The Dodgers unveiled the stadium's new enhancements. (Facebook/Los Angeles Dodgers)
The Los Angeles Dodgers will enter the 2014 MLB season with the highest payroll in baseball at $235 million. So it should come as no surprise that the Dodgers are sparing no expense to keep their home on par with their star-laden roster.
The Dodgers announced Wednesday the completion of the latest upgrades to Dodger Stadium. The stadium upgrades began last offseason with a series of enhancements to improve fan and player experience and have cost the Dodgers more than $150 million in the past two off-seasons.
The 52-year-old Dodger Stadium is the third oldest stadium in Major League Baseball and will open the 2014 season Thursday with an exhibition against the Los Angeles Angels.
The renovations include:
Expansion of the entries at the field level, allowing all fans with Pavilion, Dugout, Field, Loge and Club tickets to conveniently enter through the north end of the stadium. This will lead to two new 25,000 square-foot plazas in right and left field. Each plaza will have a new team store, concessions stands, and Dodger memorabilia.
There will also be seating and lounging areas at bars and drink rails overlooking both bullpens in the outfield. A new fenced walkway will allow fans to move between right and left field plazas. This means that for the first time at Dodger Stadium, fans in all field level sections will be allowed to access any other part of field level throughout the stadium without having to exit the ballpark.
The new plazas will feature activities of all sorts throughout the season. Among those activities will be Dodger Alumni autograph signings, balloon makers, arts and crafts tables, and many other family-friendly activities.
Fan-favorite concession stand LA Taqueria has been enlarged to serve fans more efficiently.
Although the iconic Dodger Dog has been a multigenerational staple at Dodger Stadium for decades, the Dodgers will continue to add other options as they’ve done since last off-season. Tommy Lasorda’s Italian Trattoria, located on the right-field area of the plaza, will feature appearances by its Hall of Fame namesake and other former Dodgers, while the left-field area will have the hot-off-the-grill THINK BLUE BBQ.
A clock near left field will greet fans with Vin Scully’s signature line, “It’s Time for Dodger Baseball.”
Vehicular and pedestrian access has been improved by way of new bicycle lanes, new walkways, new signage, improved circulation patterns around the stadium, and resurfaced parking lots. Stadium Way Gate B (formerly known as the Scott Avenue entrance) will be open to relieve traffic flow.
The Dodgers will play two exhibition games at Dodger Stadium Thursday and Friday against the Angels. They will open the United States portion of their regular season this Sunday in San Diego against the Padres, and will return to Los Angeles for their home opener against the San Francisco Giants Friday, April 4.