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Razin' Casden
2003-07-11 08:16
by Jon Weisman

If ever there was a day I've produced too much content, this is it. Hope I didn't sacrifice quality for quantity (assuming there was sacrificable quality to begin with).

Although real estate magnate Alan Casden is not the leading candidate to purchase the Dodgers, if you care at all - one way or another - about where the Dodgers play their home games, then you need to read Roger Vincent's A-section story on Casden in today's Times.

The headline:

Dodger Bidder Would Raze Stadium, Put One Downtown

Even those who love Dodger Stadium as much as I do would admit that there are flaws to the Dodger Stadium experience. But do these flaws, cited by Casden to Vincent in this article ...

  • parking difficulties
  • seating plan oddities
  • difficult accessibility for fans
  • trauma for local residents
  • declining Dodger dogs
  • absence of Kosher food stands
  • bad pizza
  • dreary restrooms
  • lack of cupholders in most seats
...add up to the need to bulldoze the stadium?

A downtown stadium could help solve some of these problems. As Vincent writes, "Dodger fans don't necessarily arrive late and leave early because they want to, [Casden said]; it's because nearly all of them arrive by car and must fight their way in and out of a few stadium entrances." Even if you have the experience using side routes into Dodger Stadium that I have, this is true (as I've written before).

However, any connection between other elements on the list and a stadium demolition are ridiculous. If the food is bad, you don't tear down the stadium - you reassign the catering contract. You don't tear down a stadium to fix a bathroom.

I don't want to be guilty of ignoring the weaknesses of Dodger Stadium. But the principal problem with the stadium is getting people to and from it efficiently. Whoever buys the Dodgers from News Corp. would be better served investing in solutions for these transportation issues than turning the Dodgers' home upside down.

The capital chaos that tearing down Dodger Stadium and building a new stadium elsewhere would bring is neither smart nor necessary.

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