Dodgers nix half-price alcoholic drinks
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Wednesday that the promotion they have planned for their six midweek home games this season no longer will include half-price alcoholic beverages, a decision clearly made as part of a series of measures being taken by the club -- including an increased police presence around the stadium -- in an attempt to ensure the safety of fans following the assault that took place in the parking lot after the team's season opener.
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Thursday's game between the Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals will be the first home game at Dodger Stadium since Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced last Friday that the team will pay for increased on-duty police officers and security at home games.
"On Thursday the fans and the community will see a significant change in terms of the security profile at Dodger Stadium," said officer Andrew Neiman, a spokesman for the police department.
"You will see Chief Beck's words [from last Friday] come to reality."
A joint news conference has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday to discuss the new security measures. In addition to the increased police presence, the team has already arranged for temporary lighting in the parking lots, a team spokesman said.
The new security measures will take effect exactly two weeks after San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was brutally attacked in the parking lot on March 31. He remains in a medically induced coma at County USC Hospital in Los Angeles, according to hospital spokeswoman Rosa Saca.
On Wednesday, Stow's sister Erin Stow updated his condition on the website the family recently established to collect donations for The Bryan Stow Fund, www.support4bryanstow.com.
"There have been no more seizures for a couple days so the drs [sic] have been slowly lowering the sedation and hopefully it will be all out of his system tonight," she wrote. "Once it's out of his system, he can be examined and hopefully [praying] he responds to commands. Or better yet, wakes up!! Please keep the prayers coming!!"
The Dodgers will host another fundraiser for Stow at Thursday's game. Colleagues from American Medical Response, his employer, will be at the stadium collecting donations before, during and after the game.
A similar event at Dodger Stadium on Monday raised $61,000 and $58,800 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, according to Jason Sorrick, a spokesman for AMR. Additional funds were raised in a silent auction at AT&T Park, pushing the total from San Francisco to almost $70,000, the Giants announced Tuesday.
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two suspects in the case is $150,000. The suspects remain at large.
The Dodgers had come under political pressure from L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich this week to end the half-price beer promotion and re-evaluate their alcohol policies.
All other planned aspects of the promotion remain in effect, including half-price food and non-alcoholic beverages, and fans can still purchase a ticket package for the six games at half price. Additionally, the Dodgers will wear throwback jerseys during those games like the ones the Brooklyn Dodgers wore during the 1940s.
The first of those games is scheduled for April 21 against the Atlanta Braves.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.