The Dodgers are inviting fans to watch games up close — from the perch of a bar stool.
The team is adding stools to the drink rails behind home plate on the field level this season. The new “field drink rail” seats are most often priced from $90 to $125 per game, although they are available for $67 for two weekday afternoon games and $140 for three particularly popular games.
In the first video, Janet Marie Smith, the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development, said the team had removed the back few rows of field-level seats in 2013 to ease congestion in the concourse and make it appear “more open and airier.”
Said Smith then: “We’ve added stand-up railings here at the back, so that even fans on the field level, when they get up to go get concessions or go to the restroom, have a little extra breathing room.”
The railings between the dugouts — behind sections 1-13 — are now for sale. The Dodgers’ online seat map indicates 117 rail positions are available as bar stool seats.
Bar stool seating is increasingly popular in baseball, as teams create gathering spots for fans seeking a different and often more communal way to see a game.
The Boston Red Sox, for instance, have sold bar stool seating atop the Green Monster outfield wall since 2003. The Dodgers feature stools at outfield bars, albeit as a place for fans to congregate rather than as ticketed seats.
At the Dodgers’ January Fan Fest, as the team considered selling the field drink rail seats on a season basis, Anthony Diaz of Santa Maria said he thought $100 would be a fair price for an uncrowded seat.
“I think it’s reasonable,” Diaz said. “You don't have to worry about people going through the aisles and having to get up.”
Said Tephanie Martinez of Long Beach: “After so long, you think you’d get tired and want a comfortable seat. But maybe you wouldn’t mind paying extra money for a good view.”
The view indeed is a good one, from directly behind the best seats in the house, when the view is not obstructed by fans standing to cheer a home run or key strikeout.