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OLCR's Facelift

 
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 18364
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Thu 2/27/20 12:49 am    Post subject: OLCR's Facelift Reply with quote

From the L.A. Times (albeit a couple of weeks ago):

Column: "The Fix is in at Dodger Stadium, But Will It Be Ready for Opening Day?"

By HELENE ELLIOTT
FEB. 12, 2020 9:16 PM

The Dodgers got their roster in order with their delayed acquisition of pitcher David Price and outfielder Mookie Betts, who were introduced to the media on Wednesday and soon after were whisked to Arizona for spring training. Getting the Dodgers’ house in order will take a little longer.

A planned $100-million offseason renovation of Dodger Stadium that focused on adding five elevators and four escalators, creating a “front door” and sprucing up the outfield pavilions is expected to be ready for Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants on March 26 but won’t be done in time for exhibitions against the Angels on March 23 and 24. That’s cutting it close.

Janet Marie Smith, the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development, said the team will be able to “use the entirety of the stadium between the foul poles” in the main seating areas from home plate outward during those preseason games but the work in center field won’t be done by then. “We’ll give our contractors a few more days in the outfield,” Smith said.

They apparently will need every minute. Bridges that will connect the pavilions to the rest of the stadium and allow fans to walk freely around the park appeared Wednesday to be in the early stages of construction, and piles of dirt covered unfinished projects behind the pavilions. The sound of hammering and other construction noise provided the backdrop for the news conference until workers were given a break. Many of them put down their tools and watched the proceedings.

Dodger Stadium will celebrate its 58th anniversary in April and trails only Fenway Park (1912) and Wrigley Field (1914) as the oldest major league stadiums. It needed renovations more than the Dodgers’ lineup did, but both got significant upgrades.

Betts gives them exceptional depth in the outfield and five-time All-Star Price is a likely No. 3 starter behind Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw, remarkable improvements for a team that won a franchise-record 106 games last season and — minus the Houston Astros’ nefarious cheating — now has its best shot at that elusive World Series championship. The Dodgers clearly won the offseason.

The improvements to Dodger Stadium will be noticeable and should make it easier for fans to get where they want to go and be comfortable when they arrive. Nursing rooms and a first aid station were added in center field, and the number of restrooms in the pavilion areas was doubled. A two-acre entertainment area will be created, with announcements due soon on features besides kids’ areas.

Eventually, on a new, wide concourse, a drink rail will go the entire width of the ballpark and become a social gathering place. “People are just going to hang out there,” said Stan Kasten, the Dodgers’ president and chief executive officer. “I’ve found that when you put a drink rail people hang out there instead of sitting in their seat. We added a bullpen bar a couple of years ago. Those things are packed at night. People love them.”

The familiar folded roof above the pavilion remains in place, as it should. “We want to make certain that the memory of Dodger Stadium, which is so unique in all of sports, not just baseball, shouldn’t change, but the experience should be more fun,” Smith said. “We tried to think of what the guest experience should be like in a new park and make certain that this park, even though it’s old and well loved, that it takes care of fans as capably as any of the newer parks.”

Betts and Price traded their new Dodgers caps for hard hats and protective eyewear and followed Smith as she led a tour of the construction. She pointed out where a vintage ice cream truck and fire truck will be placed, as well where statues of Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax will be located.

The two new Dodgers posed for pictures with construction workers and nodded as Smith gave them a quick update on the renovations. “When you come back I’m going to take you to the top of the park and show you around and you’re going to think, ‘Oh, wow, this is amazing,’ ” she told them.

As soon as the main part of the news conference ended, workers resumed their hammering and sawing and other work. The project will go to the wire but Smith has enjoyed seeing this phase of the stadium renovations come to life.

“Each project has been done individually so it can stand alone, but this center-field project gives us a chance to do a real front door, really celebrate the legacies of Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax,” Smith said. “So it’s wonderful to have something that is both steeped in Dodger history but also appeals to a new generation of Dodger fans, and we’re just thrilled that this building, now the third-oldest in the major leagues, will have kind of the refresher that it deserves.”

The Dodgers and their home field got terrific upgrades. We’ll find out soon enough whether both improvements were worth the wait.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DB6 comments: First, I like the concept of most of these upgrades, particularly the "full access" for all fans. I just hope there isn't some glitch that fails to correct the problems we've waited for so long to be resolved.

Second, cutting it close? No kidding--they'd better hope for no rain between the Angels series and Jints.

Third, although it's kind of disappointing to see the Dodgers succumb to the "everything-to-everyone" atmosphere of some of the newer ballparks, I concede that the kids' area was probably coming next.

I do have to say that I've appreciated many of the upgrades that have been made in the last decade or so--particularly the bullpen overlook and additional non-assigned seating--so I'm somewhat excited to see how it all looks and feels just one month from today. That'll be Opening Day, March 26. As Vinnie would say, "She's all dressed up and ready for her close-up."

Damn, I wish Vinnie were still behind the mic.
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 2/27/20 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like it will be quite improved for the All Star season and beyond.
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sunnyblue



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat 2/29/20 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't wait to see it.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Thu 4/8/21 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Sunny, well, here we are a year later and we still haven't seen it. Sad

But approximately 33% capacity of Dodger Stadium will see it tomorrow, without us.

Crying or Very sad
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Thu 4/8/21 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we get there, it will be so worth the wait.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Tue 5/25/21 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DB, when do we get to hear from you about your visit to the game last month? I want to hear what your impressions are of the changes. My brother and I will probably be going to a game after June 15 when everything opens with full capacity.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 5/26/21 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reminder. I'll be back at the Ravine this weekend, so I can't wait for my second glimpse of everything! Smile

The major changes are the centerfield entrance, which allows access to the entire stadium, unlike the separate pavilion entrances that previously existed. There are several more tributes to players like there are outside at many of the other level entrances. You can have your photo taken with the World Series trophy (if you wait in a long line). This is also the location where the Jackie Robinson statue has been relocated.

I really liked the Tommy Lasorda memorial tributes--maybe someday he'll get a statue. For now, the plaques are fine.

There are also elevators on either end of the centerfield plaza which are used to transport fans to other levels--much more convenient in that you don't have to actually enter the main stadium corridors to access the other interior elevators.

The Dodgers did a great job with this renovation. The commercial currently airing on Spectrum SportsNet includes narration from Vin, stating that the stadium will be reopening to full capacity on June 15, and all that's left is for "Dodger Stadium to get its voice back."

As he says over a clip featuring the stadium upgrades, "Welcome back. We've added some hardware, and cleaned up the front porch." God love Vinnie! There's nothing more welcoming back than his voice, even if he's not physically there anymore. Very Happy

#ITFDB!
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