So here are a few suggestions for those short-term changes to Dodger Stadium that Chief Executive Stan Kasten & Co. are readying to improve that “fan experience” at the ballpark:
1) Turn down the damn music. I am personally preparing a class-action lawsuit against the Dodgers for loss of hearing. Always knew that someday I’d be rich but thought I'd live to hear about it.
It’s baseball with its own rhythms at a ballpark, not basketball in an arena. Ever notice that as soon as that obnoxious, overbearing music stops, there’s no follow-through by the fans? Let Nancy B.
2) Get rid of the idiot souvenir shop added last year on the suite level. This is the most congested spot in the ballpark, where the elevators and escalators converge in an extremely narrow part of the concourse.
And this where they shove out racks of T-shirts and jerseys trying to spear passing fans?
3) Hire Las Vegas showgirls to fan overheated media types in the ballpark. Throw in a couple of “Magic Mike” dudes for the ladies. Hand-fed grapes are optional.
4) Hire some rest-room valets to hand people towels, make sure the facility is fully equipped and functional, and just generally moving along. Something has to be done.
5) Go back to the parking situation, again. I know they’ve been looking at this for 51 years and haven’t gotten it right yet. Access problems are inherent to the location, but perhaps some fresh minds will come up with better ideas, because the Frank McCourt solution only seems to have made it worse.
5b) Give fans a reason to arrive earlier. Discounted or free parking if they arrive two hours before the game. Open the concessions and invite them to watch the Dodgers take batting practice.
6) Add some real variety to the concession stands. The type of food offered is too limited. Something with some Southern California feel. In-N-Out or Umami burger, El Pollo Loco, Roscoe’s, Philippe’s, Pink’s, Spago’s or Jersey Mike’s (OK, so that last one really isn’t an L.A. original, but it’s good and Steve Yeager owns one).
7) Get the cellphone service problems solved — it’s maddening. Believe this is already on their list, but just in case.
8) Build a machine that will instantly transcribe all media taped interviews. Hand-fed grapes remain optional.
9) Get rid of the “God Bless America” bit before the seventh-inning stretch. Jamie McCourt should not be able to tell me when it’s appropriate to be patriotic. And I doubt the approximate 15% of Americans who don’t believe in God are thrilled with that song choice.
10) Build elevators on the edges of the concourses. The great flaw in the original design was only two top-to-bottom elevators were built, and they were placed in the center of the stadium.
They are used by fans, players, media and the concession providers. It’s crazy, and a near-impossible wait.
10½) And again, turn down the damn music. Hey, Lon Rosen, I said, turn down the damn music. Actually I would just prefer they eliminate it all together, the walk-up song is getting cheesy. But right now, I’d settle for some simple volume control.
You have any ideas?