Dodger opening day traditions hampered by tighter restrictions
April 7, 2015 - Picnic Time
Rafael Gutierrez and his friends spared no responsibility for this year’s Dodgers opening day.
They wanted to have a blast during Elysian Park before a diversion — employing a celebration train to chauffeur them down from Oxnard, a coronet rope and a taco guy.
But like many fans Monday, Gutierrez was astounded to find dozens of LAPD officers fanned opposite Stadium Way, prohibiting people from parking or interlude their cars to unload. On several surrounding streets, a two-hour parking extent done game-day festivities subsequent to impossible.
The crackdown was partial of a city-led bid to control a uncontrolled tailgating that’s prolonged influenced a area around Dodger Stadium.
Security has been a supportive emanate given Giants fan Bryan Stow was brutally beaten in a track parking lot in 2011. But this year Los Angeles took a get-tough proceed — dispatching some-more than 200 officers — in response to countless area complaints about fan behavior: complicated drinking, open urination and personification shrill music.
Gutierrez concluded that there needs to be some military presence, though he and many Dodger lovers found Monday’s actions heavy-handed.
“We couldn’t even get off a train all during once,” he said. “We had to hide out, one by one, and run into a park.”
They left behind their tables, tents and chairs. Their taco builder gave adult and incited back.
“I live for this day,” Gutierrez, 24, said, indicating to a Dodger tattoo on his leg. “But this is so disappointing. We have no food and hardly managed to squeeze a little cooler with some ice cream.”
For those who drain Dodger Blue, opening day is a long-held tradition.
Fans take off work and come out in droves dressed in blue and white — to barbecue, dance and splash ethanol (some discreetly, some not) until diversion time. Last year, scarcely 50 Mexican coronet bands widespread opposite Elysian Park’s lawn, personification their tubas and guitars.
This year, a LAPD estimated a throng was about one-third a common distance (of adult to 5,000). And a military participation seemed to keep things in check. Officers released about 60 citations for celebration in open and done no arrests.
“The park was still open, and people enjoyed themselves,” Sgt. Vincent Aguirre said. “But a summary was clearly delivered that celebration will not be allowed.”
Of course, many fans found ways around a restrictions.
Some parked their cars adult to a mile away, afterwards hauled grills and folding tables on their backs. Others had kin dump them off or took cabs and Uber taxis to a park.
“No matter what, they can’t stop us,” pronounced Erika Arias, 28, of South Gate. “We adore a Dodgers too much.”
Some found they indeed benefited from a restrictions.
Raul Cervantes pronounced his Mexican tamborazo rope perceived some-more calls for opening-day gigs this year than ever before.
Previously he’d been hired to play during Elysian Park, where everybody could hear. But now it was private parties in people’s homes. On Monday he played outward a residence in Echo Park. When he finished, he upheld out his card, anticipating to drum adult some-more business.
“The tailgating anathema might be ticking a few people off,” he said. “But it looks like it has worked for me.”
Still, some felt let down by a morning. They questioned either it would be value returning subsequent year.
Cesar Perez and his mother have been tailgating during a home opener for some-more than a decade. They pierce their son Andrew, who’s now 11. On Monday, a family sat sensitively by their cruise blanket, staring during a prolonged quarrel of military cars a few feet away. They pronounced a day felt tense.
“You know who’s many influenced by this?” Perez said, indicating to his son. “He is. This was a special family tradition we wanted to pass along … though because would we wish to pierce him now? So he can lay here and be profiled by police?”
For residents surrounding a stadium, it was too shortly to tell either a additional coercion would pierce permanent change, though they were gratified to see a some-more resigned opening day.
“When we went out this morning, a military were everywhere,” pronounced Peter Lassen, who’s lived roughly 300 feet from Dodger Stadium for about 30 years. “This is improved than it has been. Thus far, we have not seen people [urinating] in a bushes.”
Since relocating into his home nearby a aged Scott Avenue entrance, Lassen pronounced he’s seen all sorts of fan misbehavior. But as ease as Monday’s opening was, he still indifferent oppressive difference for a team’s stream ownership.
“They are not consulting with us,” he said. “They are not seeking a opinion — only revelation us what they are going to do.”
Moving forward, a city will try opposite approaches to find a change between fans and residents, pronounced Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents a district.
That includes providing residents with available parking so they don’t have to pierce their cars each dual hours, as they did Monday.
Overall, O’Farrell said, he deliberate a day a success.
“This is what formulation is all about,” he said. “Preventing a disastrous activity that was so prevalent final year.”
For many fans, however, a disappointment went over tailgating woes. Loving their favorite team, they said, has never been this tough.
Stadium parking recently went adult $5, to $20 a game, nonetheless discounts can be had by profitable forward of time. And opposite Los Angeles, fans can’t watch a Dodgers on TV unless they allow to Time Warner Cable.
“Somebody improved tell those businessmen to figure something out,” pronounced Luis Perez, 35, of El Monte. “Otherwise, a whole lot of us are going to be Angels fans flattering soon.”
Times staff writers Jerome Campbell and Matt Hamilton contributed to this report.
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