LOS ANGELES — The sound of honking horns blasted through the air outside Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers were in Texas and on their way to an 8-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the World Series, more than 2,000 of their fans celebrated in unique fashion.
About 850 cars were parked in two lots next to empty Dodger Stadium as fans watched the Fox telecast on 60-foot tall screens in what was billed as a “Dodgers postseason drive-in.’’
Game 1 of the World Series would have been played at Dodger Stadium if not for the coronavirus pandemic, which led Major League Baseball to hold the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
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“I wish I could get a second mortgage and go to Texas, but I can’t afford it,’’ said Jose Gonzalez, who instead drove to the watch party with his wife and their three daughters. “But this will do nicely.’’
Admission was $75 per car and there were no food or drinks. But there were portable toilets and security guards and police officers enforcing social distancing. A parking space separated each car and occupants were encouraged to stay inside their vehicles.
Alcohol was prohibited. Horn-honking was not.
Dodgers fan Valeria Campos pokes her head out of a car window at Dodger Stadium during the drive-in watch party of Game 1 of the World Series. (Photo: Harrison Hill, USA TODAY)
“I’ve been to drive-ins, I’ve been to a baseball game,’’ said Hilary Goodrich, 36. “I’ve never been to a drive-in baseball game.’’
But Goodrich and her friend Amie Cuevas, 40, looked like pros as they sat with their feet dangling out of the back of Cuevas’ hatchback with scorebooks in their laps and a colorful view around them.
Eight people squeezed into the back of a truck were munching on pizza and fried chicken. A young boy watched from inside a camping tent – that was sitting on top of a truck.
And the horns honked again and again as Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger homered and Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run in six innings and had eight strikeouts.
“Electrifying’’ is how 15-year-old Gabriel Perez described the drive-in experience. “It’s definitely better than watching at home.’’
With capacity set at about 1,000 cars, the Dodgers already have sold out the drive-in watch party for Games 3, 4, 5 set to be played Friday, Saturday and Sunday, said Jon Clapper, assistant director of public relations for the Dodgers.
Goodrich said she’s planning to come back for more World Series drive-ins.
“There’s no way that this can be duplicated,’’ she said. “You know, I hope to not have to duplicate it next season.
"But it’s been the experience of a lifetime. Like I wish my grandparents had been around just to see what they thought of it. It would have been great.’’
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