Summertime in LA would not be complete without a trip to a baseball game at Dodger Stadium, and with the Dodgers playing so well this season, you are guaranteed a good time. Although I am originally from Chicago and grew up going to Cubs’ games at Wrigley Field, I have grown to embrace Dodger culture. There are plenty of traditions and rituals that are unique to the Dodgers that are fun to be part of. Here I have compiled a quick guide to help us LA Newbies look not so out-of-place at Dodger Stadium.
Dodger Stadium is located just north of Downtown LA in a more elevated part of town. From the upper deck stadium entrance, you can get a good view of Downtown LA. If you are seated in the upper deck as well, you have a beautiful view of the mountains in the distance. The location could not be more beautiful!
Did you know: Dodgers Stadium is the 3rd oldest Major League Ballpark in the country – behind Fenway and Wrigley Field on the list.
There is plenty of parking at Dodger Stadium, so driving to the game is definitely an option. Parking costs $10 online and $20 at the gate. However, traffic getting in and out of the park can be hectic. I would recommend getting there early to avoid the crowds and would either plan on staying late or leaving early.
Another great parking option is at Union Station, as there are Dodger shuttles that go to and from the stadium for free. You can park at the station for as little as $8. The buses start trekking people to the stadium an hour and a half before the game starts, and service ends an hour afterward. The downside of this is that the buses can also get stuck in traffic coming in and out of Dodger Stadium, however, being a bus, it has a bit more traffic authority. Plus you don’t have to worry about driving yourself!
With that being said, the Metro is a strong alternative to driving. Take the Metro to Union Station and take the Dodger shuttle to the stadium. We’ve done this multiple times and it leads to a less stressful experience when leaving the park.
Where to Sit
I’ve sat in many sections of Dodger Stadium, and have not had one bad seat. All seats will give you a good, unobstructed view of the field. I did notice, however, that some of the reserve level seats are a little smaller than some of the other sections.
I’ve haven’t personally sat in the bleachers, but if I were, I would choose the right field bleachers. For the price of your ticket, you also receive an unlimited amount of food.
What to Eat
I haven’t tried all the food options yet, but I will say a hot dog at a ballpark is a must! Since you are going to Dodger Stadium, I would suggest getting a Dodger dog to get you started. At the most recent game I went to, I had the pleasure of trying the Shock Top brat: 10/10 I would recommend. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf also has a stand at the park if you are craving coffee or a ice blended drink if it is really hot! Thrillist has a really great list of food you can try at the game and what section that food is located.
Pro Tip: Looking to save some cash? Bring in your own food from outside the park! You can bring in food from home or even take-out from somewhere else. My boyfriend and I once brought in Thai food that we bought at Grand Central Market. Delicious! Please note: Security will confiscate alcohol – you have to buy that in the park.
Dodger Game Traditions
During certain times in the game, fans will start a cheer of the wave. If you have never seen the wave before, it is essentially a cheer where multiple people stand up and sit down in a domino-like fashion. This creates a wave-like visual effect. I like to think that LA fans are so health-conscious, they started this tradition as an excuse to get out of their seats and stretch during the game. Depending on how in tune the crowd is, the wave can go around the stadium multiple times for one cheer. It’s fun to see how long the cheer can last.
I’m pretty sure security is trained to look for beachballs when you enter the stadium, however, there are always a couple that trickle into the game. Beachballs have a tendency to be bumped around in the stands, so don’t be surprised if one floats your way!
The 7th Inning Stretch
Like most ballparks, Take Me Out to the Ballgame is sung in the middle of the 7th inning when the players switch offense. At Dodger Stadium, Take Me Out to the Ballgame is sung twice. This confused me the first time I went to the park!
On Friday nights during the summer, fans are allowed onto the field after the game to enjoy a firework display. Considering they have a fireworks show every Friday night, the show is really good – better than some Fourth of July fireworks shows I have been to. If you happen to go to a Friday night game during the summer, I recommend staying for the fireworks.
Hopefully this helps you learn a little bit more about what to expect at your first Dodger game. Is there anything else you think should be included on this list? Please feel free to comment and let me know!