Dodger Stadium reopens with $100 million in renovations

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- If you're one of those Dodger fans who doesn't like being pinned to your seat for nine innings, boy are you going to love the $100 million worth of changes to the stadium.

It's now part Dodgers baseball museum, part sports bar, part food court and part outdoor summer festival.

"For almost 60 years, this was three separate stadiums," said Stan Kasten, Dodgers president and part owner. "You had a ticket to the left field pavilion, the right field pavilion, or the stadium. You couldn't go to any of the other things. Now we have elevators and escalators and bridges that connect all of the stadium. You literally can walk all around the stadium."

And you'll want to walk to the brand-new two-and-a-half-acre center-field plaza - the front door to Dodger Stadium which used to be a parking lot.

New concessions like Shake Shack and Dunkin' Donuts have set up shop and the Gold Glove bar will house the 2020 World Series trophy. There's memorabilia on loan from Tommy Lasorda's family and his bobblehead is located in blue heaven on earth.

Some of the 15,000 fans who will be inside Dodger Stadium for the first home game will be sitting in the new Home Run Seats. They greatly increase your chances of going home with a home run ball.

"Standing here in the center, you'll be able to have this fantastic straightaway view of the game just like the straightaway centerfield camera does, which should be pretty amazing and fun," said Janet Marie Smith, the Dodgers senior vice president of planning and development.

And on the ground level in between the right and left field pavilions, there's a park for fans to gather before and after games. Real fans and not cardboard cutouts like last season, when 11,000 cutouts were sold, raising nearly $2 million for the Dodgers Foundation.



"It was a really amazing emotional time for a lot of people in our city and I think the connections people have to Dodger Stadium. They were able to live those through a cardboard cutout which we would have never imagined, but that's the way the pandemic swung," said Nichol Whiteman, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.

The Dodgers didn't sit back during the pandemic, but instead helped the city recover while winning a World Series.

"It's why we became the largest COVID testing center in the world," Kasten said. "It's why we opened it up to voting. It's why we are now California's biggest vaccine center."

"It's what we do. We owe it to our fans who have supported us for as long as they have and as well as they have and we know they're going to be back continuing to do what they have for 60 years."
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