CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy are in for quite the crowd on Saturday. In fact, the club is expecting so many spectators that for the first home game of the season, they’ve done something they haven’t done in three years — they’re opening the grass berm.
The grass berm – located on the North side of Dignity Health Sports Park – has been an integral part of the design of the stadium since it’s early inception. In a stadium filled with seats, the general admission area allows for fans to set out a blanket, and lounge on the inclined berm while getting one of the best seats in the house — if you like endline seats. But that marquee design feature was covered up by temporary bleachers as part of a seating expansion for the NFL’s LA Chargers.
The Chargers called Dignity Health Sports Park their home from 2017 to 2019 but will be moving to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood for the 2020 season. With their exit, the bleachers were removed, and the grass berm was replanted with fresh sod for the upcoming Galaxy season.
The berm was at center stage in 2007 when David Beckham made his Galaxy debut against Chelsea in a midseason friendly, and it has also been filled to the brim during exposition games and MLS Cup Finals. Even regular-season games have occasionally forced the grass to be opened up when demand necessitates it. But under normal circumstances with regular gameday demand, the berm is closed to stadium visitors.
The match — a 7 PM kick-off against the Vancouver Whitecaps (TV: SpectrumSN) — has already seen most of the tickets in the stadium sold, according to a Galaxy spokesperson.
But if you want to sit in the grass for this Saturday’s match, it’s going to cost you. With the stadium at near-maximum capacity, the grass is your last chance to buy tickets directly from the club — and they’re very aware of it. One “seat” on the berm for the season-opener will cost you $100 per person — the Galaxy have confirmed this price to CoG.
In simpler terms, the Galaxy are playing the game of price and demand. And they’re gambling that filling the last remaining block of tickets will be worth it to someone who has to see this game.
And maybe they’re right?
After all, it’s not every day that Javier “Chicharito” Hernadez makes his Los Angeles debut drawing Beckham and Robbie Keane-sized crowds. And it’s not every day that the Victoria Block — the new safe-standing supporters’ section directly under the berm — makes its debut. CoG has even heard whispers of the magic 27,000 attendance number being shuffled around.
Regardless of why fans are showing up, they are. So be prepared for long lines at the entrances and concessions, and have a little more patience in the parking lots.
But overall, expect the stadium to be filled with electric energy, and for there to be a lot of people around you if you’re attending.