Dodger stadium sits above Downtown Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine in Sulfur Canyon near highways 101, 110 and I-5. It is the third oldest park in the MLB and was completed in 1962. The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn in 1958 and played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until the completion of Dodgers Stadium.
The park has a capacity of 56,000 which is the most in MLB. The California Angels also shared the stadium with the Dodgers until 1965. There have been 8 World Series (4 wins: 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988), the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and games during the 1984 Olympics.
Frank Mccourt, a real estate developer from Boston specializing in parking lots, purchased the team from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for $430 Million in 2004. In 2009 the team was valued at $722 Million. Mccourt sold the team in 2012 for an all time sports franchise record of $2.15 Billion to the Guggenheim Partners and several others including former Braves and Nationals President Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson .
Prior to the sale, Mccourt was embroiled in the largest divorce settlement in California history ($131 Million) His ex-wife Jamie Mccourt was fired as CEO of the Dodgers under accusations of infidelity. The resulting uncertainty and economic situation delayed the teams plans for a $500 Million project to build a museum and retail complex near the stadium. Also included would be a large plaza at ground level within the stadium gates with 360 degree views of the Los Angeles Basin.
A sports Illustrated survey of MLB players in 2003 rated Dodger Stadium with the best quality playing field. Here is an excerpt from the LA Dodgers Website about the playing field; “Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT), created and installed by the Cincinnati-based Motz Group, used the latest agronomic and engineering technology to manage field moisture through controlled drainage and irrigation. The 100,000 square feet of bermuda grass is grown on pure sand, beneath which a vacuum chamber is laid over a water-tight plastic barrier that forcibly extracts water during heavy rains. New moisture gauges monitor the field’s water level in coordination with a microprocessor that controls drainage functions. A computer controller has the ability to reverse the scenario and sub irrigate when the sand’s moisture reading drops below the optimal level.”
Following the Dodgers’ sale in 2012, $100 million was put into a “facelift” of Dodger Stadium. Concourses were widened, drink rails were added, restrooms were improved and new concessions were built. The stadium was given a “family friendly” identity with children’s play areas, a new team store and oversized symbols of Dodgers history were placed throughout the concourses. Sight lines of Downtown Los Angeles from the top deck were improved which enhanced the game day experience for families attending games. The entrances to the stadium were meant to create as seamless as possible the transition from vehicle to the stadium seat. Improved signage and aesthetics were also considered as part of this renovation.
The stadium was modernized as well with MLB’s first 10mm 1080p HD LED displays over right and left field. These screens offer 66% more viewing area than the previous screens. There will be 1,500 new data points throughout the stadium and electrical outlets for fans to use. The area under the 1st level seats was also dug out to house added facilities for players. The clubhouse and fitness facilities required a complete renovation as well.
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