The Dodgers informed Solano Canyon residents this week that the team plans to resume firework shows at the end of about a dozen Friday night home games next season to help boost attendance. The fireworks were a hit with fans but not with Solano Canyon residents, whose complaints about crying children, blaring car alarms and barking dogs prompted the Dodgers to hold off on the fireworks this year. The Dodgers now claim that they could cut down on the noise by using different kinds of fireworks and launching the aerial bombs from different locations on the stadium property. Last night, about a dozen residents (pictured above) gathered outside a Solano Canyon Avenue bungalow to see and hear a fireworks test.
Dodger public affairs chief Howard Sunkin was on hand to direct the show and act as gunnery sergeant, ordering shells to be shot into the sky via walkie-talkie. “Shoot off Number 33,” Sunkin said into the walkie-talkie as residents waited to see and hear the explosions. But, at least last night, most of the fireworks could barely be heard or seen by the group. Still, many folks who live in the neighborhood east of the stadium remained skeptical about the demonstration and the team’s intentions. “They do what ever they want,” said one person at last night’s show.
A final decision has not been as to whether to resume the Friday shows next season, Sunkin said. But if the team did go ahead with the displays, the stadium would stage four firework shows in the month of July – three on Friday night home games and a Fourth of July show. Sunkin noted that the shows would likely be much shorter – only 7 minutes – than previous Friday night fireworks programs. “I’m going to try and take it down to five minutes,” Sunkin said before residents. He spoke about imposing a possible curfew on the shows but said that might be difficult to impose and explain to fans. Sunkin also spoke about signing a “deal sheet” with representatives of Solano Canyon to address concerns ranging from the shows to parking and traffic enforcement during the games.
An aid to Councilman Ed Reyes who was present during last night’s demonstration declined to say if the council office had taken a position on the Friday night shows.
One Solano Canyon resident who attended a Tuesday night meeting with the Dodgers said the group was disappointed to hear that the Dodgers were once again preparing to shoot off fireworks on Friday home games. “Fireworks are a double-edged situation,” said the resident by email. “They do bring in more of a family atmosphere to Friday night games. People wait around for fireworks and that helps alleviate exit traffic. But fireworks every Friday night home game – about 14 – is disruptive to our community.”
Most of the residents last night were not happy to see the return of the Friday home game fireworks either. But some expressed optimism that the Dodgers could help soften the blow on Solano Canyon. “I’m hopeful that it will be quiet,” said Jon Huck.
Buddy Carvey, a 12-year resident of Solano Canyon, had no such hope. Carvey, who had to console his daughter and sedate his dogs during Dodger fireworks shows, said the team made similar promises in 2009 without any results.
* This post had been updated from previous versions with additional information.