With a tribute to Kirk Gibson’s historic walk-off home run in the 1988 World Series, a slew of new food items and technology updates, the Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to make the 2018 Dodger Stadium season a memorable one.
After several years of ballpark changes, the Dodgers have slowed down on the facilities front in the last few seasons and focused more on the food and beverage fan experience. Not a surprise: the Dodgers are a contending team and a favorite to return to the World Series this season. Still, the Dodgers announced one small ballpark upgrade sure to generate some fond memories. The Dodgers will permanently mark a commemorative seat located in the area of the Right Field Pavilion where Kirk Gibson‘s historic walk-off home run landed during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The “Kirk Gibson seat” is the first seat at Dodger Stadium to be marked in tribute to a historic event. Section 302, Row D, Seat 1 in the Right Field Pavilion will be painted blue and adorned with Gibson’s painted signature, as well as a historical marker. Sold as a pair with Seat 2 in Row D, the Gibson seats will cost $300, which includes two commemorative t-shirts and food and drink in the Coca-Cola All-Inclusive Right Field Pavilion. Also, $200 of the $300 purchase price will be donated to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s research.
In addition to the Gibson seat, the Dodgers will offer a new Field Level seating option available for the 2018 season with the Field Drink Rail Seats, which will include a table top and barstool seating at the top row of sections 1-13.
Los Angeles Street Food at the Ballpark
On the food front, the Dodgers and concessionaire Levy Restaurants introduced 11 new items for 2018. Los Angeles has evolved into quite the foodie town, and the new food offerings reflect that standing. We’re not just talking about revved-up Dodger Dogs, but unique dishes that reflect the diversity in today’s Los Angeles. Here are the dishes we’re excited to try later this season:
- The Cheeto-Lote, shown at the top of this article, is a roasted sweet corn on the cob, covered with chipotle lime mayo and crumbled Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Elote is classic Los Angeles street food, which is the theme this year at Dodger Stadium concessions. It’s available at the Elysian Park Grill locations.
- The Spicy Chicken Sandwich (shown below), features chicken tenders tossed in buffalo sauce, topped with ailoli and pickles and served with jalapeno slaw. Another chicken dish worth noting: a Chicken N’ Waffle Sammy. The name sums it up.
- New LA On Deck Circle stands will features a variety of local options, but the clear star will be tortas available with carne asada, nopales (cactus) and pulled chicken versions, served with jalapeños, cilantro, refried beans, pickled onions and more. It’s shown above.
Dodger Stadium Technology Upgrades
Finally, the Dodgers made some behind-the-scenes upgrades on the ballpark technology front—the kind of tech changes that most fans won’t notice but will make a different in the daily operations. The technology upgrades focused on expediting the entry process, shortening wait times at concession stands and accessing DodgersWiFi, a faster public wireless network.
Fans at Dodger Stadium became the first in the country to use near field communication (NFC) ticketing technology, allowing them the option of an expedited entry process by simply tapping their devices with an Apple Wallet on turnstiles. MLB has been pushing the use of Apple Wallet as a ticketing tool, and that effort is now realized at Dodger Stadium. Fans without the Apple Wallet will still be able to enter the stadium by having the barcode scanned on their print-at-home tickets and MLB’s Ballpark App on their mobile devices.
Photos courtesy Levy Restaurants.