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Dodger Stadium Beats Angel Stadium … Well, Duh

July 12th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Angels, Baseball, Dodgers

That has to be the “sun rises in east” headline of the week, right?

Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium … shouldn’t even be in the same discussion. It wouldn’t occur to me to compare them.

And I usually don’t write off of what other people have said, but Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times actually attempted to make a case for Angel Stadium. Yes. Over Dodger Stadium.

So, after cleaning up my chocolate-milk spit-take … I have two words (well, then, and some others) to contribute to the discussion:

1.  57.

2. Freeway.

That is the eight-lane highway that about 80 percent of the patrons at Angel Stadium can see behind the stadium in center and right fields.

Behind the fence at Dodger Stadium? Hills. Trees. Grass, for most of the year.

Angel Stadium never allows you to believe you have escaped the city for some little patch of rural splendor.  Not with that elevated freeway out there.

Dodger Stadium? You could be out in the country somewhere … with tens of thousands of your best friends, of course.

It gets worse, in Anaheim. During the makeover there a few years back, the Angels constructed in center field a monstrosity — a faux bit of mountain scenery. It is a hideous mess of fake rock, trees and moss that is supposed to invoke … what? The Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm? The Matterhorn at Disneyland? It is an eyesore, and was from Day 1. I remember going in there for the first time, post-remodeling and saying, “what the …?”

This one just isn’t close. Never has been. And won’t be, unless the Angels get a stadium built in the Anaheim Hills. As opposed to the current locale, where you’re never out of sight of a major highway — the 57, or Katella or Orangewood or State College — or that plastic pile of junk in center field.

Oh, and Angel Stadium has that train station out behind center field,  too. Nothing like a clackety-clackety train sound to make you think “national pastime!” The Dodgers have the Union gas station, but that is more a charming museum piece, now, than a visual pollution.

So, Plaschke is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. About which stadium is a better place to see a game.

Two mitigating concepts.

1. I understand the difficulties of writing multiple columns per week. It’s not easy to come up with a new idea that often and sell it hard. Even if you don’t really believe what you’re writing (which does happen, now and then). I’m thinking Plaschke wanted to write something ball-oriented and provocative, with the All-Star Game in Anaheim, and arguing that Angel Stadium is the better ballfield, well, people will talk. And mock. But they will talk, and that’s half the job-description of a columnist.

2. If we expand the definition of “better” to include aspects not about watching the game … then we have a discussion. Which is much of what Plaschke was aiming at, I believe … though it wasn’t played that way or led that way.

Lots of things around Dodger Stadium are difficult. When you are not in your seat in Dodger Stadium … then, yes, Angel Stadium can compete.

Dodger Stadium can be a nightmare to enter or exit, via car, and rigorous to walk around (all the stairs, and the climbs from one parking lot to another). The concession situation at Dodger Stadium always has been a problem, with long waits and often shabby food, the iconic Dodger Dog aside.

The crowds can be rougher, in Dodger Stadium, particularly in the pavilions. And just the idea of the McCourts turning a profit off your being in the yard … well, that has a crawling-skin feel to it, too.

Also, journalists like Plaschke spend most of their time in the press box, and in that regard Dodger Stadium also suffers.  Those of us who have media credentials shouldn’t view a yard through the prism of the reporting experience, but it’s hard to winnow it out, and Angel Stadium is most certainly an easier day for the scribes.

The Anaheim press box is far larger, the dining room far more expansive. The clubhouses for the players are about 300 percent bigger, and it’s possible to turn around without bumping into some scowling player. The Dodger Stadium visitors clubhouse is particularly cramped and primitive. (Randy Johnson reportedly didn’t want to play for the Dodgers because of the clubhouse situation.)

But those are peripherals. They can be fixed. Maybe they will be, some day. Now that we think about them, they should be.

When we get back to the basics … the layout of the stadium, the sweeping regularity of the pastel seating layout, the view from the seats, the view from outside the stadium (downtown Los Angeles, spectacularly lit up, at night) …

I don’t care if Dodger Stadium is the third-oldest park in baseball. I like it that way. Straight-forward but noble. Functional and not tricked up.

Then it’s no contest. Dodger Stadium. By a landslide.

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dave // Jul 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Growing up I was a huge dodger fan, not anymore. I dread going to dodger stadium now, it’s not the same. I have now become an angel fan, stadium is nicer and the family atmosphere better. Access in and out of the stadium EASY because the freeways are just there. I love going to angel stadium now.

  • 2 Gigi // Jul 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    They have chocolate milk there? ;)

  • 3 James // Jul 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Of the two facilities, Chavez Ravine might be nicer (I disagree), but the staff there is hideous compared to that at Angel’s Stadium. In Anaheim, if I feel like getting a lawn chair out of the trunk before the game and indulging in an Adult Beverage of my choice, it’s usually no problem unless I’m doing something really stupid.

    Dodger’s Stadium? If I close the car door and take a second to make sure I have the car keys in my pocket, some mouth breather from the parking lot crew is telling me I have to move along into the stadium or I’ll be arrested.

    I enjoy going to Angel’s Stadium – the staff at least smiles at me when they take my $12 for parking. I don’t go to Dodger’s Stadium anymore, and won’t go again for the foreseeable future. I don’t care how much prettier the facility is.

  • 4 Karl Hunugs // Jul 15, 2010 at 6:46 am

    No mention of the history of the two stadiums and what’s transpired at each?

    How bout the fact that when you go to Chavez Ravine and you look down on the field you think, “wow, Koufax, Drysdale, Snider, Sutton, Garvey, Lopes, Cey, Fernando, The Bulldog”, etc….

    Then you go to Angel Stadium and look at the field and say “wow Steve Sparks, Scott Spezio, Mike Napoli, JT Snow”…..not even close.

    To be fair the Angels did have the likes of Nolan Ryan, Fred Lynn, Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew….but notice how none of those guys were Angel products?

    Again, not even close. The Angels will always be the red headed step child of the Dodgers in SoCal and that will never change. 2nd fiddle suits them just fine. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim…..haha yeah right. Why not the Los Angeles Padres of San Diego or the Los Angeles Athletics of Oakland……lame.

  • 5 CJ // Jul 15, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I’ve never had a good experience at Dodger Stadium. It’s miserable getting in and out of there. My car came out with multiple dents and scratches from the tight park. Everything at Dodger Stadium is hideously overpriced. The vaunted Dodger Dogs taste like, well, overcooked hot dogs. The beer prices are through the roof and variety is lacking.

    And then there’s the fans. I’m a Pirates fan and wore a Roberto Clemente throwback jersey to a game. I was told that only because it was Clemente was the reason I wasn’t gonna get my ass kicked. Mind you, at the time the Dodgers were winning 10-0 and the Pirates were 30-59. I saw another fan getting pelted by garbage while security did nothing. I had a female friend, who’s about 5-2, nearly get attacked by a belligerent fan just because she dared to wear a Diamondbacks cap.

    The view might be nicer at Dodger Stadium, and the history might be better, but the concessions, parking, in-and-out access, and the god-awful fans make me want to visit Angel Stadium 10 times out of 10.

  • 6 James // Jul 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I’ll grant you the history, etc. of Dodger Stadium. All of it. No questions asked, hands down, but this site tells it all, ESPN’s Ultimate Standings among all 122 professional sports franchises in the US.

    Angels = #3. Dodgers = #72.

    http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/teamrankings

    It looks like one team is doing their job (providing entertainment at a good value in a pleasant environment) much better than the other.

  • 7 Tom // Jul 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I have season tickets to the Dodgers and everything that is being said about Dodger Stadium I have never seen. I wait till the last pitch to leave the game and even on sold out nights it has at the most taken me 10 minutes to get on the freeway from the time I got to my car. So far this season I have not had any wait to use the restroom or get a Dodger Dog and my tickets are on the reserve level so I’m not down in the expensive seats that have been redone. I guess the debate will always depend on what team you are a fan of because I could go on forever on why I dread going to the amusement park in Anaheim they call a stadium.

  • 8 Dakota // Oct 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Dude I’ve beeh to both of those stadiums. Dodgers Stadium wasn’t that good and Angels Stadium was awesome. Angels Stadium is way better!

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