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Dodgers to charge admission to annual fan festival this year

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is interviewed by reporters during Dodger Stadium FanFest Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Dodgers traditionally celebrate the arrival of a new season with a fan festival at Dodger Stadium, where tens of thousands of fans gather for what is essentially a pep rally.

You could spend a few bucks on T-shirts, Dodger Dogs, player autographs, stadium tours and such, but you did not have to pay anything to stop by to see your favorite players. Admission was free.

Not this year.

On Friday, the Dodgers announced what they are now calling “DodgerFest 2024 ... the official kickoff celebration.” The event takes place Feb. 3.

Tickets are $10.

Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to be there in his first public appearance since signing his record $700-million contract with the Dodgers. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are scheduled to be there too.

In what the Dodgers are calling “the inaugural Dodger Fest stage show” that covers 90 minutes, the team says you can “immerse yourself in the world of Dodger pride as we bring you engaging player interviews, fan Q&A, exclusive insights into the upcoming season, and much more.”

The Dodgers have been asked why there is an admission charge this year when the event has been free in past years. The Dodgers declined to give a response.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.