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Watch Party Events Compete With Stadium Ticket Prices

By Madeline McCarthy

Amidst the pandemic, there has been a rise in popularity for drive-in movie theaters once again, and now people are not only going to drive-ins to watch movies but baseball games. The Dodger Stadium offered fans to view the games as one would view a drive-in movie. Each ticket cost $75, with one ticket needed per car, and no more than six passengers to a vehicle. Busses, trailers, campers, and other large vehicles were not allowed to enter the lot so each parking space was available and no views would be blocked.

Many rules were in place for this drive-in. Face coverings were required only when outside your designated vehicle, but everyone had to stay in the vehicle they drove up in unless using the restroom. No more than five people could stand in line for the restroom at a time. Fans were not allowed to set up chairs or blankets outside their cars, so they had to stay seated most of each game. Photos showed some fans sitting atop their cars or in the beds of their trucks, as no rules were explicitly stated against this. Fans from different vehicles were not allowed to gather together.

Concessions were not being offered, however fans were encouraged to bring their own snacks — but absolutely no alcohol was allowed. Smoking was prohibited as well.

Watching baseball is about more than just the sport. The games are about camaraderie; it’s important to cheer with your friends and fellow fans. Games include beer, pretzels, popcorn and hotdogs. The best feeling of the night is jumping up to scream your support when a player makes a diving catch or hits a home run, or yelling at an umpire who made a bad call.

While offering fans a new kind of viewing experience might seem like a great idea to some, the $75 price tag to essentially watch a big flatscreen feels more like a desperate attempt from the Dodgers Stadium to make up for lost revenue over the season. The reason that fans cannot pack into the stands is understandable, but the price of drive-in tickets should better reflect the experience they are being provided.

Six friends could split a ticket for a cheaper viewing experience, but the lack of concessions and space to move are a hindrance. The drive-in may be right next to the stadium, but it is still just a screen.

Watching the game on a screen at home with lots of beer, hot dogs, and popcorn costs less than $75 and this way, fans can jump around and cheer with their friends. I think this experience could end up being more satisfying than watching the game from inside a car with so many restrictions.

On Feb. 2, 2021, Super Bowl LV will be played at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. I know we all hope that the coronavirus will cease by then, but that may not happen based on its current status. If COVID-19 is still an issue, it will be interesting to see if a watch party like this drive-in would be considered for fans wanting to come to Raymond James.

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