LOS ANGELES -- The Commissioner and the Mayor were there, joined by Hall of Fame icons Vin Scully, Tommy Lasorda and Jaime Jarrin, all flanked by a litany of franchise greats for Monday’s unveiling of the logo for the 2020 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, which doubled as the official announcement for the latest renovations at the game site, 57-year-old Dodger Stadium.
“Major League Baseball is thrilled to bring the All-Star Game back to Dodger Stadium, one of our game’s marquee ballparks,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “With the combination of two consecutive World Series appearances, continued success on the field and the anticipation of our 2020 Midsummer Classic, this is a great time to be a Dodger fan. On the heels of a terrific All-Star Week, we look forward to showcasing the very best of our sport and the city of Los Angeles to baseball fans on a national stage next summer."
The 91st Midsummer Classic will be the fourth hosted by the Dodgers, the first in 40 years at Dodger Stadium and the third in Los Angeles. The logo celebrates the Golden Age of Hollywood.
“It’s long overdue and the All-Star Game is very different than it was in 1980,” said Manfred. “It’s actually a five-day celebration. The Home Run Derby is almost as popular as the game. Most important is what we leave behind, our All-Star Legacy projects, most of them youth-focused that will serve the community for many years to come after the All-Star Game.”
To coincide with holding the crown jewel event, Guggenheim Baseball Management has begun with an additional $100 million renovation at Chavez Ravine, having already spent $200 million since taking over the club in 2012.
Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten listed the planned changes, highlighted by the creation of a new center-field plaza that will serve as a “front door” to the complex.
“This latest project continues to demonstrate ownership’s commitment to give a first-class experience to the best fans in baseball,” said Kasten.
Those fans will be greeted at the plaza by two statues -- one of Jackie Robinson, relocated from the reserve level, and a new one of Sandy Koufax. A permanent home for “Legends of Dodger Baseball” will also reside there.
“In 1955 I joined the Brooklyn Dodgers,” Koufax said in a club release. “It was my honor to be with Jackie Robinson in life. Now in Los Angeles, it is again my honor to be with him in bronze and to thank the Los Angeles fans for treating me so well on this journey.”
The plaza will consist of nearly two acres of food offerings, a craft beer garden, entertainment and kids areas, retail locations, sponsor activations and greater access to the rest of the ballpark, including bridges connecting the outfield pavilions to the main stadium structure. Elevators and escalators also are being built to facilitate more efficient seat access. The left- and right-field pavilions will be renovated, and a new sound system will replace the speaker tower.
And, Kasten emphasized, the changes won’t obstruct any of the unique sightlines of the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains, which give Dodger Stadium its picturesque setting, while maintaining its midcentury modern architecture.
“This is Dodger Stadium, where we not only mark history, we make history,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I came of age here, watching the greats that are behind me today. We are the sports capital of the world. This is where memories are made. We know how to pull off big events, from the Oscars to the Emmys to the World Series.”