GLENDALE -- The Dodgers are trying to improve the traffic flow in and out of Dodger Stadium, and one of the methods for 2014 will be an increased cost for buying parking at the gate.
For those who purchase single-game parking in advance, the cost will remain $10 this season, with either the printed pass or a smart phone scanned at the gate. But for those wishing to purchase single-game parking at the entrance to Dodger Stadium, the cost will rise to $15.
"The main bottleneck we have is transaction time at the gate. Last season in September we experimented with free parking for carpools, but it didn't have any impact at all," Dodgers CEO and president Stan Kasten said on Friday. "We are encouraging as many fans as possible to get your parking passes in advance, either online or on your phone on the way to the ballpark. If you do that, we can zip you right through.
"It's not a revenue thing. The best case for us is everyone gets their $10 ticket by getting it in advance."
Similarly, premium parking will cost $35 in advance, and $50 at the gate.
Other changes to getting to and from Dodger Stadium this year include:
- More pedestrian walkways and bike paths
- Two shuttle stops, both behind center field and behind home plate
- Adding signage to direct people to the under-utilized Golden gate and Academy gate
- Opening the Scott gate, which has been closed for most games.
Once at the games, the Wi-Fi situation is supposed to be better, Kasten said. The Dodgers said this before 2013 as well, but many of the needed changes to the infrastructure weren't completed until after the season. With new access points throughout Dodger Stadium, the improved Wi-Fi network should be in place by the March 27 Freeway Series opener against the Angels, but definitely by the regular season home opener on April 4.
"We have in place the largest network of access points of any team in Major League Baseball, which we need because we're the largest stadium," Kasten said. "We are very close to having it up and running now. We think, we believe, I've been promised it will be ready by opening day, so that's what I'm going by."
Network closer to launch
With SportsNet LA set to launch on Feb. 25, the network hasn't yet been picked up by any carriers other than Time Warner. Should the network not be available in some markets by the time Cactus League games start on Feb. 26, there are no plans in place to offer the games online ... yet.
"The question of streaming is an open one. I think that day will happen. It's not in place now, and we don't have anything to say about it now," Kasten said. "Right now the best way, the only way to access Dodger content 24 hours a day is to get access to SportsNet LA. Whatever that takes, change your provider or get your provider to provide it."
Kasten remains confident the network will be available to most providers by opening day of the regular season.
"I want what all the providers want, and that is for every game in every home. That's what works for everybody," Kasten said. "I understand, like in every other city, there is a process to get to that end result. I can't tell you the timetable, but it has worked out in virtually every other city."