We’ve kept a keen eye on the progress of the renovations going on at Dodger Stadium this off-season. Simple looks go a long way in painting the picture of where the stadium is at in that moment, and the challenges of such an overwhelming undertaking.
Now, thanks to Spectrum SportsNet LA and anchor Alanna Rizzo, we have a comprehensive update from the woman behind the vision. Dodgers Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith spent time with Rizzo today at Dodger Stadium to give us this.
"Don't mess up the postcard view but make sure the stadium feels really current."@alannarizzo caught up with Janet Marie Smith to discuss some of the new features #Dodgers fans can enjoy at the stadium in 2020. pic.twitter.com/GPUIyo2tPt
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) December 6, 2019
The massive project is underway thanks in part to the 2020 All-Star game being hosted in Los Angeles for the first time in 40 years. And with that comes more pressure to get the task done well before opening day.
Its a huge amount of work to do in a single offseason but Stan Kasten has been vigilant about pressing us about doing it all at once — it doesn’t dribble in.
The original announcement of this project came in July, and with it came excitement more than concerns.
Now, if you’re concerned that the venerable baseball haven will look too different for your taste, Smith helped quell some of those worries.
Stan’s mandate to us has been ‘don’t mess up the postcard view,’ but make sure that it feels really current… with lots of things to do beyond just eating and drinking and the typical things we do as we move around the ballpark. …
[In the pavilion] we’ll keep the classic folded roof that’s been a statement for Dodger Stadium since 1962, but it’s not going to be your grandfather’s park. It’s got lots of standing room, places for people in wheelchairs to be able to enjoy the pavilion at long last. — And maybe one of the most fun aspects of it is that where we used to have stairs in cavity between the outfield wall and the pavilions, they’re now two rows of home run seats.
A stadium that was originally built to keep people on the level their tickets are at is no longer viable for today’s crowd, Smith acknowledged as much. And with that, the VP expanded on improvements being made to make Blue Heaven on Earth more user friendly.
It’s been a huge investment being made to the circulation here at Dodger Stadium. We’re building six new elevators, four new escalators, and connecting them all so that our fans have ADA accessibility and just ease of access.
We showcased the look of one of the new elevators earlier this Winter here.
The conversation was a great insight into the renovation plans and how they may have changed since the initial announcement. While there will undoubtedly be challenges after opening day; with new bars, a more visually pleasing batter’s eye, and a welcome front door finally coming, this “rethinking of Dodger Stadium” is sure to be…a real home run.