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Volume 25 No. 239
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Dodger Stadium To Get $100M Facelift During MLB Offseason

The new fan plaza in center field will have two sports bars, along with a beer garden and new food stands
Photo: DODGERS

The Dodgers today will unveil plans for $100M in upgrades at the 56-year-old Dodger Stadium, which will include a new main entry gate and a nearly two-acre fan plaza behind center field. At the same time, the Dodgers have hired the Elevate Group to sell field entitlement at the venue. The facelift at Dodger Stadium, which comes as the team is hosting the '20 MLB All-Star Game, will include connections between the ballpark's other plazas, along with additional elevators and escalators. The net effect will be that fans can walk all the way around the ballpark's interior for the first time, as well as enter anywhere and still access any seat. The refurbishment will not impact the view from seats, nor will it change the capacity of 56,000, though a center field standing-room deck and ADA-compliant seating will be added. “The view between the poles will not change, because we still consider Dodger Stadium a work of genius,” said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten. "But with the All-Star Game coming here next year, we thought it was a good opportunity to add things that modern fans have come to expect.” Construction is scheduled to begin when the season ends and should be completed in time for Opening Day in '20. The Dodgers have led MLB in attendance for the past six years.

DETAILS OF THE UPGRADES: The new fan plaza will have two sports bars, along with a beer garden and a number of new food stands, forming the “Taste of L.A.” with unique local food, low-tech and high-tech attractions, some merchandise retail and a kids' play area. There will be plenty of opportunities for branding. “We’re in negotiations with a lot sponsors, because this project has got them super excited,” Kasten said. Dodgers Senior VP/Planning & Development Janet Marie Smith said her orders were to continue “making this a 21st Century park without losing its mid-century modern flair or impacting our picturesque setting.” The L.A. Times points out that the entrance to the plaza will include the Jackie Robinson statue, which will be move from its current location near the left-field reserve plaza. It will also house the "Legends of Dodger Baseball" plaques. Among the renovations will be a new speaker tower in center field that includes a new sound system.

FIELD OF DREAMS: The Dodgers have quietly hired Elevate Sports Ventures to sell a naming-rights package for the field at Dodger Stadium. Elevate Chief Partnership Officer Jeff Knapple helped broker the Philips Arena entitlement in the late '90s when Kasten headed that arena. The Dodger Stadium field entitlement has been on the market previously, but sources said this is a considerably more robust package, with an additional $500,000 in marketing inventory at the park combined with the refurbishment and the national focus an All-Star Game attracts. Sources at the most recent MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland said Elevate has already been in the market presenting the deal.