Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Our staff was finally able to attend a Los Angeles Dodgers home game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California earlier this week. Of the 12 Major League ballparks our staff has visited, we haven't seen a more beautiful setting for a ballpark than Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles' Elysian Park neighborhood. Dodger Stadium is the largest ballpark in Major League Baseball, the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (founded in 1962) and certainly has witnessed it's share of historic moments. 

Entrance gates to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The absolute worst part about attending an LA Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium is the traffic that you'll have to battle to get up to the stadium. It's absolute hell and you won't believe me until you see it for yourself. Los Angeles has the worst traffic problem in the United States. The city just doesn't have the infrastructure to handle that many residents. If you work in the Los Angeles area and get off of work at 5 PM, making it to the weeknight games on time will be very challenging. However, once you travel the windy roads that lead up to the ballpark and see the beautiful palm trees and mountainous landscape, you'll be glad you made the trip. Parking is $20 per vehicle and the attendant will hand you a free game program upon payment.

Grounds outside of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Once you leave your car, however, the confusion immediately begins. Where your seats are determines what gate you'll be able to enter. If you think you can just purchase an upper level ticket and sneak into the more expensive seats next to the field, you're mistaken. If you hold a field level seat, you might have to walk down the hillside via many flights of steps to get to your seats. This, of course, depends on what lot you park in; parking lot attendants will direct you where to park. On a more positive note, this will give you the opportunity to see most of the Dodger Stadium property. The large baseballs denoting former LA Dodger players was a neat touch. There were also life-size bobbleheads and numbers paying tribute to Dodgers players that have had their numbers retired including number 42, Jackie Robinson. 

Concourse at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. 

The concourses at Dodger Stadium are pretty easy to navigate. Walking the concourses, you're able to see the stadium's age. If your seats are on the field level, you'll only be able to access from the right field foul pole to the left field foul pole. If you have bleacher tickets (also called the Pavilion), you'll only be able to access the bleacher area and not the rest of Dodger Stadium.

Most of Dodger Stadium was full the night we attended; the Dodgers were hosting the Colorado Rockies. Our seats were in section 38, row F in right field. These seats are very close to the field and will run you $60 per ticket at face value. What you'll love about this section is that the rows are extremely small, so there aren't a ton of fans constantly coming and going from their seats. The seats are a distinct mustard yellow color and each seat has a cup holder. An upper level seat at Dodger Stadium will give you an excellent view of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. Although Dodger Stadium definitely attracts as many celebrities as the Staples Center, home of the Lakers, we didn't notice any on the night we attended. 

Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium

The staple food at Dodger Stadium is obviously the "Dodger Dog" which is a foot long hot dog that I found to be very good and as advertised. The entire concession stand they're served in is even named the "Dodger Dog Express". There's also the "Doyer Dog" which is the Dodger Dog with a touch of Latin flavor. And then there's the "Brooklyn Dog", a New York style hot dog that pays tribute to the old Brooklyn Dodgers. You would be smart to sample all three if you can eat that much. If I recall correctly, the hot dogs were $6. Most of the concession stands offered Bud Light and "Montejo", a popular Mexican beer. Beers are priced at $9. Many of the concession menus are written in Spanish.

In the left and right field corners of the stadium adjacent to the bleachers are bars that offer cocktails and flat screen TVs to watch the game as well as other Major League games being broadcast. All of the retail items such as hats, jerseys and other memorabilia were insanely overpriced and can be purchased much cheaper elsewhere. But as you know, baseball fans are suspect to impulse buys when visiting a ballpark they've never been to. 

View from the Right Field Pavilion at Dodger Stadium

I entered Dodger Stadium with one incident in mind. If you follow Major League Baseball as closely as I do, you may remember the Bryan Stow incident in 2011 in which two Los Angeles Dodgers fans violently attacked Bryan Stow, a fan of the San Francisco Giants. While I believe that fan violence can occur at any stadium or arena around the country, Dodger Stadium had received a terrible reputation for fan violence over the years. I, on the other hand, found Los Angeles Dodgers fans to be extremely engaged in the game, warm to fellow fans and welcoming to everyone in general. That all could change when the San Francisco Giants are in town but I found Dodgers fans to be very well behaved if that puts your mind at ease.  

Exterior view of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

Our staff was also fortunate enough to visit Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres and Angel Stadium of Anaheim, home of the Anaheim Angels, during our week long trip. Of the three Major League ballparks in Southern California, I would say Dodger Stadium is the second best although it certainly has the most history and the best fan base. I would call Petco Park in San Diego the best ballpark in Southern California and the most underrated ballpark in Major League Baseball. I can definitely see why the Padres were able to lure the 2016 Major League All Star Game.

Photo of downtown Los Angeles from Dodger Stadium. 

On the south end of the ballpark, you'll be able to find a beautiful view of downtown Los Angeles in the distance. Due to the air pollution, it can be difficult to catch a clear picture of downtown, as you can see above. If you're hoping for bars, restaurants and hotels to utilize before or after Los Angeles Dodgers games, you're out of luck. The stadium is completely secluded, a few miles from downtown Los Angeles and is a tough stadium to exit from after the game ends due to the traffic. And as far as I know, tailgating at Dodger Stadium has been banned indefinitely due to the violence and debauchery in the parking lots. There is also no public transportation servicing Dodger Stadium aside from the shuttle that boards at downtown's Union Station. 

Exterior photo of Dodger Stadium from the parking lot.

If you've never witnessed a game at Dodger Stadium, you're missing out. Baseball purists will love it. Fans will immediately be able to see just how different Dodger Stadium is from the other 29 Major League Ballparks. Just make sure you have a plan in regards to the traffic and your transportation mapped out well in advance.