The boys are back in town. Los Angeles Dodgers players and fans returned to Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 27 for the annual Dodgers FanFest. The reigning National League Champions hosted the event to kick off the new season. This year’s attendance broke records from previous years with 35,000 fans who went.
This year’s FanFest was presented by Coca-Cola and San Manuel Casino. The event was free and was held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gates of the stadium opened at 9 a.m. and parking was free. For admission, fans needed to claim a digital ticket from dodgers.com/FanFest. Fans also needed to download the MLB Ballpark app on their phones for entry. Dodgers.com also encouraged fans to arrive early to the stadium.
Prior to the event, Dodger fans were able to purchase VIP experiences such as Deluxe Clubhouse Tours, Vin Scully Press Box Tour, Dodgers History at the Pop-Up Museum, Meet and Greet with players, managers, and broadcasters, Ask the Manager and Train Like a Pro. Dodgers hosted two Jr. Dodger Autograph sessions for fans under 14 years of age to meet current and former Dodger players.
Dodgers FanFest offered an abundance of free activities and services for children and adults. They had the opportunity to rock climb, ladder climb, jump on a trampoline, and play carnival games. Fans could also visit three different obstacle courses located on the field and in Lot G.
Fans were able to practice their hitting skills in a mini Home Run Derby, pitching technique in Major League Baseball, swing their hearts out in a professional style batting cage, and visit the Sports 3 in 1 game to practice their all around sports skills.
At Dodgers FanFest, fans were able to visit a concession stand to grab an iconic Dodger dog, sit and dine at Kings Hawaiian Grill and Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria. Adults over 21 could purchase alcohol at #ITFDB Bar, La Michelada Bar, Blue Heaven Bar and Golden Rod Keg.
The 99 Cents Only Store, Calpico, Chef Merito, Coca-Cola, Gazillion, HI-CHEW, LA Times, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, McDonald’s, San Manuel Casino and Welk Resorts had tents all throughout the stadium and had giveaways throughout the day.
Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, second baseman Logan Forsythe, All-Star and National League Championship Co-MVP third-baseman Justin Turner, outfielders Enrique Hernández, Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, Alex Verdugo, and National League Championship Co-MVP Chris Taylor, pitcher Ross Stripling and National League Reliever of the Year Kenley Jansen made an appearance at Fanfest 2018. They all took the FanFest stage to talk about the 2017 season and their hopes for the new season.
Former Dodger players and Dodger legends took the stage including: Shawn Green, Steve Yeager, Fernando Valenzuela, Ron Cey, Bob Geren, and Eric Karros took the stage throughout the day.
Dodger broadcasters also took the stage to discuss the Dodgers 2017 season and where the Dodgers stand for the 2018 season. English and Spanish radio and television hosts including: Charley Steiner, Jaime Jarrin, Jorge Jarrin, Pepe Yniguez, and Joe Davis joined the stage throughout the day. Sportsnet: LA, the exclusive TV home of the Dodgers, hosted a live three-hour panel full of interviews with current and former Dodger players.
The excitement could be felt throughout the entire stadium. Following the team’s heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the World Series against the Houston Astros, fans are eager for the new season to start.
When ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw took the FanFest stage, he told the large crowd that all they need is “One more win.”
Despite losing the World Series, many fans and players remain optimistic about the historic new season. The Dodgers will be celebrating their 60-year anniversary of their move to Los Angeles. The players will wear a commemorative patch throughout the entire year to celebrate the milestone for the organization.
With the 2018 season right around the corner, pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. Position players will arrive in Camelback Ranch on Sunday, Feb. 18. A full squad workout will be held on Monday, Feb. 19.
Videos of player interviews and events from the 2018 FanFest are available at dodgers.com.
For more information on the Dodgers Spring Training schedule, please visit dodgers.com/spring-training.
The 2018 season will begin when the reigning National League Championship Team, Dodgers host Opening Day on Thursday, Mar. 29 against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. For information on regular season game tickets and other Dodgers news, please visit dodgers.com.