Dodger Stadium Gondola Project Faces Mounting Opposition

Back in April 2018, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC (ARTT) unveiled plans for an aerial rapid transit connection — gondola system — that will run from Union Station to Dodger Stadium.

The proposed system will be able to move more than 5,000 passengers per hour, per direction, and should help greatly with the traffic both around Dodger Stadium and downtown L.A.

The project, which is being funded by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, was backed early by L.A. Major Eric Garcetti and came together under Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation.

Not everyone is in favor of the Dodger Stadium gondola system, however, including those who live in surrounding neighborhoods. Phyllis and Tany Ling, residents of Chinatown, started a petition to halt the project, via Rachel Uranga of the L.A. Times:

“It’s just another way that we can’t own our neighborhood and feel safe and quiet here because literally you have something flying over your house all day long, forever, I guess,” said Tany Ling, a singer who offers private lessons at the home she and her sister bought in 2012.

McCourt entities are buying up properties in the neighborhood, but the Lings don’t want to move. They started to fight the project.

“My friends who are more business minded tell me to just sell and move somewhere else, maybe out of state. But we don’t want to move,” said Phyllis. “I don’t know if we can stop it. “

The California Endowment, a nonprofit, is also opposing the gondola system through the L.A. County Superior Court, arguing the project was fast-tracked without public vetting:

The California Endowment, a charitable foundation, filed a writ of mandate in Los Angeles County Superior Court contending the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fast-tracked the project without public vetting in a “sweetheart deal” with McCourt’s Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies. The nonprofit, which works to preserve the health of communities, is asking a judge to halt Metro’s efforts to ferry the project through the planning process.

“The Gondola Project provides no discernible benefits to Metro, to Angeleno taxpayers, or to the broader community,” the court filing said. “Although the need for increased transit infrastructure is significant, the Gondola Project as proposed functions as a private tourist attraction, not a public transportation line to serve Metro riders.”

When the project was first announced, total costs were estimated to be $125 million. However, LA ART said those have risen and it is working on a financing plan that will be submitted to Metro in the coming months.

LA ART wants the gondola built in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics. While there are no Olympic events yet planned at Dodger Stadium, the gondola would provide sweeping views of downtown L.A. and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Dodgers tickets for Dodger Stadium opener on sale

Dodgers tickets for the Dodger Stadium opener went on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. PT Thursday. The first home game on the 2022 Dodgers schedule is against the Cincinnati Reds on April 14.

Although the first game of the season at Dodger Stadium historically is an afternoon start, first pitch between the Reds and Dodgers is set for 7:10 p.m.

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