Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Art of the Game

Believe it or not, everything in our lives has a design. Now it is true that maybe the design comes from no plan but planned or not, there is a design. As my wife says, no decision is still a decision.

The same rules apply with art. An artist, a movement, may have a purpose or "design" in mind and it will or will not take hold. The majority of what we call art movements were people who were of a like mind, such as the Impressionists, but whose talent and vision was very different. They were rebelling against the staid formality of the Salon. They were grouped because of what they did, not necessarily how they did it. That could be said of any movement.

Dodger Stadium
One of the biggest things to hit Los Angeles over the past year, other than a nasty mayors race, has been the transformation of the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball team. If there ever was an art and design movement, this is it.

I don't imagine many readers here are baseball fans but it is the venerable American sport, even if we can't seem to win the World's Classic. A very high percentage of Americans follow at least their home team, often passionately. At its peak the Dodgers had one of the highest, if not THE highest season attendance records in baseball. Once the O"Malley's sold the team to the McCourts, it was a increasingly steady downhill slope. Even before the brutal beating of a Giants fan from Northern California by Dodger thug fans here in Southern California, on opening day several years ago, the team and stadium became a place to avoid. Last season attendance dropped about two thirds. Of course, the messy divorce of the McCourts made great daily headlines but created sinking hearts and fear to all Dodger fans.

The courts finally settled the divorce AND who would purchase the team. Magic Johnson, a well loved local boy, Peter Gruber, et al, put up the winning bid and then turned around and remade the team. Literally! Besides going on a spending spree for players that would make even the Yankees high flying ways blush, they also spent $100 million on the stadium, built in 1962, and literally falling apart by the McCourt era, who literally sucked the franchise dry.

We bought tickets online for a discounted Friday game a few days ago. The drive up to the last Gold Line station for a ride down to Union Station took longer than getting to the stadium. The free Dodger Shuttle got us from Union Station to the stadium in under 15 minutes, unheard of in notorious Los Angeles traffic. Hour drives up the hill are the norm! We got our will call tickets and in we went.

People were everywhere to help you find your way but the new signage in the lot helped a lot too. We got to our seats on our own! Food was expensive but you expect that, but the options had increased four fold! The stadium was clean, well lit, the walkways wider. The new light boards are as clear as your home TV, they had interesting new graphics displaying the history of the Dodgers, an amazing sound system and best of all, CLEAN bathrooms. This is art and design. Its as if the new owners listened to what the fans said and well, did it.

It was heartening to see families there again. They are encouraging that. There were plenty of people there to make sure nothing happens and if it did, I am sure, like at the Rose Bowl, you are gone before the fans even realize what has happened. The scariest thing we saw all night was a drunk on the Gold Line going home.

Our lives are filled with design that others have created. The car your drive, the home you live in, even the appliances you use. They didn't just happen. There was design. We should reward those that give us products the are easy to understand and use. Yes, and punish those that don't. Is there a method to this new Dodger era? Sure! Its to make money. Yet, in their willingness to attract us, they have come to the realization that how they design themselves will depend on how we will reward them.

Be sure to visit my store on Etsy ... and become a follower here as well. I welcome all comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment