The off season is only four days old, but the Los Angeles Dodgers have already begun the process of renovating their 50 year-old stadium. Dodger Stadium, located in Chavez Ravine, is currently the third oldest ballpark in major league baseball, behind Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
However, both Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are in much better condition than Dodger Stadium, so an upgrade is essential in order for Dodger Stadium to even be mentioned in the same breath as those two iconic ballparks. The first round of renovations will include improving the infrastructure. Better water, power and data systems are things that are on top of the list. These improvements are projected to be completed before opening day of 2013.
Team president Stan Kasten wants to use the same mold of the renovations that were done at Fenway Park 10 years ago. Kasten notes that Fenway is a very different park than it was before, but the changes aren’t really noticeable.
Kasten loves the classic feel that Dodger stadium provides and is adamant about preserving the retro 1950s feel of the stadium, while also modernizing it. After the infrastructure upgrades, the Dodgers will look to add additional restaurants, bars, kids areas and an interactive museum. These will provide a better overall fan experience.
The stadium is a classic, but there is no doubt that it needs a few touch-ups to compete with the newer stadiums around the league. Fixing the infrastructure is a great start. The restrooms are in major need of an upgrade, more concessions need to be added and better Wi-Fi throughout the park would be welcomed with open arms.
Down the road, it would be nice to get rid of that tent that is just beyond the pavilion seats. As of now, those tents are the ‘team store’, selling a variety of Dodger-related items. It would behoove the Dodgers to get rid of that an build a state-of-the-art team store, much like the ‘Team LA’ store that is located inside Staples Center.
A stadium upgrade was at the top of Kasten’s list when he was appointed president back in April. New ownership vowed to spend money, not only on the players on the field, but also the stadium that these players will be playing in.
Ownership has done their part. Let’s hope the team playing in the touched-up stadium next year will do theirs.