The Dodgers season got off on the right foot as they staged a late comeback to beat the San Diego Padres at Chavez Ravine. But the experience wasn’t so pleasing for some fans who complained of a heavy-handed police presence during traditional Open Day tailgating parties in Elysian Park and extended waiting at the turnstiles.
The club and the LAPD have put extra security measures in place in and around Dodger Stadium this season.
For the first time, fans are required to pass through metal detectors. That led to long lines at the gates, and some fans complained that they didn’t get to their seats in time to see Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw throw the first pitch.
Meanwhile, pregame partying at Elysian Park was muted this year. That’s because LAPD officers were out in large numbers, preventing people from stopping their cars to unload and vigilantly enforcing a temporary two-hour parking limit. Police said they issued 60 citations for drinking, but there were no major problems.
The extra security followed numerous complaints from neighbors last year about unruly behavior on game days. But some fans said they had to call off their planned celebrations because they couldn’t get into the park.
In the end, most went home happy as the Dodgers won 6 to 3. New shortstop Jimmy Rollins belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to break a tie. Ex-Dodger Matt Kemp knocked in all three runs for the Padres.