Spring training is here. Pitchers and catchers have reported, and position players officially come next. While the Dodgers will have a fully operational home for fans to come out and watch them in Arizona over the next few weeks, back in Los Angeles, things don’t seem to be as ready.
While at Dodger Stadium earlier this week, DodgersNation.com was able to collect some images and video of the current status of the renovation going on beyond centerfield.
Here's the area behind the right field pavilion as of Wednesday afternoon… there's a lot to do in 5 weeks. pic.twitter.com/pJ4Inaf35g
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) February 15, 2020
Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith — the architect behind this $100M renovation plan — was much more optimistic than the visuals were. If fact, she confirmed that the ballpark will be ready and operational before opening day on March 26.
On Thursday, the Dodgers released updated renderings of the renovations that were both informative, but did add a cause for concern.
The concerning part? The renderings don’t look anything like the stadium today. Notably, a video posted on the club’s official YouTube page came with the following description:
Get caught up with this updated video simulation of the Dodger Stadium renovations, which are expected to be completed in time for the 2020 season!
Time is ticking as crew members work around the clock — nearly literally. It was confirmed that rotations of construction crews are working approximately 20 hours each day to complete the heavy undertaking.
Still, the new renderings are truly remarkable and appear to be worth the efforts of the many.
The project was originally announced in July 2019. The initial renderings can be seen here. In the Dodgers official YouTube video, Smith walks us through the state of the renovations as we see the skeleton of the original renderings coming to life.
One of the more surprising additions to the renderings from nearly 7 months ago is the sports bar that will be placed under the pavilions, and have a direct view of the bullpen mound.
New renderings of the Dodger Stadium renovation were released on Thursday.
Excited for the sports bar idea under the old pavilion but wonder who will pay the premium rates to attend a game (ticket plus parking) only to watch in a bar under bleachers.
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) February 15, 2020
Another shocker is the fact that the food pavilions that will find a home beyond the outfield are being constructed in factories off-site. They are expected to arrive two weeks before opening day, where the hope is that everything fits together “like a set of Legos.”
As of this writing, there are just over 5 weeks before opening day 2020. However, the Dodgers are set to host the Angels at Dodger Stadium on March 23 for the annual preseason freeway series.
Again, time is ticking.
Official Press Release
The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday revealed an updated video simulation and renderings of the Dodger Stadium improvements, as the club continues to enhance the fan experience at the Majors’ third-oldest ballpark with modern and fan-friendly amenities. The project will create a new “front door” to Dodger Stadium with two acres of food and entertainment offerings in the new Centerfield Plaza and renovated Pavilions, and also improve ballpark circulation through the addition of elevators, escalators and bridges – all without changing the look and feel of one of the most picturesque stadiums in sports. Further details on this project will be announced as Opening Day approaches, including food and beverage concepts and interactive experiences.
Among the elements included in the updated renderings are:
- Centerfield Bar: The most visible change to Dodger Stadium’s postcard view is the replacement of the tarp that stood above centerfield. The new centerfield structure will offer a bar and viewing deck with a game perspective that was previously only enjoyed by way of television cameras.
- Complete Stadium Circulation: Fans will be able to enter through any stadium gate (regardless of seat location), and now have easy access to the entire stadium. To improve overall circulation and access for all fans, the team has added five new elevators (two in both the Right and Left Field Plaza, one behind in Centerfield) and four new escalators that ring the stadium. Additionally, new bridges will link the Pavilions to the main seating bowl with easy access to all levels.
- Home Run Seats: Two rows of “home run seats” have been added to the front of both outfield pavilions. These seats will be barstool style with drink rails and will include in-seat food and beverage service.
- Fan Areas: The centerfield improvements will house many new spaces that enhance the fan experience, including shaded areas where fans can watch the game while enjoying food and beverages, large screens for game viewing, interactive entertainment and several kids areas.
- Indoor Pavilion Bars: Underneath both outfield pavilions, the Dodgers have created bars that will be accessible to all fans. Each will be uniquely themed and have an eye-level view into the adjacent bullpens.
- New Food Offerings: The Centerfield Plaza and bar areas will offer fans a wide array of new food options, which will be announced as Opening Day approaches. Beyond traditional concession stands, the Dodgers will utilize several vehicles from past eras to provide unique food and beverage options in the Centerfield Plaza, with a vintage Dodger ice cream truck and fire truck (featuring micheladas). The team has also commissioned a third food truck, which will house rotating options.
- Legends of Dodger Baseball presented by Bank of America: The Legends of Dodger Baseball will have a permanent home inside the Centerfield Plaza presented by Bank of America. These Legends plaques will join other displays honoring the Dodgers’ rich history, including the relocated Jackie Robinson statue and a Sandy Koufax statue, which will be unveiled during the season.
- Spectrum SportsNet LA set: SportsNet LA will have a set in the Centerfield Plaza, allowing fans to interact with the network’s pre- and post-game broadcasts.