Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Dodgers" Now Short For "Bullet Dodgers"

I read an article last week on Major League Baseball's website about how various teams are doing what they can to keep ball games affordable for families, even in these economic times. Since it is basically impossible for people to take their families to NBA, NFL or even NHL games nowadays, and no child should have to be forced into going to an MLS or WNBA game, baseball is your best option for professional sports.

Most teams are doing a decent job of it, with something like 25 teams offering tickets for around $10. Granted, the seats aren't very good, but at least you can get in the gates. The Dodgers are one of the teams that offers seats for as low as $9, which is great except that you have to go to Dodger Stadium to watch the game, which means you will end up paying a lot more than $9 per ticket.

Like most stadiums, the food there is grossly overpriced and generally pretty unspectacular. Your $9 seats gets pretty expensive when you have buy a $5 hot dog, an $8 beer and pay $15 to park 1/2 mile away. The laundry or dry cleaning from when someone throws their food or drinks at you in the stands will run another dollar or two, but that is pretty standard at any stadium. What makes Dodger Stadium stand out is what you have to pay for personal security when you go there.

A bulletproof vest will run you close to $1000 per person. A body guard for the day will cost anywhere from $150-$1000 for the day, plus the cost of his ticket. You may also want to hire someone to watch your car, or pay to fix the vandalism that may occur. We'll call that anywhere from $40-$500 dollars, depending on which route you take, and what your deductable is. After you get stabbed in the parking lot, you will probably get some money back from your bodyguard, but you will wind up paying it back out to the hospital that saves you.

So you're looking at about a $3000 day for a typical game at Dodger Stadium. And if you think I am exaggerating about how bad it is there, consider that on opening night there on Monday, a man was stabbed outside the stadium after a bunch of guys jumped out of the pickup truck and stabbed him multiple times. There were reports of someone in the parking lot with a gun. There was at least one car vandalized. A car accident just outside the stadium apparently sparked a huge fight in the street with as many as 30 people involved. There were mulitple ejections for fighting and unruly behavior in the stands.

The good news is that the Dodgers have beefed up security over the last few years since the Raiders crowd has descended upon Dodger Stadium. They have put in a security tip-line for fans to call if someone around them is acting badly (see photo). The bad news is that they are apparently completely inept and did not catch anyone in the stabbing, the alleged gun case, nor the parking lot vandalism.

So, my fellow Southern Californians, if you want to take your kids to a ballgame, enjoy! Just make sure you do it in Anaheim or San Diego.

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