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Some belated thoughts on Dodgers Stadium (my phone was out of juice the second I got in the park last night): the place really looks like they're broke.

I mean, it's hard to look at the park for the first time without letting your perceptions being colored by recent events. But if the Dodgers weren't broke, they would just seem cheap. Let's talk about the seats for a second. I am a modestly heavy adult American male, in other words your typical baseball fan. I was afraid my seat would not support my weight. And it wasn't just me – you could look around and see seats bending all over the place. The seats were molded plastic that are air-filled; many of the seats had seams that were breaking open, and they would sag considerably in the middle.
 
Or looking around the park, at the retired number displays above the bleachers in the outfield – as you go from left to right, you can see how faded the paint is the smaller the retired number. How much would it cost to touch those up with a little new paint? The answer – more money than McCourt has.
 
Now, far be it from me to try and suggest ways Frank McCourt could get more money, but let me suggest a way Frank McCourt could get more money – the Dodgers could keep the concession stands open past the seventh inning. I don't suggest that I should be able to get a beer in the eighth inning, but I should be able to get a Dodger Dog. They shut all the concessions down on the lower concourse by our seating area as of the eighth inning. I was utterly floored by this.
 
[On the note of Dodger Dogs: I got a Super Dodger Dog (the all-beef version), and lemme tell you, it's a hot dog. There's nothing wrong with that, I'm quite fond of hot dogs, but there's nothing special about it, either. Why Dodger Dogs are "world famous" is beyond me.]
 
The game was sparsely attended, which you think would leave the die-hard fans who just care about seeing the game. You would be wrong. Dodgers fans seemed to chiefely have two concerns:
 
1) Hitting a bunch of beach balls around, and
 
2) Doing "the wave."
 
All the SABR attendees were in the same section, and so the wave essentially died out momentarily every time it swept around to us. I'm so proud.
 
I also had the joy of meeting what I can only presume is the future Mrs. Ronnie Woo-Woo. It was a young lady sitting a few rows behind us, constantly screaing things like "Woo Dodgers Woo!" While her voice might've cracked and strained, she was unfatiguable – the only thing that interupted her was getting hit in the head by one of the aforementioned beach ball.
 
It's okay, though. I covered for her with a shout of "woo beach ball woo!"
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JosephC
7/09
Oh no, you missed a chance to use "indefatigable!" I'm with you on the Dodger Dogs, but Dodger Stadium doesn't seem at all dilapidated to me. (Haven't noticed anything odd about the seats, but I'll take your word for it.) It does look like it's been around for a while, though - there is some of the fading that 50 years of California sunlight will bring, and there's a lot more concrete than in the newer parks. Maybe that's not too different from what you're saying. As for fans, is there a park where you can expect a random fan to be able to tell you the score or the batter in the 5th inning without looking? (Honest question - everywhere I've ever been, the game's only gotten intermittent attention, with the exception of playoff games or the ninth inning of a close one.)
BillJohnson
7/10
I think it would be interesting to see reviews of ballpark experiences, stressing the kind of thing you hint at with your "random fan" comment and generalizing to the question "what's the 'best' and 'worst' park for the student of the game?" Or "attentive fan," "fact-oriented fan," choose your way of phrasing it. That's a somewhat different topic than "best fan experience," and I am unaware of reviews that have addressed this type of question. This said, having seen games in a majority of teams' home parks (and having a family project of seeing a game in all 30), my limited data base says that if you go to a game in Seattle, St. Louis or Boston, your chances of running into random fans who know exactly what's going on are very good. (I'll omit the ones at the other end of the scale, although one park stuck out in our experience.) Dodger Stadium is one we haven't yet seen, and based on this review, I'm almost tempted to make an exception and not bother with that one ...
LlarryA
7/12
About 7-8 years ago, I sat in the way-high, way-down the right field line stands at Wrigley, on a cold and rainy weekday afternoon in June. May have been the best fan experience I have ever had. Everybody was into it, a couple of other folks had scorebooks (not just me), the guy behind me kept asking me to check things in mine, like pitch counts per inning, GB/FB, that kind of thing. Cubs and Braves fans that come to AZ are loud, but have their heads in the game. Dodgers fans that come are pathetic, obnoxious without purpose. Only redeeming features is that they come late and leave early, just like at home.
ScottBehson
7/10
The Dodgers took out a huge loan against their future concessions income in order to buy the team. So, essentially, they make no money on cancessions anyway- I'm not suprised they shut down early. It would be interesting, though, if someone who was not well-versed in the mcCourt fiasco had a similar impression of the stadium.
drawbb
7/11
The place is a dump and has been for years. It has nothing to do with the McCourt ownership group.
ScottBehson
7/11
Yes, but I'm sure the number of deferred maintenance projects has creeped slowly upwards for 7 years now.
zasxcdfv
7/12
Dodger Stadium is lie Shea Stadium would be if (a) it didn't have to go through winter and (b) they didn't knock it down. Oh and the fans were entirely disinterested in the game and interested in annoying baseball fans with beach balls.