A Review of Angel Stadium

I was out west last week and luckily for me, my Yanks were out west too, so I had the honor of watching them play on the road for the first time in my life.  The Yanks were playing a team called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, formerly the Anaheim Angels, formerly the Los Angeles Angels, formerly the California Angels.  They changed their name a couple of years ago and kept the Anaheim in their name to please city officials.  Whatever.  That’s why I call them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California of the United States of North America of Planet Earth.  I mean it’s virtually the same thing.  The Yanks only changed their name twice, and both times before any of you people reading were born.  At first they were the Baltimore Orioles, then the New York Highlanders, before becoming the Yankees.  But I digress…

Angel Stadium of Anaheim (yes, it gets the “of Anaheim” too).  My friend and I were in Santa Monica, so we figured we’d leave at 5pm to make it to the stadium around 6pm (~35 mile trip).  I had my Joba Chamberlain t-shirt on and I was ready to see him pitch.  Only one problem.

Los Angeles.  Traffic.  Sucks.

It took us just about two hours to reach the ballpark.  If you’ve never been to a game with me, suffice it to say I like to be in my seat having eaten, with the lineups written in my book at least half an hour before the game starts.  We parked ($5, not bad at all) and at 6:55 began walking pretty damn quickly to the stadium.  I’ll be damned if I miss an at-bat.

We got up to the main gate, which is pretty nice, couple of big Angel hats on the side.  The memorial for Nick Adenhart is right in front of the stadium, so I had to pay tribute to the poor kid who was killed after his first start in April by a drunk driver at age 23.  Sad stuff.  Something that isn’t sad is that I paid only $3 for a game program with former Yank Bobby Abreu on the cover.  Impressive.  A company called Team Marketing produces something called the Fan Cost Index, which examines the cost at each stadium for: 2 adult average priced tickets, 2 child average priced tickets, 2 small beers, 4 sodas, 4 hot dogs, parking for 1 car, 2 game programs, 2 cheap, adjustable hats.  (Click the link where I wrote “Fan Cost Index” for the 2009 results).  I was excited to check out “The Big A” because the Angels always do very well in this department and this year the average price for all this stuff was $141.18.  For comparison, at the big ballpark in the Bronx, this will run you an MLB-worst $410.88, or $200 more than the league average.

Inside the stadium, we made it up to our seats just in time to see Derek Jeter finish off the lead-off at bat of the game with a single to center.  Good start.  The stadium is a really nice place.  I like the rocks and waterfall in left-center and the scoreboards are informative and I was easily able to find the information (i.e. lineups because we got there late) I was looking for.  Something I couldn’t find but was looking for was a hot dog.  At every new ballpark I visit, I don’t care about the local fare (in this case churros and pizza from California Pizza Kitchen), I just want a hot dog for a nice, American evening.  There was one girl selling hot dogs who didn’t come near us for 3-4 innings.  I got up out of my seat and walked down the portal and found an information desk where I indicated that I was new around here and wanted a hot dog.  The ladies were kind enough to point me in the right direction and even offered me a this-is-my-first-game sticker.  I wouldn’t accept it because it had an Angels logo and that stupid rally monkey on it, but she actually cut all that garbage out and left me with the text only.  Ok.

I know I’m getting long-winded here, but I can’t end this post without describing the feeling of being a fan of the visiting team in another ballpark.  As I said, I’ve never done that before but it was interesting.  I will say this: I was not alone.  Of the 44,000 allegedly there that game, I would say that a solid 15% were Yankee fans.  There were a number of jerseys and hats of the good guys and I talked to some of them, which was cool.  Sure, I heard the “Yankees Suck” that was yelled at me but I just smiled and gave the thumbs up.  The Angel fans of Anaheim were mostly tame other than that and it was such a good feeling when the Yanks jumped out to a big lead on Joe Saunders.  The 15% of us cheered for the Yanks until Joba gave it all back.  Then, it sucked.  I had to hear the Angel fans cheer and berate the Yanks, which wasn’t fun (although it was deserved).  I hate losing, especially the way the Yankees did, and I wish I had more time to walk around the Big A, but it was a nice stadium and a good experience.  The Angels definitely know how to treat the fans that attend their games and you have to respect that.

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One Response to “A Review of Angel Stadium”

  1. Andrew Says:

    I went last year. I could’ve warned you about the traffic thing

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