|Dodger Stadium / Los Angeles Dodgers|
|The Blue Standard|
|Some Dodger Stadium Background|
When you talk about venerable major-league ballparks, a short list must contain Dodger Stadium. Built in 1962 by the O'Malley family and designed by Emil Praeger on the hillside of Chavez Ravine, Dodger Stadium for many years was the gold standard in ballparks, the facility by which all other ballparks were compared.
Year Opened: 1962
Owner: Los Angeles Dodgers
Cost: $23 million
Architect: Emil Praeger
Dimensions: 330L, 383LC, 400C, 385RC, 330R
Playing Surface: Grass
League: National League
Other Names: The ballpark opened as Dodger Stadium. When the American League’s Los Angeles Angels played there, their announcers would take great pains to call the ballpark Chavez Ravine and not Dodger Stadium.
Other Tenants: None currently. The Los Angeles/California Angels played at Dodger Stadium from April 17, 1962 to September 22, 1965.
First Game: On April 10, 1962, Kay O’Malley tossed the ceremonial first pitch to catcher John Roseboro to open the new ballpark. The Dodgers lost to the Reds 6-3, with Cincy’s Wally Post hitting the first homer. Though there were some early problems (there were only two working water fountains on Opening Day), overall Dodger Stadium was well-received by the local sporting community.
Landmark Events: Dodger Stadium has hosted eight World Series, with the Dodgers winning four (1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988). In 1963 the Dodgers swept the Yankees 4-0 behind Sandy Koufax, who three complete games in Games One and Four (striking out 15 in Game One). In 1965 the Dodgers needed seven games to dispatch the Minnesota Twins, winning all three Series games played at Dodger Stadium. In 1981 the Dodgers once again faced the Yankees, coming out on top four games to two: this Series may be better remembers for Yankees reliever George Frazier losing three of the four games. The 1988 World Series had one of the more memorable moments in World Series history, when pinchhitter Kirk Gibson homered off Oakland reliever Dennis Eckersley to give the Dodgers the win in the opening game. The real hero for the Dodgers, however, was pitcher Orel Hershiser, who won Games Two and Five in complete-game performances. The 1980 All-Star Game was played there was well, with the National League winning 4-2. Steve Stone threw three shutout innings, but the Senior Circuit took the lead for good when Phil Garner scored on a Willie Randolph error. Ken Griffey Sr., who homered off Tommy John, was named MVP. Also, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass there in 1987, and the Three Tenors reunited there in 1994.
Parking: There's plenty of parking in the Dodger Stadium lot for $15. Forget about parking outside the ballpark and walking in.
Address/Directions: 1000 Elysian Park Av., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Chavez Ravine is northeast of downtown Los Angeles. As multiple freeways converge near Dodger Stadium, there are multiple routes to the ballpark, and most of them are visibly marked with signage. From I-101: Exit Alvarado, go north, then turn right on Sunset. Go approximately one mile and turn left on Elysian Park Avenue. You will run into Dodger Stadium. From I-110: Take the Dodger Stadium exit and go straight off the off-ramp. You will run into Dodger Stadium. From I-5 Freeway South: Exit Stadium Way, then turn left and follow the baseball signs until you enter Dodger Stadium. From I-5: Exit Stadium Way and turn left on Riverside Drive. Turn left onto Stadium Way and follow the baseball signs until you enter Dodger Stadium off Academy Road.
YOUR QUICK BALLPARK GUIDE
Best Sections to View a Game: There are not many bad seats in Dodger Stadium; conversely, most of the seats are really great as well. Obviously you’ll have the best views between the bases (and you’ll pay for the privilege of being close to the field; the loge boxes are not cheap), but Dodger Stadium was designed solely for baseball and the seat orientations reflect that.
Best Cheap Seats: In general, the Dodgers offer a wide array of affordable seats. We’re partial to the $10 Top Deck seats, located behind home plate: from there you can see the on-field action from a great vantage point as well as take in the lovely California sunsets. The $17 Left Field Pavilion seats are a great buy as well. Sadly, the Dodgers converted the right-field Outfield Pavilion seating to a more expensive, all-you-can-stuff-in-your-face feeding trough and raised priced accordingly.
Seats to Avoid: Really, we can’t think of any. Dodger Stadium features a slight horseshoe shape, so any seats down the lines will be oriented to the infield as the grandstand curves in. One can argue the Club Level is a little overpriced at $64 (the views are great behind the plate, but the amenities are lacking when compared to club levels in other MLB ballparks), as are the infield loge boxes at $55, but in general there are very few seats to avoid in Dodger Stadium.
Most Underrated Sections: The Left-Field Pavilion seating area is only $17, and you feel like you’re in your own separate little ballpark. Actually, you are: you can’t enter the Dodger Stadium grandstand with a Pavilion ticket (similarly, those with tickets to grandstand seating can’t enter the Pavilion), and that section features its own concessions and restrooms; the only drawback is the limited view of DodgerVision scoreboards. Similarly, we think the Top Deck seats are underrated: since they rarely sell out, you can stretch out and have a great view of the ballpark and the game.
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