Angel Stadium of Anaheim underwent major renovations starting in 1996. The team underwent major renovations when they paid the big bucks for Pujols. Right now, the Angels have the most talented player in baseball. Finding value may be increasingly tough if the team continues to add payroll, because in the end, the fans pay the payroll. However, let's dive in and see what we can find.
What's that Random Rock Pile Out in Center? Oh, It's Just the Outfield Extravaganza! - via Flickr user Ray S
Arriving at Angels Stadium
Alternative/Public Transportation to an Angels Game
You can take the Metrolink Orange line, which will drop you off at the edge of the parking lots if you take the Anaheim - Artic Station stop.
The Anaheim - Artic Station is Made to Repeat the "A" Motif - via Flickr user Ron Reiring
Depending on where you are coming from, the Metrolink will drop you off at the edge of the Angel Stadium parking lot. If you live in town you know where the closest station is, but if you are an out-of-towner you probably want to check for stations near your hotel.
Metrolink will also be running Angel Stadium Express trains on the Orange line from Union Station on weekday game days to facilitate travel.
For a cheap ride to weekday evening games, check out the Angel Express Bus. They pick up and drop off at Goldenwest Transportation Center, but only on weekdays when the game starts at 7:05.
Alternatively, you may be at one of the many hotels or attractions services by the Anaheim Resort Transport (ART), a bus service connecting various hotspots in Anaheim. If you are dragging kids from some amusement park (Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, etc) to Angel Stadium, this is your most direct route. Hotel drop-offs are also nice.
But a lot these options are weekday games, not weekend. Since there aren't a lot of great public transportation options, you may need a ride to and from the park. If you haven't tried Uber before, click here to get your first ride free.
Driving to an Angels Game
Most of the Metrolink stations offer free parking and from there you can ride the train right to the stadium. This is the better option if your palms start to sweat at the mention of navigating through traffic. The cost of the ride may equal out to that of parking, but you have to factor in the cost of your time and of course gas money.
You will undoubtedly receive many opinions when it comes to parking and/or traveling to an Angel's game. One thing is certain; the Angels have an enormous parking lot surrounding the stadium. The official parking will run you about a tenner, and for most people that is a fair price to pay when you can exit pretty quickly.
If you are going to go that route it is important to consider your exit strategy. One such strategy is to enter the lot via State College BLVD. and park in the front if possible. Typically you can be out of the lot in less than 10 minutes after a game. You really should not be afraid to drive to an Angels game as the ample parking makes it very driver friendly.
Free parking near Angel Stadium can also be had around the stadium if you don't mind walking a little further. For me that is not a big deal, but if you have little kids or you don't like to walk more than 10 minutes to the stadium, I would do one of the first to options.
The area across Orangewood Ave. has several side streets where free parking can be had. This is a more feasible option for a night game, but keep an eye out for any street signs or meters to make sure you are not parking illegally.
Check Out the Residential Area Just Past Orangewood Ave for Free Parking
A final parking option worth mentioning, and it is a pretty good one, is Parking Panda. This is a site where you can pay for parking ahead of time at various places, and have a reserved spot. It is nice because you know precisely where you are headed and you don't have the stress of searching around.
Click the date you're planning to go below and see all the reserved parking options:
No really, sorry guys. It's Just A Rock Pile - via Flickr user Ken Lund
Best Food At & Near Angel Stadium
Save Money on Food
Some fans will tailgate before the game, in the official Angels parking lot. They have pretty restrictive rules about tailgating, you aren't supposed to have alcohol and you aren't supposed to use a charcoal grill. So, keep that in mind if you plan to bring food with you. You may want to have red Solo cups for your drinks, and food that is ready to go.
They will officially let you bring in sealed bottles of water with you, and depending on the security guy they might also let you slide by with a sealed non-alcoholic beverage. Besides that, they typically let you bring your own snacks and food into the stadium. This is perfect if you are bringing a bunch of kids with you, because little snacks add up at ballpark prices!
Food You Shouldn't Miss at Angel Stadium
The food at Angel Stadium is nothing spectacular. The concessions are run by Aramark, so it is pretty typical fare. They do have vegan hot dogs available for all of you anti-meat types, and they can be found pretty much across the stadium. There are a couple of meh options if you get the hunger:
1. Smoke Ring BBQ: The original location is by Gate 1, but there's now an Express cart by section 237. Various BBQ and comfort food options. The brisket sandwich is your best bet, though the Legends Dog is supposedly impressive.
2. Chronic Tacos: you're in southern California. If you couldn't get good nachos, you'd have the right to be angry. Chronic Tacos has you covered. Head up to section 223 to get custom made nachos, taco bowls, and burritos.
Cheap Angels Tickets
At this point, nearly every Major League team has some kind of variable pricing model where depending on how in-demand a game is, the ticket prices you'll pay at the gate may go up or down.
Sometimes pricing varies from day to day, other times it is a more formal "tiered" structure where when they are playing a big draw team like the Yankees, you'll pay a premium price compared to a perennial bottom-dweller who might be in the "budget tier."
So rather than focusing on specific prices and sections which tend to change fairly often, I want to talk about general rules and strategies for getting the best deals on tickets.
1. Compare 3rd Party Sites
SeatGeek is a big time ticket comparison site that lets you compare a bunch of different ticket brokers, marketplaces, etc. and find the best price for the game you want to go to. They also have a tool that projects whether ticket prices will go up or down - AKA whether you should buy now or wait.
There's a Reason They Call It the Big A - via Flickr user Ken Lund
2. Buy Last Minute
If you've bought tickets online before, you've heard of StubHub. What you may not know however is that with the rise of print-at-home and tickets on your mobile phone via the Ballpark App that you can usually buy tickets right up to a couple of hours before game time.
As someone who has sold a fair share of tickets on StubHub, I also know that sellers are encouraged to set a declining price for their tickets. This means they'll set a starting price and then their lowest acceptable price, and StubHub will auto-magically lower the price of those tickets as the event date gets closer.
So in many cases, a game that isn't sold out will have plenty of below face value deals on StubHub that you can snatch at the last minute and then either print at home, or just use the App on your phone to get scanned into the game.
3. Avoid Craigslist
It's not to say that you can't find ticket deals on Craigslist, you can. It is just more of a peace of mind, safety issue. I'm a Craigslist kind of guy, but I also know it's easy to get screwed buying baseball tickets there.
Remember when I mentioned selling on StubHub? When you list tickets there, all you need to know is the barcode number from that ticket along with the other details on section, row, etc. - So when I sell tickets I never mail them to the buyer, they just print them at home and my actual tickets become void.
If I was a shady character, I could go sell those void tickets to an unsuspecting buyer on Craigslist for cash. The tickets look real, they are "real" in a sense - but what that buyer will find out is when they go to enter the stadium, the ticket scanner will say "thou shalt not enter thy game."
Don't be that buyer.
Stick to buying tickets from SeatGeek, StubHub, or directly from the team. You can still get deals and you never have to worry about being scammed.
Best Value Seats at Angel Stadium
Fans will tell you that the ushers at Angel Stadium take great pride in there job of making sure you sit where your ticket says. Many will not let you down on the lower level to take a picture without a ticket for that section. So the long standing tradition of cheap ballpark goers of moving down to better seats can be difficult at this ballpark.
That being said, it becomes debatable when you start discussing where the best values in Angel Stadium are. If you are going to a day game it might be worth a little extra to sit in the Terrace box seats. I would shoot for section 206 where you are under an overhang so you avoid the sun, and you get an excellent view of the scoreboard. If it were me, I would go with upper deck seats down either line. Angel Stadium is known for exceptional views from anywhere in the park, and for my money I would rather pay less for a bird's eye view.
Setting Behind the Plate on the Upper Decks Isn't Too Bad - via Flickr user Andrew Wippler
If I am not going to really splurge and sit right behind the plate, many other seats are pretty equal as far as the quality of view. If its not a sellout game, I find that sitting up high and down the lines can provide a nice breeze and a little bit of breathing room from other fans.
Where to Stay While Visiting Angel Stadium
My favorite way to travel to a baseball game is to stay as close to the stadium as possible and walk, or take Uber so I don't have to fool with parking in a strange place.
AirBnB is the best way to find a really cool house or apartment to rent so you can hang out with your friends/family before the game and get a more authentic local experience.
Not only is it cooler than a hotel, but you can save $35 on your first stay by using my referral link.
There are 2 types of rentals - those where you rent a private room and stay with a host and those where you rent out the whole place. I've done both, and you'll have some peace of mind about the people you rent from because of the review system they have for the hosts - so you have a high degree of confidence that you won't end up on the bad side of a future Dateline NBC episode.
Best of all, you usually can find places to stay that are within walking distance to Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Obviously places come and go on the site, but I've used AirBnB a number of times for sports road trips and it's become my default option when I'm traveling. Click the button below to save $35 on your first trip and see what kind of cool places are currently available near the ballpark:
Free Stuff at Angel Stadium
1. Main Entrance - the main entrance to Angel Stadium has all the flash that one would expect from Disney-town. A set of massive bats holds up the actual Angel Stadium sign, setting up a photo op. Posters of past and current players look like promotional ads for Topps baseball cards. And the gigantic pair of gawdy red baseball caps are just tacky enough... to melt even the coldest of visitors' hearts.
It's Hard Not to Be Impressed by the Entrance - via Flickr user Ken Lund
2. Statues of a Different Kind - unlike most ballparks, which immortalize either players, owners, or broadcasters in bronze, the Angels chose two different models. Outside on the first base side, a statue of former Angel Rod Carew's daughter, Michelle, is immortalized for her courageous battle against leukemia. Outside on the third base side is a statue of team founder and old crooner Gene Autry tips his hat to his adoring fans.