Correction: a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the renovation will be completed July 14. All renovations will be completed prior to March 26.
The $100 million renovation and upgrade of Dodger Stadium was first unveiled last year, a project long in the making for the hilltop venue that the city of Los Angeles has held in especially high regard since it first opened in 1962. Aside from cosmetically renovating the stadium’s mid-century detailing, the project will also include the construction of a new center field plaza along with additional connections between the outfield pavilions with the rest of the venue via bridges and elevators. The upgrades, now scheduled to be unveiled to the public on March 26, opening day, and the finishing touches which will be in place by April (giving plenty of time for the 2020 MLB All-Star Game), promise to not only turn back the clock on the wear and tear the complex has suffered over the last half-century but to also open up sightlines and increase accessibility throughout the park.
The new center field plaza is poised to be a major new attraction and will include a wealth of amenities including sports bars, a children’s play area, a live music venue, and vendor areas for food and drink, while the series of bridges will allow visitors to look out onto the along the stadium’s perimeter with unobstructed views for the first time in its history. Yet the most significant improvement will likely be the repositioning of the main entrance from left-field to the front, opposite to its dramatic view of the Chavez Ravine. A bronze statue of Jackie Robinson, a former Brooklyn Dodger and the first African American to play Major League Baseball, will grace the side of the new entrance.
“We’re finally going to have a front door with this entertainment plaza we’re building below and beyond the pavilions,” said Stan Kasten, Dodgers president and chief executive, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s going to act like a two-acre tailgating area pre- and postgame.”
The project follows a $300 million upgrade provided by Dodger Stadium owner Guggenheim Baseball Management that included new HD video screens, wider concourses, and two new entrance plazas. Though the new upgrades will also be extensive, the stadium’s superlatives—including its 56,000 seat capacity and sweeping views of Los Angeles from behind the home plate—will remain unchanged, allowing it to remain the “unique civic unifier” hailed by Jerald Podair in his book City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles.
Yet, plans to develop alternatives to the site’s infamous automobile traffic jams are still underway by external sources, including the 3.6 mile-long “Dugout Loop” Elon Musk proposed that would transport subway riders directly from Los Feliz to Dodger Stadium and the gondola system proposed by Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, LLC, that would transport passengers from Union Station. While both have uncertain funding and construction timelines, they each offer potential futures for the stadium on the hill as an element of the city’s increasingly pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.