The latest in the blogosphere

As I do regularly, I read DodgerThoughts today and Jon Weisman’s latest post certainly was of interest to me. I guess more than anything, I want everyone that reads this blog and any of the others that are out there to know that we truly empathize with everyone who has experienced growing pains with the new parking system and I don’t know how to make it sound sincere over the Internet, but we are absolutely listening to your comments and in cases where it’s possible, implementing them.

More importantly, I know that Jon made it a point to bold the fact that if this system works, that we will have the last laugh and I want to assure you that no one here is looking for a last laugh. This is not a Dodgers vs. the Fans issue and there will not be anyone here saying "I told you so," if and when this system proves to work out to everyone’s liking. We all come to work each day looking to improve the fan experience and that is really what matters (in addition to winning). Without the fan support, this organization is nothing and I sincerely mean that.

I know that expressing empathy (or sympathy or whatever you want to call it) when it’s asked for by Dodger Thoughts is a little like bringing flowers home to your wife after she’s told you that you never bring her flowers, but I cannot express more strongly that we do listen to your comments and we do try to implement them whenever possible. For example, on Tuesday night, when one of the gates was backed up after the game and another had emptied quickly, we re-routed fans to the open one to help get them exit more easily. And the suggestions for a shuttle from Union Station that were made on this blog continue to be discussed, though I can tell you that the last time we tried to do that, we discontinued the service because so few people used it. These are only two of the many ideas being considered to improve the parking situation. 

We have numerous people who are reading message boards and blogs several times a day and they are talking to fans in the stands every night. We also have several parking experts (who understand this far better than you or I) here until 2 a.m. after night games, meeting with our own staff members and trying to assess every single thing that took place in the parking lots that night.

To Jon’s point, I don’t believe there is anyone here who thinks the "customers are spoiled." That said, we obviously know that when things change, it makes it the most difficult for the people who are the most used to the "old way," which in this case are our long-time fans and season-ticket holders. This is not us blaming them for resisting change. It is the reality of making a change and again, their opinions matter more than anyone realizes.

The entire reason we started Inside the Dodgers was to be able to interact daily with our fans rather than to communicate with you all through the media. There are only three teams in baseball with a forum like this and rest assured, everything you are posting is being read and seriously considered.

In regards to the handicapped parking, I can assure you all that anyone with an actual handicapped placard is accomodating in a lot closest to the stadium, which is the reason why the premium parking lots overflowed on Opening Day.

And finally, more than anything, I agree with Jon on this point: That Sunday night, a large crowd coming is coming to honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson and I hope that he is the focal point of the evening and that eventually, we are all able to move on from parking and that the results will be exactly what the fans and the Dodgers were seeking.

Thanks again for your patience and as soon as I know more on Furcal, I’ll post again (though it probably won’t be until later in the day when he gets to the ballpark).

20 Comments

Nice post Josh,

Aside from the parking, is there any information about getting more games to be broadcast in HD?

Thanks for the comments Josh. I was at opening day with my buddy Loren DePhillips who is blind. He has been a Dodger fan all his life. He listens to the game on the radio. This past game I had to take the place of Vin and I was a very very poor substitute. He is not the only fan at games who brings a radio intending to hear the play by play that then leaves disappointed. We can hear Vin live in the bathrooms but nothing in the stands. I know you had said previously that there is by law a 7 second delay dictated by the FCC, but then why is Vin live in the bathrooms and why can he listen to the game with no delay in Spanish on the Dodgers Spanish radio station? My friend Loren has mentioned that if the Dodgers install a short wave radio transmitter somewhere at the stadium people wouldnt have to deal with the delay. Many people, including myself would appreciate this. Myself especially, because I wont have to call the games so poorly for my buddy. This would be at a minimal cost to the Dodgers. I appreciate it when you write, “We all come to work each day looking to improve the fan experience and that is really what matters (in addition to winning). Without the fan support, this organization is nothing and I sincerely mean that.” I just hope that this statement is true and is backed up with actions from the Dodgers that truly make these games the ultimate experience for the fans, especially those like my friend Loren.

The Dodgers are lucky to have you, Josh.

Yeah, parking shmarking — get Fox Sports to put every Dodger game on the HD channel!!

Thanks Josh! It’s definitely great to have this site and appreciate the time you take to answer us fans back. Now instead of an actual bus shuttle, what are the possibilities of getting a few of those universal/disney type trams from Union station? If not feasible from there maybe expanding a lot somewhere outside Dodger stadium and shuttling in.

josh
I just wanted to say thank you again for this post. I remember when following your

favorite team could only be done by reading the papers, and if it was a night game, forget about it. the only minor league news we got was baseball digest march issue on rookies .

then with the internet, we could follow our teams, and now keep track of our minor league team’s also.

now with you, we are one of the few teams who can also blog, This makes it even better to be a Dodger fan.

THen for those who only sign on to blast the Dodger, dude no one is even reading your page, I scroll down and see who is bloging, so you are wasting your time, go get a job, a life, or blast your own team SEE YA pal.

Hi Josh,
Wonderful, thoughtful post. Thank you so much for not assuming a defensive position on this issue, and making us feel like the Dodger organization really, truly cares about the fan experience.

My husand and I were in LOT 10 on opening day.

Due to the fact that everyone was warned of the parking disaster that could happen- no one was truly upset as we sat in our cars for over 2 hours after the game ended. (that could be due to the fact that people all got there 2 hours early and had nothing to do but drink beer)

People were chatting and passing out the 323 complaint number.

My husband called and actually spoke to someone who said a formal complaint was being filed on our behalf and that someone would follow up with a call.

So many people had contacted Bill Plashke that he asked my husband “oh boy I have been hearing some nasty stories about LOT 10 alone.. did you see this? what about that?”

2 days later someone from the dodgers called my husband back. That was shocking due to the high volume of calls these people have been dealing with.

He assured my husband how sorry he was, that they are working on it. blah blah blah.

My husband then says “look, we don’t want free tickets from you, we just want to know that someone cares!”

“We care sir, we really do, please.”

After all of this drama regarding the parking and my terrible field level sunburn, I am still excited about going to tonight’s game. We have no other choice but to wait it out and see what happens. I’m not going to let it prevent me from seeing my team…. yet.

Here you go Josh, maybe you can pass this idea along to your pals. Here is a very simple solution to many of Dodger Stadium’s traffic woes……pedestrian bridges.

http://azfoo.net/places/tempe/20050706/pics/48_ASU-UniversityAveBridge.jpg

awesome post Josh, I’m one of the few who could care less about the parking situation cause I know my way around the thing but I can understand others frustrations.

Since this thread is dedicated to the parking issues, my comments should have a better chance at being read, and, having attended over a hundred Dodger games in my lifetime, I’m going to repost my comment from a few days ago. My suggestion might help for a “long-term” solution, which in my opinion has always been the slow-downs due to traffic signals outside of the stadium, and with this new parking plan implemented inside the stadium, only exacerbates the situation.

Anyway, here’s my previous post:

“If one were to look at the more successful stadium parking scenarios across the country, you’ll find one common thread: direct access to their respective freeway systems right in and out of the parking lots. It would be in the Dodgers (McCourts’) best interest to strike a deal with the City of Los Angeles to help provide a direct on/off ramp for at least two of the three freeways in the area. The freeway series last week was held at night and even those people complained about exiting the stadium. You will find the way the parking is implemented now will not allow patrons to leave any quicker than before. Why? Because there are too many city intersections and traffic signals blocking access to the freeways directly from the parking lots. If direct access ramps were provided, one should find that the lots would empty a lot quicker, and with an easier route of exit, fans might even be able to stay until the end of the games instead of the usual “leave early to beat the traffic” reputation. And when people are able to stay through the end of the game, they just might spend more money on souveniers and concessions.”

And by the way… great post Josh!

When do the playoff tickets go on sale? If parking is the biggest problem we’ve got, we’ve got this thing licked.

Good point kssparkuhl. I suppose though, that direct onramps would be more useful than direct offramps. Moving to a less dense car concentration is the first instance, in the second you may get backup onto the freeway ( what am I saying? It happens already! ;-P )

nkirby4 – that’s a great idea! But we’d probably have to pay $50 a parking ticket to ever get that kind of thing done! Pedestrian bridges in the parking lot, keeping the walkers inside well-marked lots so they can’t try to cross the streams of in-and outbound traffic … yeah, it could work.

Josh, excellent post. Thank you. And amen to the FSN HD broadcast. I mean come on people

mhardy78–Great Post about shortwave radio. I think I read about your friend or saw him on the news last year. A great fan.

Josh, please take note, because this idea is really solid. I noticed last Saturday that the radio feed was slower than the TV Feed (I turned off th Fox broadcasters in favor of Charley and Rick–and would naturally have preferred Vin), and saw in the LA Times today about the 10 second delay, and that KFWB was able to reduce this. The delay is silly, and the ideal situation is if the Dodgers (and all of MLB) could work to get the FCC to change their position on this–it’s not like there is a half-time show in a baseball game that needs a tape delay.

But, for an in-park solution, another idea that might work better than shortwave would be a very low power AM transmitter at like 530 or 1610 or 1620 on the AM Band that would simulcast the KFWB (or whatever future flagship of the Dodger Radio Network) feed without tape delay. The transmitter could be low power enough so that it only reach the confines of Chavez Ravine. Airports do this for traffic and flight status, and a number of cities have low-power transmitters that do the same thing. A few signs around the stadium would indicate to fans that you could tune in to station on a conventional AM Radio to listen. The Dodgers could set up another one to broadcast on Spanish.

It used to be common-place to hear Vin (and Ross and Jerry, then Don, then Rick) while watching the game at the Stadium. When I first started going to games, I remember my brother brining a radio, but we often did not bother, because there was so many radios, you could hear it throughout the ballpark. These days, you don’t get that anymore, and it’s really too bad.

They could actually use Vinny’s FSN Prime feed, if you wanted to get Vinny over Charley and Rick (I don’t know if that would be a problem with the FSN contract, and also because Vin tends to react to the cameras after the simulcast ends in the Fourth Inning, which he generally makes a point not to while he’s on Radio–amazing guy). BTW–none of this is meant to be a slight to Charley and Rick, who I think are gerat themselves–but there is no one like Vin Scully.

Here’s the ridiculous thing about the parking problems – WHY would you try a new system on the busiest day of the year? Wouldn’t good planning dictate waiting until a slow day to introduce a new way of doing things? This was a “perfect storm” of the Dodgers’ own making.

It took us 50 minutes to get in the parking lot from Alvarado Street exit, another hour and 15 minutes to get to the 101 after the game. My 3 kids were all crying. Maybe it was because they were hungry – when we tried to get hamburgers and pizza in the FIRST INNING, they were already sold out. After that, lines were 3 innings long for food. There were no food vendors other than peanuts and cracker jack in the Top Deck. Don’t even get me started on the bathroom lines.

It was the worst experience I’ve ever had at Dodger stadium. Truly awful.

I was just wondering. Everyone is talking about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier when he came in to the league. That is all fine and good but why is he getting all the credit for doing something that actually took at least two people to do. I am talking about the person that gave him a chance to play for the Dodgers. When will he get some credit for doing something that everyone else was against at the time. I think that it took some guts to go against pretty much the whole nation and let a black man play what was considered a white mans game at the time.

Hey — I have a friend in Hollywood who can almost always hear the Spanish language broadcast at the same time that Vin is speaking, like in the background. Sometimes it’s nearly as loud as Vin. Have others experienced this? He’s on Time-Warner Cable. I’ve heard it — it’s extremely funny, and he has a great attitude about it. But I can’t hear it at my house, and I’ve never heard anyone else report it. Any thoughts?
Thanks.

I have been an avid Dodger fan (who attends games) for 7-years now. I have never felt the need or desire to complain about the Dodger parking until today. IT TOOK ME AN HOUR TO GET INTO THE STADIUM! I have been to many sold out games and this has never happened… never. I don’t care how many experts you hired to figure out the new system, just go back to the old one.

Here in LA we deal with enough traffic. There is no answer for it, just too many people. At least in the old system you could find an entrance that wasn’t full and figure out which exit to go to depending on what you were doing after the game. Today I had to leave through the 5-fwy exit, drive all the way around to get to Hollywood. In the old system I could have entered the stadium through Broadway and left through the Sunset exit and have at least been pointed in the right direction.

It was really bad today…

Listen to the fans not the experts!

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