‘Next best thing:’ Dodgers fans pack parking lot for World Series drive-in

Angelenos love their cars, they love their sports teams and they certainly love to get loud. To cheer for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, they are able to combine all three.

It might not be 56,000 screaming fans inside Dodger Stadium, but in an ode to the drive-in theaters of the past — hey, the Dodgers last won the World Series in 1988 — anywhere between 850 and 950 cars with more than a combined 2,000 people, is the next best thing. The folks are honking, cheering and yelling to support the Dodgers.

Angie Gee was born and raised in Los Angeles and is a die-hard fan. She told ESPN that although the experience is nothing like an in-person game, “it still gives me that feeling knowing that the stadium is still kind of open to the public just a bit. So we can still have that feeling, that vibe, that the Dodgers are home.”

The coronavirus pandemic has moved all World Series games to Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, where a limited number of fans can attend. But the Dodgers would have been able to host thousands more at home, so the Dodger Stadium drive-in was created to fill the void.

Read more: Who will be the World Series MVP?

It’s the latest in a renaissance for drive-in entertainment during the coronavirus lockdown. Country music star Garth Brooks put on a concert, shown in drive-ins around the country in the summer. Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and the Rose Bowl all turned their venues into drive-in movie theaters.

In Los Angeles, fans have paid $75 per car to watch World Series games on two 60-foot HD screens set up back-to-pack in two lots. The audio of the game is broadcast over FM radio. On Sunday, fans saw the Dodgers take Game 5, winning 4-2 to take a 3-2 lead against the Tampa Bay Rays. No team has won two consecutive games in this World Series.

Fans can arrive up to 90 minutes before the first pitch and no car can carry more than six passengers. Food and drinks are not served, and alcohol and partying outside of your car is prohibited.

“Some fans are being turned away as early as noon, hoping for a front-row spot,” said Jon Clapper, assistant director of public relations for the Dodgers.

Gee was there for Game 3 on Wednesday and Game 5 on Sunday.

And even without the atmosphere of beer, hot dogs, spilled snacks and high-fiving your random neighbor, the experience for Dodgers fans has certainly been present in the parking lot in the Elysian Park neighborhood. Fans in those neighborhoods can see the game from the hills surrounding Chavez Ravine.

Gee said it was “the next best thing,” and she will go again for a potential series-clinching Game 6 on Tuesday. It should be the wildest parking lot in America.

“I hope they don’t break my heart again. Every October for the past three years,” Gee said with a laugh.

In addition to the honking during the plays, Quincii Paxton — also an L.A. native — told ESPN the police officers onsite turned on their sirens during scoring plays. “It was loud from all the honking on all the good plays and scoring plays for the Dodgers. It made up for the change of atmosphere from a regular game. It was definitely fun that’s for sure,” Paxton said. Paxton went with his mother to Games 3 and 5 and said it’s “an exciting time, at least if you’re an L.A. fan.”

Source: Read Full Article