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Inside the Dodgers' Dugout Club

In a city known for catering to VIPs, Dodger Stadium's Dugout Club is THE place to watch LA's boys in blue.

When one hears the term "premium seating" many scenarios may come to mind. The Dugout Club at Dodger Stadium is an all-inclusive experience that has raised the bar for premium seating in Major League Baseball. The description of "under the stadium and behind the dugouts" is right on target.

The entrance to The Dugout Club is right next to the clubhouse entrances for both The Dodgers and the visiting team, allowing the possibility to meet players. As you enter, you are greeted by a Dugout Club host who escorts you in. Immediately to your right is the Martini Lounge which offers an intimate setting complete with TV screens showing the game. It is here that you find the latest signature cocktail offerings such as the "Big Blue Margarita" and the "Brooklyn Iced Tea." Continuing down the gentle ramp, you pass displays of Dodger memorabilia, including the 1988 World Series Trophy. Next stop: unlimited complimentary high-end buffet of Wolfgang Puck and Levy Restaurants offerings.

The Dugout Club is all about options. There is a carving station with several choices of meats and fish. The self-service buffet options vary for each game but include crowd-pleasers like pastas, salads, shellfish and of course, Dodger Dogs. Soft drinks are self-serve and included with your seat ticket. In addition to the full bar in The Martini Lounge, there is another one in the dining area. TV screens are plentiful and conveniently positioned around the club enabling you to dine inside without missing any of the game. If you'd rather head straight to your seat, pick up a "seat tray" with a special design allowing it to be easily secured at your seat for the most amazing alfresco dining experience in baseball. As you settle in to your padded seat, don't worry if you forgot to get a drink because seat-side servers will be happy to get one for you.

Dugout Club seats encompass the first nine rows behind home plate and span the width of the two dugouts. You are so close to the action that depending on where you are seated you can see into the dugouts, hear conversations at home plate and maybe even catch a game ball gently tossed by a smiling player. It's at about this point that you fully comprehend that you are sitting in the best seats in all of baseball.

Although the seat servers are constantly available, one may want to venture back into the climate-controlled club. The dessert buffet beckons with a wide selection of cakes and pastries and the self-serve candy counter brings out the little kid in everyone. Friendly attendants are also on hand offering freshly scooped ice cream. As you exit the club to head back to the outdoor seating, there is a popcorn and peanuts stand where you can help yourself.

Fans can purchase individual tickets as well as mini plans and full season plans. Visit the Dodgers website to see availability and take a virtual tour of all premium seating areas in Dodger Stadium. The tour even allows you to see the view from each individual seat.

Good to know before you go: For the full experience, arrive when the club opens - 2 hours before the first pitch - to enjoy a leisurely meal and take in the pre-game warm-ups right in front of your seats. The Martini Lounge stays open 45 minutes post-game for guests' enjoyment.

When Elizabeth Peterson isn't busy checking the baseball standings, she can be found on her personal blog, Traded My BMW for a Minivan and on Facebook.

Photos courtesy of Jon SooHoo and LA Dodgers.

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