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SIZING UP OUR CITY SLICKERS.

Byline: TOM HOFFARTH

Who knew that the Orangey part of Los Angeles the renegade-red Angels call home could be so much different -- and apparently better -- than the ravine where the blue-blooded Dodgers have been squatting all these years?

Now there's some data to back that up.

A survey called the ``Fan Value Index 2006'' conjured up by Sports Illustrated's Web site has determined that not only does the Los Angeles team of Anaheim rule this city, but they're the best in all of baseball as far as patron satisfaction is concerned.

While they rank No. 1 overall, the Dodgers fall in at No. 26 (out of 32 teams). Grading on a curve, Grady Little's employers have a little work to do.

More than 8,500 fans nationally responded when asked to judge how their ballparks fared, on a scale of 1 to 10, on seven categories that matter most.

SI.com says the survey is ``an effort to find the ballparks that offer the best experience for the money, not the ballpark that has the best experience in an absolute sense.'' Since we value their opinion, and note that the end of the regular season is the perfect time to start the list of fix-'em projects, we'll crunch some of these numbers here and provide our two-cent analysis:

Average ticket price: The stats say the average Dodgers' ducat is about $20 while the Angels' are $18.97. Considering the Angels have a smaller capacity, you'd think the prices would be steeper. The Dodgers might have sold more tickets this year than ever before, but watching a Dodger Stadium game on TV with all those empty yellow seats behind home plate that belong to plastic surgeons makes you wonder why they can't figure out a way to fill them if only for cosmetic reasons.

Survey says: Angels, barely.

Average cost of concessions and souvenirs: This huge gap between the two teams is based on calculations by something called the Team Marketing Report. If a person bought parking, four hot dogs, four small drinks, two small beers, two game programs and two adult-sized caps, it would cost 'em $95 at Dodger Stadium and just $59 at Angel Stadium. Here's where Arte Moreno's beer prices make a difference, and why a $4.50 Dodger Dog (the lowest price) seems a bit unreasonable. The Angels offer many things at different sizes and prices, and we're quite fond of the $5 popcorn box that turns into a megaphone (``eat the corn, blow your horn'' is the motto) as well as the 24oz., $12 ``Corona bomber.'' The Dodgers stick with a lot of one-size items, and it's sad to watch sometimes as Roger the Peanut Man chucks those huge $5.50 bags instead of the old, smaller two-baggers that were much less expensive.

Survey says: Angels, in a big way.

Accessibility: With this data, the Dodgers rank lower because of slow traffic entering and exiting the park and little use of public transportation. We'd like to add the fact that if the game drags, you can stroll around the entire park at Angel Stadium. Can't do that at Dodger Stadium. Nor can you move down a level without a ticket stub (the ushers will stop you), and going to the Top of the Park store is a chore because of slow elevators.

Survey says: Angels.

Amenities: The Angels do more kid-friendly things in the family area of left field; the Dodgers' pavilion sections seem almost barbaric in every area imaginable. They should have scored bigger with all the new seats installed, but that seemingly wasn't taken into account, nor was the service at the food lines. Otherwise the gap could have been wider.

Survey says: Angels.

Atmosphere: The Dodgers have the tradition, the organ music and Vin Scully's voice floating above the crowd for the first three innings. The Angels have mastered the art of the giant-screen assault, which probably appeases the ADD kids better. And at their team store, the 2002 World Series trophy is on display. Where is all the Dodgers' hardware for fans to see?

Survey says: Even.

Neighborhood: The Dodgers' Chavez Ravine population prevents the kind of restaurants, sports bars, strip malls, fast-food joints and hotels that fancy the Angels' 'hood. In this survey, only Atlanta, Oakland, both New Yorks and Washington ranked lower than the Dodgers.

Survey says: Angels.

Team performance: Be glad you're not the Royals.

Survey says: Even.

Bottom line: Comparing the Dodgers' ranking to some key markets, they're sadly not that bad. The Chicago Cubs weren't much better (41 points, 24th place) because of ticket prices and team performance, while the Boston Red Sox (37 points, 28th place) are dinged by their costs of ticket prices and food/goods. Meanwhile, Colorado (53), Pittsburgh (52) and Milwaukee (51) are right behind the Angels and would have passed 'em if the fans there rated their team's performance any higher than a 2 or 3.

Red vs. blue. Pick your gang.

For town supremacy, the ball's still in McCourt's court. And if you're the Angels right now, the more the Moreno the better.

CAPTION(S):

3 photos, 5 boxes

Photo:

(1) LOUISIANA SUPERDOME

(2) DODGERS STADIUM

(3) McAFEE COLISEUM

Box:

(1) sunday punch

(2) FANTASY FOOTBALL

- Matthew Kredell

(3) HOT ... LUKEWARM .. COLD FISH

(4) The Pop Quiz

(5) A TALE OF ONE CITY
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 24, 2006
Words:892
Previous Article:L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
Next Article:CHAMPAGNE STILL ON ICE ANGELS WIN, THWART DIVISION-CLINCHING CELEBRATION FOR A'S ANGELS 6, OAKLAND 2.


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