An Open Letter to Frank McCourt
Dear Mr. McCourt,
It's not too late. You can still fix this.
No, no. I'm not talking about your ballclub. That seems to be going all right. And despite this afternoon's loss to the Rockies, your team seems to be heading in the right direction. You just swept the Giants, Furcal will be back soon, and if Schmidt's hamstring injury from today isn't serious, your squad should be in the running for an NL West title.
But the rest of it? Needs some fixing. And by "the rest of it", I mean, the way you're treating your fans. You know that record attendance you pulled in last year? Well, you can kiss it goodbye if opening day is any indicator.
Mr. McCourt, you passed through a higher ticket price increase than any owner in the major leagues this offseason (26.9%, per the LA Times). That fun little bump does NOT include the 50% increase on parking you passed on to your fans. You claimed that via the magic of "controlled parking zones" and an "increase in parking personnel" the Dodger parking situation would run as smoothly as a 6-4-3 double play.
Well you know what? The fan experience was not so good. It took me 30 minutes to get into your stadium yesterday (status quo!). It took me another 30 minutes to get a beer in the fifth inning (business as usual!!). And it took me an hour and a half to drive out of your stadium after the game.
I'm going to mention that again, Mr. McCourt, as I think it bears repeating. IT TOOK ME AN HOUR AND A HALF TO GET OUT OF YOUR PARKING LOT THIS AFTERNOON.
Now I've been a season ticket holder for a few years now. Mr. McCourt, I love your stadium and I generally enjoy the product you put out on the field. I can handle the 76% increase in ticket prices you've passed along to me over the last two years. I can handle an inning-and-a-half wait for a beer during the middle of the ballgame.
But what I can't (and won't) tolerate is a man who made his fortune in the parking lot business charging me an exorbitant fee to sit in gridlock. In a parking lot. FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. Moving like molasses uphill. Like the DMV line with the entire staff on a smoke break. Like excrement drifting down the Yangtze, with far away dreams of eventually spilling out (slightly potable) on Stadium Way.
So here's the thing. I know you've had your best people working on this. Maybe even that Business Development wunderkind Drew McCourt had a hand in it. But the parking thing? All those useless people in flourescent yellow vests?? The "controlled zones"???
Scrap it. Junk it. Bury it. Pretend it never happened. Even years of Odalis Perez and Julio Lugo and Bill Mueller and Toby Hall and Ned Colletti have not given me the tolerance to deal with what I just dealt with today.
So open the controlled zones.
Fire the flourescent yellow vests.
But whatever you do, please. Please. Please don't make me sit through that post-game parking hell again.
Dodger Season Ticket Holder 1220252
AP Photo courtesy of Kevork Djansezian