Hooray, We Made It … to the Stadium

All this traffic to accommodate the East Coast and its millions of TV viewers.

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You know the routine -- touch up the face paint, pack the foam finger then come to your senses and leave it at home, battle traffic on freeways and surface streets, wait in a sea of Dodger blue.

It's probably going to be all that and more Thursday night when the Dodgers open their National League Championship Series with Philadelphia at Dodger Stadium. The problem is that the first pitch is scheduled for 5:07 p.m. -- game traffic will meet the usual afternoon drive traffic on the 101 and 5 freeways and surface streets around the stadium.

That might make fans and unprepared area residents honk until they're blue in the face, but don't blame the Dodgers -- they're just trying to win their first National League pennant since 1988.

Instead, look to the East Coast to blame someone for all the traffic around Elysian Park and Echo Park during the playoff games. Start times for postseason games are determined by Major League  Baseball after consulting with the outlet broadcasting the game. The game is  set to begin earlier than regular season night games so it can been seen in prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones.

Parking and stadium gates will open at 2:30 p.m. Fans are being asked to arrive 2 1/2 hours before the start of the game.

If watching batting practice and lots of it isn't your thing, fans waiting for the game to start can take photos with  the team's 1981 and 1988 World Series trophies in Autograph Alley behind center field.

A limited number of seats are available for today's game and Friday's Game 2 of the best-of-seven series, according to Dodgers vice president of  communications Josh Rawitch. Both games are expected to sell out, Rawitch said.

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