CHAVEZ RAVINE (KTLA) — A new look for an old ballpark is in the works at Dodger Stadium. So what can fans expect?
“This is a very ambitious project,” said Dodgers Chief Executive Stan Kasten at a news conference on Tuesday. “I think it’s going to get done by opening day. But the unforeseen is the unforeseeable.
“Maybe some back-of-the-house things won’t be done. But we’re confident everything we need in terms of seating and comfort for our fans will be done by March 28th.”
He added: “We do have contingency plans, none of which I’m going to tell you because it’s not going to happen.”
Also on Tuesday, architect Janet Marie Smith highlighted some of the new features. She previously worked at Fenway, Camden Field and Camden Yards.
Two to four rows will be removed at the top of seating sections, adding about eight to 14 additional feet of room along the crowded concourses.
Kasten said that, despite the change, the stadium’s seating capacity will remain at 56,000.
In addition, both scoreboards above the pavilions are being replaced with high-def video boards.
The original hexagon shape will return to the board above left field, but the new LED boards will be 22 percent larger.
There will also be a smaller, rectangular scoreboard beneath the video boards to constantly show out-of-town scores. The ribbon board around the loge level will also be updated.
The stadium’s bathrooms are being completely renovated, including 62 percent additional space for women and 32 percent for men. Restrooms will be added under the pavilions.
The sound system is being replaced in center field and throughout the stadium.
Additional speakers will be directed to each section, attempting to minimize echoes. Fans will be able to hear the game broadcast at concessions stands and in restrooms.
There will also be upgraded and additional concessions, kids’ areas, new field-level entrances, wheelchair seeing and historic displays.
The list of improvements goes on with state-of-the-art Wi-Fi and cellphone service, six feet of additional foul space, deeper bullpens, new clubhouses, training rooms and batting cages.
In other words, there is a lot of work to be done in just a little time to the 51-year-old stadium.
Kasten said it was still not clear how much the renovation will cost, though the previously mentioned $100-million price tag “was as good as any.”
Despite all the work, the general outline of the stadium will be little altered.
“I think we’re ready to accomplish all these things without changing the way people feel when they come,” Kasten said.
“It will still feel like the place you love, still feel like Dodger Stadium.”
Kasten said he was hopeful after the renovations have been completed, Dodger Stadium will be considered to host an All-Star game, something it hasn’t done since 1980.
“This stadium will be second to none,” he said. “It will be equal to or surpass any other stadium in baseball.”
Kasten did, however, ask for some patience from fans during the first homestand or two, saying, “There are no dry runs until 56,000 show up.”
-Los Angeles Times