Prior to the 2020 season, Dodger Stadium will receive $100 million in renovations, highlighted by a new center field plaza and upgrades to the outfield pavilions.
Under the current plans, the Los Angeles Dodgers will complete several upgrades to Dodger Stadium before next season. A new center field plaza will feature food and beverage areas, along with a children’s play area, and space for live entertainment. Fans will access the plaza through a new outfield entryway (shown above), where a relocated Jackie Robinson statue–which will move from its current location in the left-field reserve plaza–will be on prominent display.
Connectivity is also a major part of the renovations. Elevators and escalators will allow fans in all parts of Dodger Stadium to access the new plaza, while bridges will be incorporated to connect new outfield standing room areas to the rest of the ballpark. Plans also call for a replacement of the speaker tower in center field, as well as new restrooms in the left and right-field pavilions, and enclosed bars that will give fans an up-close look at the bullpens. Seating upgrades are also on tap, with improved options for fans with disabilities and new home run seats–to be placed in front of existing pavilion seating–set to be installed.
Originally opening in 1962, Dodger Stadium is currently the third-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. It has been extensively modernized in recent years, however, and Dodgers officials–including president and chief executive Stan Kasten–feel that the latest improvements will allow Dodger Stadium to offer a more modern game day experience, while maintaining its unique characteristics.
“Dodger Stadium has always been and remains the most beautiful place ever built to play or watch the game of baseball, and these renovations will enhance every aspect of the fan experience with modern and family-friendly amenities,” said Dodger President & CEO Stan Kasten via press release. “This latest project continues to demonstrate ownership’s commitment to give a first-class experience to the best fans in baseball.”
The latest round of stadium improvements will include:
- Creation of Centerfield Plaza: The new Centerfield Plaza will create a stadium “front door” with almost two acres of unique food offerings, entertainment and kids areas, retail locations, sponsor activations, more social and standing room areas and greater access for those with special needs. A new kids play area will be constructed just beyond the wall in straight-away centerfield, and fans will be able to enjoy the game from on top of a newly-constructed batters eye wall. The new Centerfield Plaza will pay homage to Dodger history with statues and a permanent home for the “Legends of Dodger Baseball” plaques.
- Pavilion Renovations: Renovations to the Left and Right Field Pavilions will include new restrooms, enclosed bars with views into the bullpen, the creation of standing room areas at the top of each pavilion, enhanced ADA seating and “home run seats” just beyond the outfield wall.
- New Elevators and Bridges: Elevators are currently under construction in the Right and Left Field Plazas to help move fans easily to and from this new Centerfield Plaza. Additionally, bridges will be constructed to connect the new pavilion standing room decks to the rest of the stadium for a 360-degree connection around the park’s perimeter. These new elevators and bridges will also provide easier access to the Dodger Stadium Express stop in Lot G through the Centerfield Plaza.
- New Sound System: A new sound system will replace the current speaker tower and provide an enhanced audio experience to fans on all levels of the ballpark with more directed sound inside the stadium.
- Sandy Koufax Statue: The Dodgers will honor Hall of Fame left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax with a statue, the second at Dodger Stadium following the dedication of the Jackie Robinson statue in 2017. Both statues will reside in the Centerfield Plaza, as the Robinson statue will be re-located from the Left Field Reserve.
“In 1955, I joined the Brooklyn Dodgers,” said Sandy Koufax. “It was my honor to be with Jackie Robinson in life. Now in Los Angeles, it is again my honor to be with him in bronze and to thank the Los Angeles fans for treating me so well on this journey.”
The Dodgers will also replace the speaker tower in center field with a new sound system. Since purchasing the Dodgers in 2012, Guggenheim Baseball Management says it has spent more than $300 million on renovations to Dodger Stadium, including two new entrance plazas on the field level, bar areas overlooking both bullpens, two new HD video screens, new team stores, wider concourses, renovated restrooms, enhanced concessions and children’s play areas as well as the construction of new home and visiting clubhouses, batting cages and weight rooms.
“When we got here in 2012 we recognized then what remains true today — the design and construction of Dodger Stadium is a work of genius,” Kasten said. “It is the most beautiful place ever built to play or watch the game of baseball. But when we got here, there had been 50 years’ worth of work that needed to be done to make it a 21st century ballpark. It’s the third-oldest ballpark in baseball, but it now offers all the amenities of a modern-day ballpark.”
The stadium renovation was spearheaded by Kasten and Janet Marie Smith, who has been the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development since 2012.
“This is all meant to be a celebration of the Dodgers and Dodgers history and provide fans with the kind of amenities that you see at new ballparks without changing our postcard view,” Smith said. “We relish the beauty of this place and want to preserve that. I know when fans hear we’re renovating the pavilions the first thing they ask is what’s going to happen to the wooden benches. The answer is they’re staying in place. None of those things that fans love will change. We’re just improving the experience.”
Details on the renovations are set to be formally unveiled by the Dodgers on Tuesday, when the team will also release the 2020 MLB All-Star Game logo. Next summer’s All-Star Game will mark the first to be played at Dodger Stadium since 1980, and the ballpark’s second overall.
Renderings courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers.