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Dodgers lose millions as game attendance drops sharply

Dodger Stadium is seen in this undated file photo.

August 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A tough year all around for the Los Angeles Dodgers: Amid bankruptcy, the McCourt divorce and an ownership fight with Major League Baseball, Dodger Stadium attendance has dropped sharply, and it's costing the team millions in ticket sales.

Vin Scully's classic line is "It's time for Dodger baseball," but if you look around Chavez Ravine that's the case for fewer and fewer actual fans.

"Years prior it was elbow to elbow, now you have space in the seats," said Riverside resident Bob Wassem.

The Los Angeles Times estimates the Dodgers will lose $27 million in tickets, parking and concessions. That's a 9.4-percent decline in revenue and about 8,000 fewer fans per game, the biggest drop-off in the majors.

Fans say the team has three strikes against them, keeping them out of ticket lines.

Strike one: safety concerns, including the vicious opening day beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow.

"It used to be a family place but with what happened and stuff, it gives a scary thought to going to the games," said Los Feliz resident Edwin Sanchez.

Strike two: Frank McCourt, an unpopular owner, fighting Major League Baseball in bankruptcy court and his ex-wife in divorce court.

"I think that if anything has brought the team down," said Hollywood resident Robin Alvares.

Strike three: a losing record as the Dodgers battle for last place in the National League West.

"I've been a Dodger fan since I moved to L.A., they've forced me just to follow other teams because there's nothing exciting about them," said Silver Lake resident Dennis Hinman.

The only upside? You can find plenty of tickets around $5 a game.

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