The Major League Baseball season is almost here, and for fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Opening Day is practically a holiday.
Thursday’s 7:10 p.m. matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks is a chance as redemption. Despite finishing last season with MLB’s best record, the Dodgers came home emptyhanded in the postseason — a trend the team hopes to buck in the coming months.
There will be many noticeable differences between this team versus last year’s, including several new faces and the absence of fan favorites Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner.
But as fans return to Chavez Ravine to watch the Blue Crew in their quest for another pennant, a few things will also be different in the home stadium.
The Dodgers announced several new features coming for the 2023 season, the biggest, arguably, is a new-and-improved lighting system that showcases the action better than ever before.
The team released a video demonstration earlier this month, showing the lights flicker from one vibrant color to the next, and lighting up the field.
The lights can also be used for custom light shows to entertain Dodger Stadium guests before, during and after games, as well as during various events and concerts hosted by the third-oldest stadium in Major League Baseball.
“The new lighting was installed over the course of two months, with the previous HID fixtures — which were installed in 2008 — removed and parts recycled,” the team said in a news release. “Dodger Stadium now joins more than a dozen MLB stadiums that feature customized LED technology, including other similarly iconic venues such as Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.”
The team will also honor some franchise greats throughout the season. Two player pylons will be added on the left field plaza to honor Dodger legends Manny Mota and Orel Hershisher. Another player pylon will be added on the right field plaza as the team retires the number 34 in honor of six-time All Star pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.
The Right Field Loge and Stadium Club have seen some improvements, including improved furniture and seating and better visual displays. The Reserve Level play areas have been resurfaced for the youngest Dodgers fans to enjoy, the team says.
The Vin Scully Press Box will feature a new display that shows off a collection of the legendary broadcaster’s awards, including several World Series rings and Emmy Awards, as well as his 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The stadium also includes several new upgrades to make it more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
New construction led to the installation of new water valves, low-flush fixtures, waterless urinals and hand driers to reduce paper waste. There are also water fill stations for fans who want to refill approved water bottles.
But the star of the upcoming season might just be the stadium’s new food offerings.
“Chef Ryan Evans has added several new culinary delights to his lengthy menu for fans this season as well as some new signage to the stands,” the team announced.
Below is a list of what’s new this season for hungry Dodgers fans:
LA Cheesesteak (Stand 208 field)
• Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
• Amoroso roll, Cheese Whiz, sautéed beef
• Wild Mushroom Philly Sandwich
• Amoroso roll, mushroom blend, provolone cheese
• Philly Chicken Sandwich
• Amoroso roll, sautéed chicken, Kraft mayo, provolone cheese
Dunkin (Stand 246 field) & Trolley Treats (Stand 702 reserved)
• Fried Cheesecake on a stick
• NY Style Cheesecake hand dipped in tempura batter, topped with powdered sugar raspberry sauce
Flamin’ Hot Corner (Stand 247 field)
• Hot link Corn Dog
• Chipotle sausage hand dipped in corn batter, cheese sauce, hot Cheeto dust
LA Grille (Stand 245 field)
• Mediterranean Chicken Bowl
• Marinated chicken, basmati rice, diced tomatoes, cucumber salad, hummus, tzatziki, shredded red cabbage salad
• Mediterranean Falafel Bowl
• Falafel, basmati rice, diced tomatoes, cucumber salad, hummus, tzatziki, shredded red cabbage salad
• Greek Fries
• Crinkle cut fries, gyro meat, feta cream sauce, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, sliced red onions, pepperoncini, feta cheese
Think Blue BBQ (Stand 251 field)
• New BBQ platter
• Half rack smoked pork ribs, smoked half chicken, smoked brisket, mac and cheese, cornbread, fresh corn, baked beans
Taqueria (Stand 360 centerfield)
• Potato taquitos
• 6” tortilla, mashed potatoes, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, charred jalapeño aioli, queso fresco
Dodger Deli (Stand 437 loge)
• Chicken Pesto Panini
• Sourdough bread, sliced marinated chicken, herb aioli, sliced tomatoes, Swiss cheese
Fan Fare (Stand 731 reserved)
• Chicken Sandwich
• Grilled chicken, leaf lettuce, sliced tomatoes, Swiss cheese, garlic aioli, potato bun
The team is also launching a “Dodgers Rewards” program which will give fans the chance to earn points for money spent while supporting the team this season.
The Dodgers have also expanded merchandising collaborations for the upcoming season, partnering with several big name brands for exclusive merchandise. A collaboration with L.A.-based tattoo artist Mister Cartoon includes a new set of play t-shirts featuring Mookie Betts, Julio Urías and Freddie Freeman. Those shirts will be available on opening day.
For more on the new merchandise, food and improvements that have arrived at Dodger Stadium in time for opening day, click here.