In order to keep their facilities competitive, many Major League Baseball teams have pursued ballpark renovations in recent years. With several high-profile improvement projects either in progress or in the works, the MLB Renovation Watch page will keep track of the latest developments when it comes to ballpark upgrades.
Ballparks are divided into four categories. In Progress is reserved for ballparks where renovations are currently unfolding, while Up for Discussion is for facilities where teams have taken tangible steps to begin renovations in the coming years. Rounding out the categories are Keep an Eye On—where discussions of renovations have taken place, but where several steps remain in the process—and Toss Up, reserved for teams that will likely choose between a renovation or new ballpark in the coming years to resolve their facilities issues.
This page will be continually updated as new projects are announced. Images and renderings will also be added once they are made available.
Dodger Stadium—The Los Angeles Dodgers will complete $100 million in renovations prior to the 2020 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—moving 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.
Great American Ball Park—Leading up to the 2020 season, the Cincinnati Reds will convert space behind home plate reserved for working media members into a premium area. Dubbed the Press Club, the space will feature a mixture of seating options that include four-top tables, extra wide theatre-style seating, and high-top chairs. In addition, the club space will offer include all-inclusive food and beverages; a fully stocked bar that serves a broad selection of bourbon, beer, wine and spirits; high-end food options with customizable offerings, and in-seat service. The addition of the Press Club is not the only change coming to Great American Ball Park, as the Reds will create space for working media members down the third-base side on the Suite Level and are expected to install a new videoboard.
Minute Maid Park—The Houston Astros will undertake several renovations at Minute Maid Park prior to the 2020 season. It is expected that six suites on the ballpark’s third-base side will be re-purposed into a larger area that caters to season ticket members, with the space to feature table seating and food and beverage service. Changes in right field will affect the second deck, where some existing seating will be removed to make way for new food and beverage service, along with a staircase that includes standing room space. The Astros announced plans in September to remove seating to make way for the renovations. More upgrades could be on the way over the coming years, as the Astros inked a lease extension in 2018 that will run through 2050 and is expected to lead to ballpark renovations.
Oracle Park—The San Francisco Giants completed several major upgrades ahead of the 2019 season, including the installation of a new videoboard, the creation of the Cloud Club (above), and the addition of several gathering spaces. These improvements marked the beginning of a five-year capital improvement plan for Oracle Park, which the Giants are aiming to wrap up by the ballpark’s 25th season in 2024. For the 2020 season, the Giants are constructing new bullpens beyond the outfield wall and could make other changes as well.
T-Mobile Park—The Seattle Mariners and ballpark owner Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD) are planning $29.8 million in improvements to T-Mobile Park for 2020, addressing facility infrastructure and fan amenities. Over $9 million will go toward additions to the fan experience, with a new bar and fan/group entertainment space at Lookout Landing, a Rooftop Boardwalk above the Home Plate Gate rotunda, an expanded Left Field Gate, and the introduction of loge and table-top seating in the First Base Terrace Club. Additionally, T-Mobile Park will receive ADA accessibly improvements and a new sound system. Expect additional upgrades in the future, as the Mariners and PFD signed a 25-year lease extension in 2018 that provides a roadmap for T-Mobile Park renovations.
Wrigley Field—Upgrades introduced by the Chicago Cubs in 2019 included several club areas, an expanded visitors’ clubhouse, and new gathering spaces. These upgrades came at the tail end of the Cubs’ multi-year, $550-million 1060 Project renovation, but more changes are expected to be unveiled during the 2019 season and at the beginning of the 2020 campaign.
Up for Discussion
Fenway Park—The Boston Red Sox are looking to complete another round of changes to MLB’s oldest ballpark. Bleacher upgrades and a new function room would be part of the project, while a new 5,000-seat theater in collaboration with Live Nation is planned at Lansdowne and Ipswich streets. The theater, named MGM Music Hall at Fenway as the result of a partnership with MGM Results International, will break ground this fall in anticipation of a 2021 opening.
Miller Park–The Milwaukee Brewers could be making changes at Miller Park in the near future, as the team has reportedly filed plans for a project that would include the removal of bleacher seating to clear way for a new loge deck above left field. The Brewers have not formally announced plans for a renovation, but should that concept move forward, it would mix up the viewing options at Miller Park.
Nationals Park—In an improvement that could tie into the ongoing construction of new development in the area, the Washington Nationals are proposing to develop an entertainment venue near Nationals Park’s First Base Gate that would offer street-level access and connectivity to the ballpark. The result of a partnership between the Nationals and Events D.C., the space would feature two enclosed floors with a partially covered rooftop space. Among its amenities could include a ground floor bar, three restaurants, and a flexible seating concept on the rooftop accommodating special events.
Keep an Eye On
Comerica Park—Future renovations to Comerica Park were hinted at by Detroit Tigers president Chris Ilitch in comments last June. It is unclear at this point how those renovations would take shape, though the Ilitches could seemingly tie renovations into their larger downtown Detroit development initiatives—including 2017’s opening of Little Caesars Arena, and ongoing development of the mixed-use District Detroit. Comerica Park opened in 2000 and some facilities that debuted around that same period, including T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field) and Minute Maid Park, are being eyed for renovations, so it makes sense that the Tigers would look to make their own ballpark upgrades.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards—Back in 2015, the Baltimore Orioles publicly suggested that a future Oriole Park at Camden Yards renovation could lead to the removal of seats in favor of more party decks and open spaces, and have more recently suggested that a reduction in fixed seating capacity and more non-baseball events are part of their strategy for the ballpark’s future. With the club’s original lease expiring in 2021 and the ballpark’s 30th anniversary set for 2022, a series of future upgrades would seem to be in order. From the right-field flag court original to Camden Yards to the center-field roof deck added in 2012, the Orioles have been successful at implementing social spaces over the years, and they could build on that strength in future improvements.
Rogers Centre—When it opened in 1989 as the SkyDome, the retractable-roof venue was a marvel, but it now is now widely regarded as dated by MLB standards. The Toronto Blue Jays have openly acknowledged that the ballpark’s condition needs to be addressed but have not committed to a firm plan yet. Still, given the Rogers Centre’s prime location and potential, upgrading the ballpark rather than outright replacing it could be deemed the most viable option—especially if it can be tied to future development in the area. If renovations do take place, future improvements could lead to new social spaces, while making the facility more baseball friendly. Rogers Centre was originally designed for baseball and football, but football has not been played there regularly since the CFL’s Argonauts moved to BMO Field in 2016.
Angel Stadium—Now the fourth-oldest ballpark in baseball, Angel Stadium underwent a major renovation in the late 1990s, but it has not necessarily aged well. The Los Angeles Angels opted out of their Angel Stadium lease last fall, effectively opening up discussions about the ballpark’s future. It will likely take time for a final facility plan to come together, but at this point it appears that a new or renovated ballpark at the Angel Stadium site are the most likely options, if the Angels and City of Anaheim can agree to a plan to tie any facility project to a larger redevelopment of the surrounding parking area. Regardless, the organization is likely to pitch a bold plan, as the status quo won’t hold.
Chase Field—The Arizona Diamondbacks had been quite vocal in recent years about their dissatisfaction with Chase Field’s condition and reached a settlement with Maricopa County in 2018 that allowed them to begin searching for a replacement immediately. That leaves the team with plenty of options, including a future Chase Field renovation, a new ballpark in Phoenix or elsewhere in the Valley, or perhaps a less likely move out of Arizona. On one hand, pursuing a new ballpark in East Valley might be a desirable option for the team, given the availability of open land and the potential for a partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. However, Chase Field does have a strong location in downtown Phoenix that could make it an intriguing renovation candidate, and the club’s ownership has yet to rule out making major upgrades to the ballpark.