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Renovation begins at Dodger Stadium
11/15/2004 2:57 PM ET
LOS ANGELES -- Construction has begun on the renovation of Dodger Stadium's dugouts, dugout seats and Dugout Club, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Jr. announced.

The $15 million facelift will bring fans closer to the on-field action and give the stadium's field box seating area a cleaner contour along the foul lines. The dugouts will be moved 20 feet closer to the field, and approximately 1,600 seats will be added to some of the ballpark's finest viewpoints.

"Dodger fans have always known the intrinsic beauty of Dodger Stadium, and we look forward to enhancing every aspect of the ballpark for the benefit of our fans' overall experience," said McCourt.

The new dugouts will be deeper from front to back with modern-day amenities, including a waist-high wall of safety netting across the front of the dugout that has become standard in ballparks across the nation.

Four rows of Dugout Club seats will be added in the space between the dugouts and the current front row of field level seats. Several rows of field seats will also be added, those seats extending from the end of the dugouts toward the foul poles. The new alignment between the front of the dugouts and the foul poles will create a smooth, continuous line reminiscent of the original contours of the ballpark. The actual dimensions of the Stadium's playing field will not change.

"The devotion of $15 million toward improvements to one of the great ballparks in America confirms the McCourts' commitment to the fans of Los Angeles," Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn said.

"Dodger Stadium has been and will continue to be one of the jewels of our great City," said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes. "As always, we are proud to have worked hand-in-hand with the Dodger organization and the local neighborhood to ensure that this renovation enhances the Dodger experience for all Angelenos without impacting the local neighborhoods."

A few other noteworthy changes will be apparent to fans in 2005. The Dodgers will replace the Stadium's rubberized warning track with the traditional dirt surface previously used in Dodger Stadium through the 1999 season. Further, an LED scoreboard will be installed from foul pole to foul pole along the base of the loge level.

The project also includes expansion of the Dugout Club dining area, and relocation of the umpires' dressing room. All renovations are expected to be completed in March 2005.

Dodger Stadium has had several renovations since it opened in 1962. The last alteration came prior to the 2000 season when luxury suites and the current Dugout Club were added to the overall design of the Stadium.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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