Enhancements to Dodger Stadium unveiled as 2014 season opener nears
LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers play host to the Los Angeles Angels in the Freeway Series Thursday and Friday nights, the second round of enhancements to 52-year-old Dodger Stadium will be unveiled. True to their promise to improve the team on and off the field, Dodger ownership has invested more than $150 million on stadium upgrades for fans and players in the last two off-seasons.
Enhancements for 2014 for Dodger Stadium, the third oldest park in Major League Baseball, include:
- Expansion of the entries at the field level, enabling all fans with Pavilion, Dugout, Field, Loge and Club tickets to enter the convenient entrances on the north side of the stadium. This will lead to two new 25,000 square-foot plazas in right and left field. Each plaza will house a 5,000 square-foot new team store, tickets and concessions space, as well as memorabilia to celebrate Dodgers history.
- Seating and lounging areas at bars and drink rails overlooking the bullpens in the outfield, giving focus to pitchers warming up, as well as infield game views. The new bars, presented and programmed by Anheuser Busch, are hexagon shaped, just like the unique Dodger Stadium scoreboards, and they will have TV monitors for keeping up with the game action.
- A new fenced walkway within the gates will allow fans to migrate between the new right and left-field plazas. For the first time at Dodger Stadium, fans on the field level will be able to do a 360 degree interior walk. Fans, whose seats are on the loge and club levels, by using the staircases at the far ends of the buildings, will also have the ability to navigate the entire circumference of the stadium. Not only will this allow fans to more easily access both sides of the plazas, it should also ease traffic on the concourses.
- The new plaza area will be a great spot for fans to come to the stadium early and enjoy many activities throughout the season. Included among the activities will be balloon makers, arts and crafts tables for youngsters, face painters, airbrush tattoos, Dodger player cutouts for photo opportunities, KLAC live broadcasts, Dodger Alumni autograph signings, DJs and music.
- New food services with outdoor grills and specialty fare will be located in the plaza area. Tommy Lasorda's Italian Trattoria, where the Hall of Fame manager and other former players will spend time with the fans, will be located on the right-field area of the plaza.
- The hot-off-the-grill THINK BLUE BBQ will be located on the left-field area of the plaza.
- The left and right-field entry ways will feature photo moments, Dodger memorabilia, five-foot diameter World Series rings, an eight-foot replica of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, a life-size statue of the iconic Farmer John Dodger Dog and interactive replicas of the 76 ball, both Dodger partners for more than 50 years.
- A clock in left field will greet fans with Vin Scully's signature line, "It's Time for Dodger Baseball."
- The right-field plaza will be dotted with blue lights in homage to Tommy Lasorda's name for Dodger Stadium, "Blue Heaven on Earth." And Tommy's Italian Trattoria will also feature a life-size bobblehead of the Hall of Fame manager.
- The Dodgers will have a new Team Store located in the left-field plaza area and a New Era Store located in the right-field plaza area. The plaza areas in left and right field will feature new Hello Kitty locations. Two other new retail stores-one on the left-field Reserve Level has been converted to an Exclusive Majestic Store and the other at the Lexus Dugout Club lobby will also be a new Majestic Store. The new stores in the plazas replace the outfield tents previously located near the pavilions in left and right field. The loge level will feature a NIKE team store on the left-field side along with an American Needle store at section 151. A 47brand store will be on the right-field Loge side along with a small NEW ERA store at section 150. The official team store located on the Top Deck now houses a custom shop where you can customize hats, bats and jerseys. Pricing on on-field merchandise is unchanged and still the lowest price place to get AC fitted Hat and Diamond ERA headwear as well as all official jerseys both blank and player specific.
- The popular Reserve Level "LA Taqueria" stand near the kids play area at the left field Reserve entry has been enlarged to better serve fans.
- Fans will be connected and enjoy a new state of the art wireless system throughout Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers upgraded the electrical infrastructure and added new equipment and substations in 2013. Work continued in the offseason to connect the new equipment to improve safety and provide the best technology available for fans.
- Time Warner Cable is transforming the Left Field Pavilion to become TWC Studios Live and On Location at Dodger Stadium. In this new interactive space, fans will also have the chance to participate in photo activations, win tickets and other exciting prizes throughout the season.
- Three new season seat opportunities-the Executive Club Level, featuring in-seat service, the Stadium Club rail seating, including food and non-alcoholic beverages, and the Loge Party boxes with seating for six, eight or 10. The Executive Club Level, located down the left-field line, will feature a new food and drink menu and a new bar and concessions area.
Other enhancements fans will notice on Opening Day and throughout the season include:
- The circular displays honoring the 10 retired numbers in Dodger history have moved from the outfield pavilion overhangs to the left-field Club Level balcony, in a placement that will parallel the World Series banners on the right-field side of the club level.
- Enhancement of the ballpark's landscaping. The palm trees known as the Three Sisters, which were temporarily moved to protect them during the renovations, are back beyond the bullpen.
More than 90 new trees are part of the new plaza area, greater than three times the number previously in this area. The 30-plus trees removed from the area have been relocated on site to the downtown Gate B entrance and along the Top Deck berms framing the views of the downtown skyline from Dodger Stadium's picturesque Top Deck.
- The Dodgers are improving vehicular and pedestrian access to Dodger Stadium. There will be dedicated pedestrian walkways and bicycle lanes leading into the entrances formerly designed for autos only, as well as new lights, signage and circulation patterns on resurfaced parking lots. The Stadium Way Gate B (formerly Scott Avenue) will be open to assist traffic flow. Access to the gate is only from Stadium Way and will not be permitted from directly through the Echo Park neighborhood on Scott Avenue. A media campaign will encourage use of MTA buses on Sunset Blvd., the Gold Line in Chinatown and the Dodger Stadium Express at Union Station. The Dodger Stadium Express will have two stops in 2014-behind the pavilions and a new stop at the Top Deck, Lot P.
- In an effort to improve traffic flow at all Dodger Stadium entrances, the Dodgers are encouraging fans to purchase parking passes in advance online to eliminate transaction time at each entrance. Fans purchasing parking in advance will pay $10 for general parking and $35 for premium parking, a savings of $5 and $15 over paying upon arrival, respectively.
- The Dodgers' main entrance, Sunset Blvd. Gate A, along Elysian Park Avenue, will feature a dedicated pedestrian entrance with new lighting in an effort to encourage fans to utilize parking lots 13 and 14 along Stadium Way and the Number 2 and 4 buses along Sunset Blvd.
- Every Sunday home game will feature live musical performances on the Reserve Level Plaza areas.
- Phase two of a new visiting team clubhouse was completed. Additional enhancements are planned.
- Building materials that defined Dodger Stadium in 1962 were carefully researched and used in the creation of all new construction. These included scored, patterned concrete block, corrugated metal and folded roofing similar to the outfield pavilions.
- The Dodgers are implementing a paperless ticket program for season and mini-plan holders. Fans will be able to utilize their smart phones to gain entrance to Dodger Stadium as all gates will be equipped with digital turnstiles.
- The restrooms in the former 76 station in center field are being expanded and made ADA accessible for use by fans that are on site, but outside the gates.
- The two clubs on the left and right Field Level will be the Ketel One Baseline Clubs and the area at the Top of the Park featuring the Dodgers' retired numbers is the Bank of the America Retired Numbers Plaza.
Enhancements completed in 2013 included: a new expanded player clubhouse; fan amenities like large, new restrooms on every level, new plazas on the Top Deck and Reserve Level featuring kids' areas, new team stores and specialty foods at the Elysian Park Grill and LA Taqueria; wider concourses with field views on each level with standing room and wheel chair positions; as well as state of the art scoreboards and ribbon boards and a new sound system.
Architects for the projects include D'Agostino Izzo & Quirk (Boston), Los Angeles-based Brenda Levin & Associates and Los Angeles landscape architects Mia Lehrer & Associates. PCL Construction of Glendale, CA, is construction manager.