign tone for the experience.
Dodger Stadium is a unique stadium for so many reasons. It is one of the few MLB stadiums along with Kaufman Stadium that seems to exist in a rural setting. Dodger Stadium is carved into the side of a mountain, which means that many fans enter the stadium from the top deck and then filter down. The back deck of the stadium offers a fantastic view of down town LA. The stadium is downright pastoral with views of the park in the outfield and landscaping up and around the outdoor escalators that take spectators to the upper reserve seats.
The stadium is one of the most confusing to walk around in baseball. New stadiums are built to allow fluid movements of crowds around the stadium with great views of the playing field from many angles. Dodger Stadium is the third oldest park behind Wrigley and Fenway and at times difficult to navigate Different tickets let you into different levels (Reserve, Upper Reserve, Lodge Box, Field Box) of the stadium and it is not as obvious as club level seating is today.
The famous food to get in at the limited concession stands is the Dodger Dog. These are generally pedestrian hot dogs that are also available at local LA area grocery store. I think the fame of the hot dog has more to do with the poetic alliteration than the quality of the product.
The Dodgers are in a process of modernizing the park which include adding additional concessions, restrooms and increasing the team club house to modern standards. This already included massive construction in the bowl area of the stadium (see below) and will eventually include a bigger event center on the grounds.
As with all MLB teams located in the west, Dodger games have an interesting flow to them. Since most MLB games are complete by the time the games start in the west, the games feel like an after party, played when everyone else in the country is going to bed, so very LA.