What's It Like To Watch The World Series From Dodger Stadium's Parking Lot?
Tuesday night's World Series game wasn't a typical one at Dodger Stadium. No Dodger Dogs for sale. No ticket scalpers. No throngs of blue-clad pedestrians climbing the hill to Chavez Ravine. Just 850 carloads of Dodger faithful lined up in the parking lot, watching Game 1 together on giant screens. Like a drive-in movie, but with way more horn-honking.
Attendees told me it's the closest thing to the ballpark experience that the coronavirus pandemic will allow this year.
"You know, I probably would never get the chance to afford to go to an actual World Series game," said Kezia Evans of Long Beach. I think this is the closest we can get. With the year that we've had, I think it's kind of nice to be able to somewhat have a normal experience watching the game with other fans."
Some sat in truck beds or with legs dangling out tailgates, but everyone had to stay in or on their vehicles, due to social distancing guidelines. The only exception security made was for visits to the port-a-potties, where I was forced to conduct the majority of my interviews with fans.
"They're keeping it safe here, and that's good," said Alejandro Gomez of Sylmar. "It does kind of suck that there is no food and no drinks here, you've got to bring it yourself. There's no alcohol, but it's okay. One day without alcohol? We can get by."
Lifelong Dodger fan Ruben Ortega complained about security at the event — which included private personnel on golf carts and LAPD officers.
"It's cool to be here and show support," said Ortega, sneaking cigarette puffs behind a row of port-a-potties. "The only bad thing is the security on tailgating. They're strict. You can't do anything. You can't even get out of your car."
Still, Ortega says he already has tickets to return to the parking lot to watch Friday's game.
For most in attendance, Dodger Stadium — even the parking lot — is an almost sacred place, connected to past memories of Dodger glory, but also of family and friends.
"When they made it to the World Series 2017, I was able to come to Game 7," said Alberto Hernandez of Ontario. "I wanted to kind of relive the experience. My dad wasn't in town that time, so my dad's here with me along with my lovely future bride."
Richard Casillas of Baldwin Park was 12 the last time the Dodgers won the World Series, and the Dodgers have been a big part of his life since.
"It's been awhile with this Covid thing, it's been hard and everything," Casillas said. "Let's just come together as fans. I could have stayed home, but it's a better vibe out here."
Tickets to Dodgers Drive-In events are $75 per car and can be purchased on the team's website. While there are about 16,000 parking spaces surrounding Dodger Stadium, the maximum capacity for these events is 1,000 cars. The show will go on for the rest of the World Series games, but this weekend's games have already sold out.