We end 2019 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Ballpark Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #5: the Los Angeles Dodgers unveil Dodger Stadium renovations for 2020.
Having originally opened in 1962, Dodger Stadium is currently the third-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball–behind only Boston’s Fenway Park and the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field (1914)–but recent renovations have helped make it more competitive with newer facilities. The Dodgers are furthering the ballpark’s modernization this offseason, as they complete $100 million in renovations.
Highlighted by a new center-field plaza and upgrades to the outfield pavilions, the renovations should improve a number of amenities at Dodger Stadium. The 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, where a relocated Jackie Robinson statue–moving from its 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 the speaker tower in center field to be replaced with a new sound system, while new restrooms are added in the left and right-field pavilions, and new enclosed bars 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.
The team’s history will also be honored in the renovation, as the Dodgers will add a Sandy Koufax statue to the ballpark. Koufax’s statue will be the second at Dodger Stadium following the dedication of the Jackie Robinson statue in 2017, and the Dodgers plan to display both in the new center field plaza. Additionally, the center field plaza will feature a new permanent home for the “Legends of Dodger Baseball” plaques.
With the renovations, the Dodgers will add amenities such as bars and standing-room areas that have become popular features at newer ballparks, while taking steps to honor their rich history. All in all, the project should keep Dodger Stadium on par with newer facilities without detracting from its classic look and feel.
Notably, Dodger Stadium is set to host the 2020 MLB All-Star Game in July. It will mark the second time the Midsummer Classic has been played at the ballpark, and the first since 1980.
Renderings courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers.