The final game of the Freeway Series ended in bizarre, malodorous fashion Tuesday as a pipe burst in 57-year-old Dodger Stadium and flooded the area near the Dodgers dugout. Unable to stop the liquid from pouring onto the field, stadium officials called off the game after a 32-minute delay in the fifth inning against the Angels.
Dodgers President Stan Kasten attributed the incident to a “pipe backup on two different levels of the stadium” but indicated the team was unsure what caused the break. Officials from the city were trying to determine the source of the leak.
The Dodgers were not concerned about the situation affecting the regular-season opener Thursday against San Francisco, Kasten said. He added the team would sort out whether to offer refunds for Tuesday’s customers in the coming days. The leak continued after the game was called off, Kasten said.
“We could have stayed there and tried to locate it, address it, work on the field,” Kasten said. “We had no idea how long that would take.”
The Dodgers could not stop the flood. Workers could only spread it across the dirt with brooms. After spectators exited, a crew used a hose to vacuum the area.
The damage may have spread beyond the diamond. The clubhouse did not appear affected, but several Dodgers said the liquid spilled into the coaches’ room and the video room. Manager Dave Roberts declined to comment.
“Um. ... I’ll get back to you guys tomorrow,” Roberts said.
Kasten did not want to characterize the contents of the liquid. The players were less ambivalent.
“Eww,” shortstop Corey Seager said as he raced out of the clubhouse.
“Crappy way to end the spring,” pitcher Ross Stripling said. “Get it?”
Other aging stadiums have dealt with sewage spills in recent years. The problem has been chronic at Oakland Coliseum, which opened in 1966, four years after Dodger Stadium opened.
Outfielder Andrew Toles was on second base when the pipes burst. He thought the liquid was Gatorade tossed from the stands. His nostrils soon told him otherwise.
“I smelled it,” Toles said. “It was nasty. I’m not going to tell you what it really was, that’s kind of messed up. But, yeah, it was nasty, man. It was a tragic thing.”