As the Dodgers battle for first place in the National League West and a drive to the playoffs, Dodger Stadium this summer is again one of the best places to enjoy a family outing. And this year the Dodgers are going even farther to make sure you have a good time and get value for your dollar.
Of the 81 home games this season, 64 feature something beyond the game – a giveaway item when you walk in the gate, a chance for kids to run the bases or fireworks after the game. David Siegel, vice president of ticket sales, says the Dodgers offer the most promotions of any of the 30 major league teams. June, in fact, has some of the best programs.
- June 8 (7:10 p.m. game vs. the Colorado Rockies) is Don Newcome Bobblehead night. Newcome played for the Dodgers for eight seasons, including part of the time when the team was based in Brooklyn, and is among the best to wear a Dodgers’ jersey. He is one of only two players in baseball history to have won the Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards. He turns 90 years old this month, and is still involved with the team and active in player development.
- June 16 (7:10 p.m. game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers) is the latest in a series of commemorative pin giveaways that honor retired Dodger players. This one is for outfielder Duke Snider.
- June 17 (7:10 p.m. game, also against the Brewers) includes Friday Night Fireworks after the game.
- June 19 (1:10 p.m. game against the Brewers) boasts a Father’s Day Dodger boxers giveaway.
- June 20 (7:10 p.m. game vs. the Washington Nationals) is Cooler Backpack giveaway night.
- June 22 (7:10 p.m. game vs. the Nationals) is Dusty Baker Bobblehead night. Baker is now the manager of the Nationals, but for years he was one of the most reliable outfielders the Dodgers had and led the team to World Series appearances in 1977 and 1978.
July, August and September include even more programs. Siegel says that giveaways like Dodger boxers are “innovative,” and the team continues to find fun ways to make the Dodger Stadium experience more fun than ever, with something for everyone.
Visit www.dodgers.com/promotions for the whole list of programs and details on each. You’ll see that it’s hard to find a date when there’s not something to offer in addition to the game.
Of course, the food at Dodger Stadium has long been part of the game experience. While Dodger Dogs, peanuts and soft-serve ice cream will always be what my kids and I love about going to a game, Jason Tingley, the executive chef at the stadium, has added more choices to the menu and some really attractive bundles with an eye toward more value for families.
One bite of the Hawaiian Dog, an all-beef hot dog with a pineapple salsa topping, and you’re going to forget you’re at a ballgame. It’s something I’d expect to find at a specialty restaurant. Same goes for the Kobe beef burger, which comes topped with Gouda, caramelized onions and 1000 Island dressing. Wow.
The smoked barbeque wings with sliced veggies and fries are fantastic, and the chicken verde sandwich really raises the bar on what stadium food will become. The Dodgers also offer kosher hot dogs and a variety of vegetarian and healthy options, so there’s something for everyone in the food arena. Not all menu items are available at every food stand, but there are helpful signs throughout the stadium, complemented by a team of friendly ushers who will point you in the right direction. If you want to be really prepared, click here to plan your food experience.
For the true baseball fans, taking some time to walk around the stadium is also worthwhile. The Dodgers have done a great job of displaying memorabilia from the team’s rich history – enlarged tickets and scorecards from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s along with trophies, posters and much more. They’ve added a great sound system in almost every corner so you can listen to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully call the game while you walk around. If you want the real behind-the-scenes tour – and I’ll tell you it’s awesome for a baseball fan – sign up here.
It doesn’t take much to get me to Dodger Stadium. I love baseball, and I can’t think of many better places to spend a summer evening (or day) with my kids, and now there are even more reasons to go.
Ron Epstein is Publisher of L.A. Parent.