Share this story...
Latest News

Road Games Travel Tips: Lights. Camera. Action. Sun. Football.

Preseason, Week 3, Aug. 24: Seattle at Los Angeles Chargers, Dignity Health Sports Center, 7 p.m. Pacific

SPONSORED – It was weird when Los Angeles lacked a pro football franchise.

It’s even stranger in some respects now that they have two, and for the third straight year Seattle is going to visit both teams.

That makes this a warm-up game in some respects. The stakes aren’t quite so high in the preseason. In fact, there aren’t any stakes in the preseason other than the opportunity to evaluate some of the team’s newest additions and gauge the competition for starting jobs (hint: Seattle’s right tackle position could be up for grabs).

It’s also a great time to enjoy one of the hidden secrets in professional football: The Dignity Health Sports Center is a futbol stadium that’s an absolutely great place to watch a professional football game. It’s intimate. That’s the adjective we use to describe a venue for sports that is small in comparison to other venues, and that certainly describes the stadium that’s now on its third name. The seating capacity is 27,000, less than half the size of most of the league’s stadiums.

It’s got fantastic sight lines. There’s great craft beer. There’s a taqueria. There’s also a benihana stand.

And you better take advantage of it now because this is the last year that this L.A. team is playing at this L.A. venue. Next year, both teams are moving into the new Sprawling Superplex at Hollywood Park, which looks … expensive.

So live it up while you can and enjoy Southern California while you’re there.

I love L.A. Always have ever since I was a kid growing up in Southern Oregon, and we’d take a road trip every summer to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles and an ever-increasing brood of cousins.

The place was built for fun from the beaches with names like Manhattan and Huntington to the amusement parks like Disneyland, Magic Mountain and Knotts Berry Farm. And while it may be controversial, I also love the quintessential Southern California hamburger, which is In-n-Out.

As an adult, I’ve come to love Roy Choi’s food, which started in 2008 with a zany taco truck named Kogi that served a Koren short rib taco that has become my can’t-miss item while in Los Angeles. Fortunately, there’s a number of ways to get my fix.

We went 20 years without having professional football in Los Angeles. It’s back with two different options and while Seattle’s game at the Coliseum on Dec. 8 will have the bigger stakes in a divisional, regular-season game, this will be a pretty darn good August trip for those who make it.

Arrival: You’ve certainly got options. Alaska Air has as many as a dozen flights daily from Sea-Tac to Los Angeles International (LAX). Alaska also flies to Orange County (SNA) and to Ontario (ONT). Now, there’s nothing we can do about the traffic that’s present when you get there, but the variety of destinations should help you get to the right part of Southern California.

Stadium: It started as the Home Depot Center. Then it was the Stub Hub Center. Now it’s the Dignity Health Sports Complex. New name for the soccer venue that is one of the best for visiting fans. Why? Tickets tend to be available. Lots of them.

Last time here: This is the third straight year Seattle is playing here in the preseason, and while preseason records don’t matter – at all – Seattle is 1-1 here the two previous seasons.

Dining: Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner (8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA, 714.220.5055); Kogi Barbecue has multiple options whether it’s their three food trucks or multiple taco stands. The best reference is the web site: http://kogibbq.com.