News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 9 to 10 a.m.

Dodger Stadium makeover ready for opening day (Photos)




Luis Magdaleno, an electrician for Morrow Meadows, drills holes for wiring in handicap stalls, so that attendees can plug in their electronics. Renovations are taking place at Dodger Stadium before opening day on April 1. Magdaleno has been working on the park for four weeks.
Luis Magdaleno, an electrician for Morrow Meadows, drills holes for wiring in handicap stalls, so that attendees can plug in their electronics. Renovations are taking place at Dodger Stadium before opening day on April 1. Magdaleno has been working on the park for four weeks.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Listen to story

03:19
Download this story 6.0MB

The L.A. Dodgers open the 2013 season against the Giants this coming Monday at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers' ownership spent the off-season giving the stadium a $100-million makeover. KPCC's Brian Watt says it's all part of a strategy to cultivate fan loyalty. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers open their 2013 regular season against the  San Francisco Giants on Monday, April 1, at Dodger Stadium. Fans with tickets to Friday's exhibition game against the Angels will get the first public look at major renovations at the stadium.

"We’ve tried to think of every one of our fans," said Dodgers President Stan Kasten. "We’re trying to reach out and keep Dodger Stadium looking and feeling like it’s always felt,  but have it work in a more of 21st century way."

Kasten said fans will be looking for more highlights on the field. Here are some highlights of the stadium:

"Dodger Stadium is so unique you really have to get your head into this building," said Janet Marie Smith, Dodgers vice president of planning. She's also an architect who has worked for the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves.

"Knowing baseball parks doesn’t mean you understand Dodger Stadium," Smith said.

Smith said the stadium is built into a hillside, so fans enter at different levels, and there’s no real main entrance. Rather than try to change that, Smith said the renovation celebrates it by giving each gate a unique feature. Fans will remember where they came in and where they should exit not just by the name over the gate but also by "the oversized bobblehead, the retired number, the baseballs, or the 9-foot high 'LA' " that sets it apart.

Kasten said all the renovations are geared to make just hanging out in the stadium more fun for fans, but he asked for their patience during the first homestand.

"We are going to learn the best way possible during our homestand," he said. "We are going to look at lines through our concession areas."

Kasten said the Dodgers have sold about 31,000 season ticket packages. On the field, the Dodgers need to win. If it were only so easy to “renovate” a team into the World Series. But, Kasten and the team ownership are spending money to make that possible too. Once the players hit the field, we’ll find out how that pays off.