Note: 'A date to remember' is a new blog series that speaks to the importance of particular
April 6, 2015 was Opening Day for the 2015 Major League Baseball season. For half of the teams in the league, that Monday meant a home game; for the other half, of course, it meant an away game. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, April 6th meant a home game. Go Blue, right? [That color, by the way, is the official Dodger Blue color hex #1e90ff, for those of you who care about such things.]
Let's get right to the point: The purpose of any professional sports franchise is to make money.
Is there anyone who doubts this? At Dodger Stadium, parking from 2013 to 2014 increased 50%, from $10 to $15, and from 2014 to 2015, it increased an additional 33%, from $15 to $20. I doubt most of us received wage or salary increases that matched the increases in parking prices. Ticket prices have increased as well, although not as much as the cost of parking. [Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2014]
In the past — that is, until 2010 — tailgating was allowed inside the parking lots at Dodger Stadium. The practice, a long-time tradition remembered fondly by many loyal fans, was halted by Frank McCourt that year, citing rowdy behavior and public drunkenness as the primary drivers for the ban. As a result of the ban, tailgating moved from inside the parking lots of Dodger Stadium — a controlled space — to Elysian Park and the surrounding neighborhoods, including Echo Park and Solano Canyon.
"In addition to being the start to the at-home season, [opening day] kicks off a season of
There is a solution, however: Bring tailgating back to Dodger Stadium!
Clicking on the link, above, takes you to a petition to the Dodgers new ownership and the McCourt Group to allow tailgating inside the parking lots of Dodger Stadium once more. Other MLB franchises allow it — notably Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and even Angel Stadium in Anaheim — so why not bring it back to Dodger Stadium?
Not in my back yard!
The Dodgers claim that the 'fan experience' — their words — is the thing that is most important to them. First, let's not forget the fundamental fact that The primary purpose of any professional sports franchise is to make money. So by sloughing off any responsibility for tailgating onto neighboring communities, the Dodger organization and the McCourt Group can remain pristine, their corporate hands unsullied by any potentially ugly fan behavior, while those same neighboring communities (and Elysian Park) bear the brunt of trash, public urination, and drunken behavior, all of which could be controlled much more easily if tailgating were permitted in the parking lots of Dodger Stadium.
We wish the Dodgers well in their current season.
Photo credits: Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2015
About the Author
Bouett is a retired research scientist and registered professional
engineer who now conducts historical and genealogical research
full-time. A ninth-generation Californian, he is particularly interested in the displacement of the nearly 1,100 families that lived in the Chavez Ravine communities of la Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop to make way, ultimately, for the construction of Dodger Stadium. His ancestors arrived in California with Portolá in 1769 and came to Los Angeles with the founders on September 4, 1781.
"Thank you for such an informative site which highlights the plight of those relocated from Chavez Ravine. My stepfather was a happy child growing up in the Palo Verde area. He had many stories about living in the area and working at the [Ayala] store."