ECHO PARK — Baseball is returning to Dodger Stadium, with five games — including the season opener — scheduled during the coming week. That means the neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark will be awash in fans, traffic and Opening Day drink specials.
A Freeway Series game against the Angels gets the ball — and traffic — rolling on Saturday, April 1. Then, on Monday, April 3, it’s the Dodgers vs Padres in the regular season opener that begins at 1:10 pm. But wait, there’s more: Opening Day is the beginning of a four-day home stand against the Padres.
Opening Day, as has been traditionally the case, is likely to draw the biggest crowds as well as police enforcement. Phillip Smith, commanding officer of the LAPD Northeast Division, said officers will be out early in Elysian Park and around the ballpark on Monday to make sure pre-game parties don’t get out of hand and there’s no drinking in public.
LAPD is also warning fans that there will be no parking on a section of Stadium Way called Avenue of the Palms – a popular spot for pre-game picnics and parties.
Visiting fans will also face 2-hour parking and other restrictions on other streets. A representative for Council District 13, which represents most of the neighborhoods west of the ballpark, said it is working to restrict and limit parking on streets near the ballpark, including Academy Road, Douglas Street, Macbeth Street, Montana Street, Morton Avenue, Portia Street, Quintero Street and Scott Avenue. The idea is to discourage fans from parking in the neighborhood. But residents will also have to move their vehicles in most cases to avoid getting ticketed or towed.
The Eastsider contacted the spokesman of Gil Cedillio, whose Council District 1 includes most of the neighborhoods east and south of the stadium, for information about parking restrictions but received no response.
While some residents would like to keep Dodger fans at bay, many Echo Park bars and restaurants are rolling out the welcome mat with Opening Day specials:
- The Lost Knight, for example, will offer pre-game drink specials and live music while the Short Stop will host pre- and post-game parties.
- The Holloway will open at 10 am.
- Trencher will be offering Bowl & Batters Box Specials on game days.
- Lot 1 Cafe will open at 8 am, serving brunch all day and serving pitchers of housemade sangria and beer and shot specials.
- The Short Stop will open at 9 am and offer drink specials; pre- and post-game parties
Here’s to a winning season. Go Dodgers!
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Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
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