The Los Angeles Dodgers expect that their $100-million renovation to Dodger Stadium will be ready by Opening Day, as the team continues its elaborate overhaul of the ballpark. UPDATED WITH NEW RENDERINGS!
Plans for a $100-million renovation announced by the Dodgers last July will cover multiple areas of Dodger Stadium, highlighted by a new center-field plaza and upgrades to the outfield pavilions. 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.
Access is also a major part of the renovations, with elevators and escalators to 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.
For right now, the Dodgers are continuing to work on the renovation. At its current pace, the Dodgers are not expecting the project to be ready the time the team hosts back-to-back spring training games against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium over March 23-24. Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants will occur just days later on March 26 but, despite the quick turnaround time, the Dodgers say that the renovations will be ready by the regular-season opener. More from the Los Angeles Times:
A planned $100-million offseason renovation of Dodger Stadium that focused on adding five elevators and four escalators, creating a “front door” and sprucing up the outfield pavilions is expected to be ready for opening day against the San Francisco Giants on March 26 but won’t be done in time for exhibitions against the Angels on March 23 and 24. That’s cutting it close.
Janet Marie Smith, the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development, said the team will be able to “use the entirety of the stadium between the foul poles” in the main seating areas from home plate outward during those preseason games but the work in center field won’t be done by then. “We’ll give our contractors a few more days in the outfield,” Smith said.
They apparently will need every minute. Bridges that will connect the pavilions to the rest of the stadium and allow fans to walk freely around the park appeared Wednesday to be in the early stages of construction, and piles of dirt covered unfinished projects behind the pavilions….
The improvements to Dodger Stadium will be noticeable and should make it easier for fans to get where they want to go and be comfortable when they arrive. Nursing rooms and a first aid station were added in center field, and the number of rest rooms in the pavilion areas was doubled. A two-acre entertainment area will be created, with announcements due soon on features besides kids’ areas.
The franchise’s history is also expected to be incorporated into the renovations. As part of the project, the Dodgers are adding a Sandy Koufax statue to the ballpark, making it the second at Dodger Stadium following the dedication of the Jackie Robinson statue in 2017. The Dodgers plan to display both in the new center field plaza.
Renderings courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers.