Brass bands-for-hire playing to a Latin-Polka beat competed with DJs and thumping sound-systems in Elysian Park this afternoon as they performed before crowds celebrating ahead of the season opener at Dodger Stadium . Unlike previous years, today’s opening game begins later in the afternoon, at 5 p.m., which met with the approval of some fans. “It worked out a lot better,” said Oscar, who has attended at least a half dozen season openers. “You get more time to enjoy it here with friends and families.”
While many fans showed up later in the day, LAPD was out bright and early to issue traffic tickets and cite people for drinking in public, said one officer. LAPD, and even some officers with the FBI, are scheduled to be on hand the rest of the day, said on officer on the scene. In fact, police were using the former 76 gas station on the stadium property as a command center, he said.
Echo Park and Solano Canyon residents should prepare for more noise - including swooping military jets – and traffic as the afternoon progresses.
* Update: The LAPD also seems to be a fan of the opening game’s later start time. Lt. John Cook with the Northeast Division said the later arrival of fans for tail-gate parties gave LAPD units the time “to set the tone” for behavior by issuing warnings and tickets for drinking in public, amplified music and double-parking. Of course, there was plenty of those things going on this afternoon but no major problems had been reported as of about 3 p.m.
Also, FBI officials were on hand to help the LAPD use surveillance cameras to monitor the crowds inside and outside the stadium, police said.