Should The Dodgers’ Future Be In Downtown Los Angeles?
For the longest time, this author has often dreamed about building a new stadium for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Downtown Los Angeles. Since attending ballgames as a child in Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine, the way to Dodger Stadium through Elysian Park has always been magical. However, what Dodger Stadium lacks is ease of access to its confines.
Traffic is one thing. Location is another. Both are related. Once on site, Dodger Stadium provides a wonderful view from behind home plate looking towards Downtown, the Hollywood Hills, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. However, the problem remains that (1) it takes too long to get inside the ballpark leading to early and late attendance issues (not fair-weather fans as some analysts and critics have claimed over the years), and (2) its location exasperates the first issue and provides for little to no pre or post game fan experience opportunities.
As any fan or patron to Dodger Stadium can attest, you often arrive late and leave early to ballgames because of traffic and to avoid traffic. Arguably, the ingress and egress into and out of the stadium is the worst in Major League Baseball. Moreover, even though Dodger stadium is one of the most beautiful and well-kept ballparks in America, it has no rail transit or restaurants, bars, or shops within walking distance. Simply, it lacks basic accommodations, access, and the community aspect that many of America’s best ballparks provide.
For example, attend a game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and you can ride a train, ferry, or walk to the ballpark from downtown. You can also drive or bus into the stadium. Restaurants, bars, shops, and beautiful views of the three rivers that connect in the immediate area, the Monongahela, Allegheny, and the Ohio, make for a complete venue. San Francisco’s AT&T Park, Minnesota’s Target Field, San Diego’s Petco Park, Baltimore’s Camden Yards, New York’s Yankee Stadium, and Boston’s Fenway Park are all in the same breadth of beauty, thoughtfulness, and completeness.
Ballparks in the above mold are community hubs during season and in the offseason as well. Fans, patrons, and people getting together before and after games for food and entertainment, while contributing to the local economy. It is really a beautiful marriage and a great thing to experience.
Fans to Dodger Stadium have never experienced this in their home ballpark. Dodger Stadium has always been an enclave tucked away on a perch overlooking the city. A terrific thought for a public park, homes, condominiums, and shopping, but not for a ballpark that saw nearly four million visitors in 2016. Visitors that travel on the roadway into Dodger Stadium are doing so in peak congestion times and in bunches at a time. It is the perfect storm for traffic congestion in a city of 4 million and a county of 10 million people.
We obviously understand the difficulties in building a new ballpark. The recent investment and upgrades into Dodger Stadium alone would make it an unreasonable venture. The move of two football teams, a new soccer team, and new stadiums for each also presents issues related to spending, investment, and congestion. This all not to mention the emotional connection to the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball.
Aesthetically, how about a brick façade paying homage to Ebbets Fields in Brooklyn? How about a view of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline from every seat in the ballpark, not just from behind the stadium prior to entering?
In terms of infrastructure, how about rail transportation to and from the stadium? How about parking structures outside downtown and near the stadium where buses and rail take people to and from the stadium?
In terms of building the Dodger fan base and community at large, how about restaurants and bars that become establishments like those on Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park or on River Avenue or 161st Street outside Yankee Stadium?
How about the value in selling the land and the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium for preservation and development? The dollar figure alone would help subsidize a significant portion if not all of a new ballpark. Come to think of it, “Dodgers Ballpark in Downtown” has a nice ring to it.
We are not suggesting that a move is possible, but more that a move to Downtown would make wonderful sense. Remember the land area where the new Los Angeles football team was supposed to be built near L.A. Live and the Convention Center? Why not place the Los Angeles baseball team there instead?
A move to Downtown Los Angeles also alleviates the Dodgers two biggest problems: traffic and location. It solves those problems with existing public transportation and rail and lines that could be added in the Downtown area and outlying areas (e.g., Metrolink to Union Station). The plan would also bring together a downtown community and fan base before and after games. Folks could arrive earlier and stay late because there would be something to do besides sitting in a parking lot.
Possibly dreams in Blue Heaven, a beautiful one at that, but you heard it here first.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://dodgersnation.com/what-is-the-deal-with-the-dodgers-television-deal-je1083/2017/02/20/”]ICYMI: What is the Deal with the Dodgers Television Deal?[/button]
When they were building the subway system, I remember reading that the Dodgers were asked if they wanted a rail line to the stadium. They turned it down. There is significant revenue from parking fees. Plus, with all the stadium remodeling (Field and Loge being completely rebuilt) it doesn’t look like a downtown stadium will be built soon.
Dodgers stadium is less than a mile away from Chinatown Station. The problem is there is no pedestrian route over the 110 and up the hill. This could be rather easily and cheaply solved. Certainly when compared to a completely new ballpark.
A pedestrian way could be build up on both sides with bars and restaurants. Chinatown could be the jumping off point to a whole entertainment district that was open 365 days a year.
I like the idea of something like Angeles Flight, but way bigger/wider.
The Dodger Field of Dreams was built and the pepole came. Now milions of fans every year. . The population outgrew the transportation infrastructure in downtown L.A.Going to Dodger Stadioum fom points east, west, north and south stsrt out generally speed limit traffic. Crunch time is when approaching down town , regardless if there is a game at the stadium. It would seem to be a good idea is focus on additional modes of travel, in addition to the bus system specials. RTA and metro,possibly shuttle service, Maybe a Dodger Corridor leading from Down town right up into the stadium. The city needs improvement and expansion in the roadways so just do it and think 21sr century, go vertical. But keep the stadium where it is and people will come.
YES!! I had actually been thinking about this recently. Haha I wanted to tell Magic.
Dodger Stadium is iconic but it is old and it is very remote. Baseball stadiums are also actually a good fit for a downtown area as they have a lot of games per season, plus other events. Much better than a football stadium. They should build it where Farmers Field was proposed, next to Staples. DO IT!!!
I am one Dodger fan who would applaud better public transportation options to Dodger Stadium. I would never want to move the stadium however. I have been to a couple of the ballparks you mention and to me they do not inspire anywhere near the same feelings that I feel when sitting in the Ravine during an afternoon game and looking out at the palm trees.
If I were to advocate anything it would be a dedicated bus lane roundtrip from Union Station to Dodger Stadium. Alameda would seem the best bet for the majority of the ride. If they had one, the trip from Union Station would be ten minutes and the same on the return. There are many ways to Union Station and there’s parking there. If I could shave the bus time from Union Station down to 30-40 minutes round trip rather than more than that each way I could convince my friends and family to join me taking the subway to the game.
Metrolink trains on weekends and late in the evening along the Ventura Line would be great too. However, Metrolink trains on all the lines on weekends and evenings would be great but don’t seem to be forthcoming. There’s still work to be done for Metro and Metrolink in my opinion. I still ride both when I can though.
The major league leading attendance year after year would disagree with you.
The annoying traffic getting out also leads the leagues.
I agree. Yes, it’s the oldest, but full of so much history. As far as the restrooms, they were completely remodeled and are very nice. We always arrive around 5:30 for a 7:10 game and just enjoy being there. We never have a problem getting out of the stadium either. Probably because of those that leave in the 8th inning. We never leave early! I do understand that it might be better downtown, as I like the idea of restaurants, bars, etc. We’ll see if that ever happens.
I lived in San Francisco for 4 years for school, hate to say anything nice about the Giants, but there stadium location is amazing. It is really fun to show up before game, hit up the different bars around stadium, and than just walk in.
A stadium in downtown would be stellar. Metro connects to downtown, and several cities in the County have trains that could take us right there.
Also, being able to take train home full of fellow fans after stomping the Giants… would be great experience
Yeah, just what the long-time Dodgers fan needs: the “opinion” of another lawyer just itching to invest in some high-priced real estate. You know what asshat? Fork you and everything you stand for. Sign me, someone from the Coliseum days who has never, and will never sit in the seats YOU sit in.
Excellent article JEREMY…well written and packed full of amazing ideas for Dodger Stadium. Just look at how amazing the rebuild of the Yankee stadium is. Having the train taking people to the statium is an excellent idea.
I grew up going to the stadium, even if we had to take a bus. It infuriates me to think that the stadium will be moved for shallow reasons. We are Angelenos, we love our stadium eventhough there aren’t trendy bars or reataurants nearby, we still love it. To know its history, of the hard working families that were displaced, makes you appreciate it even more. It’s in a perfect location, stop messing with Dodger Stadium, its well kept, up on a hill with magical views and overall a beautiful stadium. Whoever wrote this article is just trying to cash in on a furute stadium.
I love me the Dodgers but I am in complete agreement with the author. Dodger Stadium is way overrated and anybody who disagrees is just being myopic. The stadium glaringly shows every year of its 55 years plus of existence. One need only walk into one of the leaky dilapidated restrooms for evidence. The way people describe the outfield view of the San Gabriel Mountains you would think it’s equal to the breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon. Sorry but there is nothing special about looking at a hillside. The tiered construction of the stadium and the tiered seating arrangement make it very difficult to move around the stadium. While Fenway and Wrigley have gracefully aged, Dodger Stadium just got old. As the author mentioned, before and after the game there’s really nothing to do. No bars, no restaurants, no entertainment, just vagrants asking for handouts. And I haven’t even mentioned the number one reason I dread coming to Dodger Stadium. The traffic situation is a complete joke. It’s gotten so bad a couple of times I bought tickets and the freeway was so clogged, I gave up and went home. Give us a downtown stadium please.
Obviously you have not been to Wrigley field…1. There is no where to park…the surrounding is bad…and you mentioned gracefully aged? You must be blind! I’ve been there and it is a ugly building. They have just started to have a face lift from the outside. You are probably from the east side of the country or an Angel fan.
Yes it should I say till a least they win a couple more world series at their classic stduim then build a new one in same place of downtown Los Angeles
Why fix something that is not broke? Year after year Dodger stadium is one the the highest in attendance. I have been to other ball parks, and Dodger stadium is still classic…And finally….it’s all paid for! We need to fix our freeways and streets first…no need to spend money on something we don’t need. This article or writer should focus on having better restaurants in the park. Build a parking structure so restaurant companies can built restaurants. This talk is real silly!
What is wrong with you people!!
Wrigly, Fenway, Dodger stadium!! This is about the game!, the atmosphere….who cares about getting there late and having to leave early…do the opposite leave home earlier and stay later! Plenty of restaurants right down the hill
…enjoy what you have and cherish the legacy. This is not an instant gratification generation fix! Stop slow down and enjoy!!
Downtown stadiums are always great, so, should the Dodgers ever move (not likely very soon), downtown is the place.
I do have a Austin, though. How do you see downtown, the Hollywood Hills and Santa Monica from behind home plate when home plate faces east? Also, the word “exasperates” was meant to be “exacerbates,” does it not? Spellcheck, probably.
I agree with your preference, though. I have gone to some Dbacks games in downtown Phoenix. We usually ditch the car in the burbs and take the train. It drops you off right in front of Chase Field. Easy and inexpensive.
“Austin” was, of course, supposed to be “question.” Spell check! 🙂
The Dodgers don’t need a downtown stadium. This is an idea floated by those that stand to profit from real estate, i.e. John Moores in San Diego. Petco isn’t easy to get to and parking is expensive there as well. Personally Dodger Stadium is just fine it’s the freeway traffic that has nothing to do with Dodger Stadium that’s the problem.
Exactly why the Dodgers havent hosted an All-Star Game for nearly 40 years.
I love Dodger stadium to death and agree it’s a landmark. But really, the urban planners for DS made a horrible choice putting our stadium on top of a hill with 2 entrances in the nation’s most traffic-congested city (not to mention all the people that were displaced).
I was just at Wrigleyville for yesterday’s game. I was also in Wrigleyville for the World Series. I’ve been to games at Fenway and AT&T. I absolutely ENVY the experience that other fans get. Public transportation to parks. Endless bars and restaurants for pre-games and post game celebrations, and also a place to congregate for away games.
Dodger stadium barely has any of that. No pregame, must have DD, parking is expensive. No place to congregate for away games. I had trouble finding a bar with lots of Dodger fans during the NLCS. the NLCS!!! We have millions of fans. We’re just all spread out. Meanwhile at Wrigley, you have multiple streets with bars filled to capacity just because it’s a central area where people gather for away games.
Pretty awesome if you ask me. Meanwhile I sit in traffic for hours in and out. I doubt it’ll ever happen, but I would be for a new dodger stadium (a replica with upgrades preferably). I do like having the largest stadium too.
edit: TLDR: I’m for it because I’ve been to other stadiums that simply provide better experiences. In the end though, I’ll watch the Dodgers anywhere!
Dodger Stadium is a magic world. Nothing like sitting, overlooking
The great Los Angeles Chavez Ravine and its beauty. Find all the thingy you guys think are so important such as BARS, shops, eateries
Etc and traveling and establish them where you need them. But don’t mess with the ravine. It is historic.
Citi Field in New York for The Mets is already modeled after Ebbets Field so that’s a “No.” as it relates to design. LA does Modern and High Design well and should go that route for a new Dodgers Stadium – the WOW factor shouldn’t be underestimated as it relates to it’s use as a venue for other events through the year.
So …I was at Wrigley last May and watched Dodgers vs cubs in what was truly a great atmosphere/ballpark. Wrigleyville is chock full of bars and restaurants and you can make a day of it. This is the only thing I envy of some other parks. Closest thing to that is echo park, but not comparable whatsoever. With that said Dodger stadium is great. The traffic sucks, but it’s LA. Downtown freeways, the 110/10/5 etc are always crawling. There would be just as much traffic if not worse. Rail access and other public transportation would help but I doubt would alleviate congestion that much. I wish that terrace near by could be bought up and developed into “Dodgertown”. The improvements they’ve made over the years have been great. Leaky bathrooms?? Don’t know where you’ve been pissing, but they’ve come a looong way from standing at the trough under blinking yellow lights. Lets not be followers. The Ravine IS aging well and will shine on. Go Dodgers!
It would be a monumental mistake to relocate Dodger Stadium. Traffic and parking are HORRIBLE around Staples. Plus Dodger Stadium is an icon and in the interviews I’ve read, ballplayers love playing in our stadium. It looks as fresh and modern as the day it was built.
I remember when the stadium was built. So much nicer than games at the coliseum. I live in AZ now. Ack to VA soon. I hate these new stadiums there like a shopping mall with baseball concession. Dodger stadium is my stadium. A tram or moving walkway from Chinatown is elegant and there is great food. When I asked my dad why strike outs were scored a K he said it stood for Koufax.
The best spot for Dodger Stadium would be just south of Union Station where the subway rail lines are. Metro is planning on building a station there. I believe it is right by the arts district and next to the river. There are tons of warehouses there and small restaurants there. It would be walking distance from the Little Tokyo station, which would have the blue and gold line after the regional connector is built. It would also have the purple and red line. The future Santa Ana line will also pass through there and a new line that will be San Gabriel to Whittier.