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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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SOSG Takes on Dodger Front Office Elitism
2008-03-29 15:33
by Jon Weisman

Sons of Steve Garvey offers this interesting elaboration on Steve Hymon's Friday article in the Times about Dodger Stadium parking.

First, quoting from Hymon's piece, regarding public transportation to Dodger Stadium:

City and county transportation officials have said they don't have the money to add new routes and that altering existing ones would inconvenience other riders. So the closest bus stop remains on Sunset Boulevard, down the hill from the park.

And the Dodgers aren't willing to foot the bill for new service.

"We think this should be done by the public," said Howard Sunkin, the team's senior vice president. "We've spent in excess of $150 million to restore the stadium, with more to come, and our fans are looking for public transportation."

The SOSG response (in part):

... let's look into that $150M:

  • The majority of that money has gone toward additional "luxury box" seating, as well as two exclusive clubs with special eating options not available to the normal ticket-holder;
  • That $150M includes the cost of redoing the luxury box seating after only one year, as the sightlines were awful and ticketholders who paid the hefty fees complained (in fact, the only reason why "luxury boxes" exist in the first place is there isn't enough elevation to add additional rows of seats, without having each fan starting right into the back of a head;
  • The source of that $150M isn't the McCourts' noblesse; rather, Dodger ticket prices have increased by more than 100% in most areas, and parking prices hae almost doubled as well from $8 to $15 since the McCourts took over--and by the way, even the people in the cheap seats are feeling the sting of higher prices.

    Sunkin's haughty, elitist response is absolutely absurd and further reinforces how the Dodgers organization is out of touch with the common fan. Offering a public transportation option is more than a simple economic calculation; it's a business responsibility for a quality major league team who wants to take advantage of its large market fanbase. And it's not like the fans who are interested in taking the bus are net losses--not after buying $8 glasses of beer and $5 Dodger Dogs.

    By the way, in Hymon's story, you might notice a certain Weisman quoted. He isn't me, but he is a big part of me ...

  • Comments
    2008-03-29 15:47:30
    1.   LogikReader
    I appreciate SOSG's viewpoint, but let's be honest: The Dodgers simply took an extra long time to catch up to exorbitant ticket prices everywhere else in the league.

    The general idea is true in that the Dodgers as an organization are not doing a good job trying to serve the common fan, but complaining about ticket prices is a little unrealistic.

    2008-03-29 15:50:55
    2.   LogikReader

    A part of that "$150 million" also went into a much needed seat overhaul. Every seat in every section was removed and replaced with new ones, complete with cup holders. The stadium looks loads better with the new seats, which have been restored to their original color scheme.

    2008-03-29 15:52:48
    3.   LogikReader
    Finally, I want to make it clear that yes, there should be bus service to the stadium, one way or another. I mean, honestly, the bus already stops off at Sunset, what's another 300 feet to the parking gate?
    2008-03-29 15:54:11
    4.   Lexinthedena
    I don't think that SOSG is complaining about ticket prices.... just pointing out that the 150 million was an investment to make more money, not to accomodate the "common fan". Public transportation is long, long, looooong overdue.
    2008-03-29 15:54:22
    5.   LogikReader

    Make that 600 feet, not 300. Cycle!

    2008-03-29 15:54:34
    6.   Jon Weisman
    2 - SOSG isn't suggesting that none of the $150 million helped the common man.
    2008-03-29 15:54:59
    7.   LogikReader
    Darn! Lex broke up the cycle. Hahahahaha.
    2008-03-29 16:00:13
    8.   Dodgers49
    Looking back on Dodgers' days playing in Coliseum

    2008-03-29 16:02:56
    9.   KG16
    Perhaps it's because I'm a kid of the 'burbs and need my car like I need water, but how much do people really use public transportation in the city? Every time I go down town for a court appearance, every parking lot is full by 9 am.

    Also, I can see the city's perspective on this. It's not like some places where the stadium is in the middle of a commercial area (like Anaheim). For the city, at an administrative level, having an extra stop 600 ft up the road (especially just 81 times a year) is a logistical pain in the posterior.

    2008-03-29 16:07:52
    10.   trainwreck
    Growing up in the Bay Area, I never understood how a place like LA could have the reputation for such bad public transportation.
    2008-03-29 16:08:33
    11.   StolenMonkey86
    SOSG is really stretching if they expect the Dodgers to provide bus service. Any other team would demand that the local government build them a new stadium near public transportation if that were such an issue.

    The logistical problem of running a transportation system would be vastly more expensive than simply getting busses and drivers - to where do you send these busses, and when? How long do they wait for passengers? How many busses?

    The way to go about that would be to survey season ticket holders, offer the service to season ticketholders with a certain deadline, and then evaluate whether enough people will use the busses to make it worthwhile. The difficulty, though, would be determining if that would draw more fans that do not regularly attend games to the stadium. The Dodgers are quite aware that they have set attendance records despite a lack of public transit, after all.

    2008-03-29 16:10:09
    12.   StolenMonkey86
    The luxury boxes also changed the character of the park - that used to be foul territory. Now Dodger Stadium has a park factor of 104.
    2008-03-29 16:18:30
    13.   PalmdaleSteve1
    My vote; a people mover walkway up and down the hills of Chavez Ravine into China town to allow access to the China Town Metro rail station.

    Catch a game, catch a meal in China town before or after the game then catch the train home. Heck, charge a $1.00 or something to use it and eventually pay for darn thing. Down Lookout Drive, over stadium way to the existing walkway over the existing Pasadena freeway overpass walkway and into China Town.

    Fine the city is too broke to pay for building something like this and the Dodgers don't want to, so set up the same sort of private enterprise that built the toll roads down in OC to build the darn thing.

    2008-03-29 16:18:36
    14.   Dodgers49
    Will Juan Pierre's teammates speak up if he is benched?

    Players questioning Williams' release

    >> "I think it's unfortunate," Berkman said. "I think a veteran like Woody deserves the benefit of the doubt. We're talking about Spring Training and everyone knows it's a totally different ballgame when you suit up for real." <<

    2008-03-29 16:20:55
    15.   Gen3Blue
    Jon--Your dad, or some other relative?
    2008-03-29 16:21:41
    16.   trainwreck
    I am guessing it is Jon's dad.
    2008-03-29 16:22:03
    17.   bhsportsguy
    3 The issue, do you want the Dodgers to dedicate a lane for buses and during what time periods would you run this service.
    2008-03-29 16:28:38
    18.   LogikReader

    I thought there was already a lane similar to this for Taxis and Shuttle Buses like the one for the SB Airbus. I may be wrong on that count, but I thought there was.

    2008-03-29 16:31:11
    19.   Frip
    I have no problem with luxury boxes and luxury people. The last time I sat in the stands the dude across the row from me, and in my direct line of site to home plate, kept turning his head toward me to spit out his sunflower seed shells every 10 seconds. It was disgusting. Ruined my night. The public steps by his seat were completely covered in his wet shells. I've had it with the rabble. I say MORE luxury boxes for decent people, and people like me can just stay home and watch it on tv. So many regular fans have forgotten how to behave in public that I'm all out of sympathy for the "common man". The salt of the earth ain't what they used to be.
    2008-03-29 16:36:30
    20.   sporky
    From Rotoworld: Nationals signed infielder Olmedo Saenz to a minor league contract.

    The collective weight of the Nats' first basemen must be massive.

    2008-03-29 16:37:50
    21.   PalmdaleSteve1

    Obviously Paris Hilton and the uber rich of LA hire people to sit beside them with the proverbial bucket to catch said seeds. Brief flash back to Mel Brooks in History of the World appearing as the P* Boy.

    Now that's what I'm talking about.

    2008-03-29 16:39:45
    22.   Andrew Shimmin
    Shuttle service doesn't have to be a money pit. The guy who runs the Hollywood Bowl's shuttles isn't doing it a 501(c)(3).
    2008-03-29 16:48:51
    23.   PalmdaleSteve1

    It's part of the myth of LA, people won't get out of their cars in LA.

    I used to take the Metro rail from South Bay up to the Convention center every year for the LA Auto show. Cost less than the parking, was a push when it came to travel time and there is a certain symmetry to taking public transportation to a car show. Besides, it's a hop skip and jump on the Metro up to Union Station for a nice Phillipe's French Dip for lunch then back to the car show.

    Besides, the $2 Million+ a year in parking revenue does not hurt Mr. McCourt the parking king's bottom line does it?

    2008-03-29 16:48:54
    24.   Jon Weisman
    Game thread is open
    2008-03-29 17:07:12
    25.   The Trolley Dodger
    21 Naw, they have people who chew the seeds for them. Snack assistants, I think they're called.
    2008-03-29 17:12:05
    26.   PalmdaleSteve1
    25 Hugh Hefner has a special training program for his Bunny's that teach them out to crack the seeds shells with minimum bunny spit. Sort of like peeling grapes.
    2008-03-29 19:11:22
    27.   Neal Pollack
    The rich are disgusting, the poor are disgusting. Any time I think I like humanity, I just have to go to a Dodger game. And watch Juan Pierre hit.
    2008-03-29 19:35:50
    28.   Kevin Lewis
    I took the shuttle they offered on Friday nights and it was great except we had to wait 35 minutes at the China Town station for the train to arrive after the game.

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