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T.J. SIMERS

That's a lot of cheese to go see these Dodgers

The columnist pays $70 each for two tickets in the loge level at Dodger Stadium, and isn't keen to shell out such cash to watch the no-star Diamondbacks against the hapless Dodgers.

May 16, 2011|T.J. Simers
  • Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier flips his batting helmet after striking out in the first inning Monday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier flips his batting helmet after striking… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

I knew something like this would happen if I ever had a friend.

Frankly, I didn't know Dave was my friend until he called to say he wanted me to take him to a Dodgers game.

Obviously Dave isn't from here because no one wants to go to a Dodgers game these days.

The only people who go to Dodgers games now are cops, MLB monitors or someone who has to go because they have a friend in from out of state.

Dave called to say they just wanted to get away from Wisconsin, and who doesn't understand that?

He said they would be staying in our house. So that's what they mean when someone says: "What are friends for?"

I was just happy to have a friend after so many people had told me it would never happen.

So we drove to Dodger Stadium, Dave telling me the whole time what goes on in a cow's life. Ordinarily I drive to the stadium listening to Mason & Ireland, so I wasn't complaining.

When we arrived, I went to the Dodger Stadium ticket window. There was no line.

I told the lady we had no interest in sitting in the upper deck because it seemed as far away from the field as Wisconsin.

We could have sat in the left-field pavilion, but Dave might have gotten the wrong impression of this storied franchise, thinking as bad as the left fielder is for the Dodgers these days, this place just isn't what it used to be.

We could have sat in right field, but isn't that the all-you-can-eat section? Dave doesn't need to be any fatter, and I can say that because we're friends.

We selected the loge overlooking the rich folks below in the field-level seats just past third base, Section 139, Row E and Seats 7 and 8.

"That will be $140," the lady said, and apparently she thought we were buying season tickets.

"That's $70 each; a little pricey," she admitted, and even she felt bad.

That's $70 for one baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks with no stars against the Dodgers who have two every-day players. Why isn't that considered robbery, punishable with time in prison or buying Tom Lasorda lunch?

I remember when Super Bowl tickets cost $70.

Dave made no move for his wallet. Seventy dollars in Wisconsin is a new snow plow.

I paid for the tickets, found Section 139 and other people sitting nearby. What do these people do for a living in which they can afford $70 to watch two bad teams play each other?

I know this, the guy who owns this team must be really doing well — raking in all this money. The Dodgers announce a crowd of 30,000-plus almost every night.

For the $140 I spent on two tickets, I got one hit from the Diamondbacks, who went on to win the game.

I also got the fan sitting right behind me yelling in my ear, "Come on, Bills," who probably have a much better chance of scoring this year than the Dodgers, and we don't know if there will be football.

Meanwhile, my only friend, Dave, wouldn't shut up about Wisconsin winters and his desire to go to a Starbucks just once in his life. And I thought it couldn't get any worse watching a baseball game and listening to Charley Steiner.

I noticed there were a lot of empty seats in our area. Would you spend $70 to go to a Dodgers' game if there was no chance to sit on the edge of your seat when Jonathan Broxton was called on to pitch?

Later I was told season-ticket holders probably paid less for each seat in our area. Right now I can't see any reason to be a Dodgers season-ticket holder unless you want to make sure you are here when Russell Mitchell gets a hit. Could be June, maybe July or August.

I just can't get over it — $70 to watch a baseball game! Throw in concessions, parking and kids — and why would anyone ever have kids if they intend to keep going to baseball games?

Take a family of four to a Dodgers game, and that's a new car.

I was told later I should have tried Stub Hub and checked Monday night for where we were seated Saturday, two tickets now going for $78. Still way too much, but why would anyone go to the ticket office if it's cheaper elsewhere?

Just think of the money the owner could save here if he closed the stadium ticket offices and just posted Stub Hub's web address.

I checked the Team Marketing Report, an annual survey that takes into account the cost of tickets throughout baseball, and the average Dodgers ticket — not counting premium seats — is $30.59. The average Angels' ticket is $17.13.

The average premium ticket to watch Juan Uribe's herculean effort to hit .200 this season is $222.38. After all, the Dodgers have to pay Uribe $7 million this year, and next, and the year after that when you might find Ned Colletti sitting beside you in the stands.

By the way, the average premium ticket to an Angels' game is $67.71. The Angels don't have to spend as much on security, so I understand.

"Do we have to stay?'' asked Dave sometime during the eighth inning, a bad sign when the guy from Wisconsin knows there is no chance the Dodgers can overcome a 1-0 deficit.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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