Words by BJ, pics by Scott:
$15 adults, $10 kids.
Approximately 90 minutes
For more information: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/la/ballpark/stadium_tours/index.jsp
We took the 11:30 am instead of the 10 am tour. If you’ve ever driven in the parking lot and enter at the Sunset Blvd. guard gate and noticed the blue line on the right of the circular drive around the stadium, it actually goes to the top level, right up to the parking by the stadium store, which is where the tour starts.
Our guide Tiffany works in Fan Services, and she (or another guide) will either collect your preprinted tickets or you can buy them right there (cash only). We had about 60 people on the tour. They say there’s walking and stair climbing involved, but they were able to accommodate a wheelchair participant, and we saw some young children in tow (although they had no idea what they were doing, so our advice is leave them home).
Tiffany sat us in the top rows of the top level deck and gave us the rundown on the stadium, including who built it and why, and then ran through the retired numbers (old news to sosg loyalists who know all this info). Surprisingly, a lot of people were from out of town. Only a handful of us were locals.
From there we got into the service/team elevator and dropped to the reserve level, where we went into the Vin Scully press room and sat in the writer’s chairs (hard for me to leave, as I felt I belonged there). Those are the best seats in the house. Ironically, the press room, named after Vin, is not where he sits; he’s next door in the booth for the video/radio media, and somewhere we couldn’t enter. We did however, manage to steal the wifi password for the box, so we’ll see if it works next time we’re there.
We also were able to peek into Nancy Bea’s organ bay, but if you touched any of the keys, she informed Fan Services before that she would murder whoever did it. She’s apparently quite particular.
From there we were led into the United Suites walkway, where we learned all about the historic references behind the photos on the wall, and saw framed covers of the playbooks/programs from past years.
We also learned (if you didn’t know) how the Dodgers got the name, that the price of a playoff ticket in the 1950s was $1.10, and that the NY Mets combined the Dodgers and Giants colors to get their colors as an homage to the two teams that left to go to California. (More reason to hate the Mets.)
We then entered one of the larger suites and saw how the other half lives (those who can afford a $6,000 suite rental to seat up to 50 people). The good news we heard is that you can bring in your own food, something few parks allow. Good to know so when sosg hosts us all in the suite, we can save a few bucks there. [Duly noted. -O]
After that, back in the elevator to the Dugout Club, where we were treated to a hallway overflowing with Golden Glove awards…totally impressive. Also other plaques and awards for Dodgers past and current, including Cy Young awards…cool.
Then it was into the Dugout Club for a quick walkthrough of the memorabilia from the golden days, including the home plate from Ebbets Field. If you’ve never been to the Dugout Club during a game, it’s a whole lot of fun…like being in Club 33 at Disneyland: exclusive, delicious and worth the money (if you get discount tickets on Craigslist, that is).
We then were led to the field where we were admonished not to walk on the grass; we could, however, touch it so we could see it is real. We also were allowed to sit in the dugout and take photos, including using the bullpen phone for photos…that was pretty cool. The phone dial tone is LOUD!
After that, they shoved us back on the elevator and sent us back to the top deck and out the door. The 90 minutes went fast. Not as much walking as I thought, and it was fun to do, especially if you’ve never been in the suites or the Dugout Club. We didn’t get a chance to see the clubhouse (visitor’s only...not the team house) because they were still working on it. We were informed it was three stories, so that would have been nice to see, but next time we’ll make sure to take photos there.
Overall for $15, it was a fun way to spend a little time at the stadium without a crowd.
Thanks as always, guys!