Photos: Stadiums and lots overflow with cars as coronavirus takes an economic toll

Thousands of rental cars are stored at Dodger Stadium.
Thousands of rental cars are stored at Dodger Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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As Major League Baseball struggles to begin the 2020 season, stadiums remain empty.

But their parking lots aren’t.

Throughout the U.S., rental car companies have parked hundreds of thousands of unused cars as COVID-19 runs its methodical course, sickening Americans and grinding the economy to a halt. Particularly decimated is the travel industry. People aren’t traveling through airports, so no one is renting cars.

Seen from above, places such as Dodger Stadium and Santa Anita racetrack look as if it’s a big day at the yard, when, in fact, the stands are empty.

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New cars sales are down too, creating a glut of vehicles that Americans suddenly have little desire to purchase as they confront the coronavirus crisis.

That excess has led to choked L.A.-area ports. For example, Toyota Logistics Services at the Port of Long Beach is normally a beehive of activity as new cars are off-loaded from ships, parked and prepped at the yard, and sent off quickly to dealerships throughout the Southland. Now, Toyota Motor Corp. has leased additional storage space at a sports venue in California.

Here are some views of vehicle-packed parking lots across Southern California, an illustration of the economic toll wrought by the coronavirus on the automobile industry.

Dodger Stadium

Thousands of rental cars at Dodger Stadium.
Thousands of rental cars, framed by the Los Angeles skyline, are stored at Dodger Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A drone takes a bird's-eye view of the cars stored at Dodger Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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Santa Anita Park

Cars are stored at the Santa Anita racetrack parking lot.
Thousands of cars are stored at the Santa Anita racetrack parking lot.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Rows of vehicles fill the Santa Anita racetrack parking lot.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Rental vehicles are stored at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Rental cars sit idle at Angel Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Port of Long Beach

New cars stored at Port of Long Beach
New cars sit in storage at Toyota Logistics Services yard at the Port of Long Beach.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Myriad stored new vehicles at the Toyota Logistics Services yard.
Myriad stored new vehicles form patterns when viewed from above at the Toyota Logistics Services yard.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)