MLB All-Star Game 2022: Dodger Stadium is a classic yet modern touch

By Rowan Kavner
FOX Sports MLB Writer

Sixty years after Walter O’Malley’s epic vision came true, Dodger Stadium continues to add to its epic resume.

In addition to welcoming over 178 million people Dodgers Since opening in 1962, the venue has featured soccer, hockey, rugby games, Pope John Paul II’s Misa, Harlem Globetrotters Basketball, World Baseball Classic, Beatles, Elton John, and Bruce Springsteen concerts. It is being held.

On Tuesday, it will serve as a major league site for the first time since 1980 and for the second time in its presence. All-star game (8 pm ET for FOX and FOX Sports apps).

“This is a great place to play, and I think everyone knows it,” said the Dodgers pitcher. Clayton Kershaw Said. “All road teams coming and playing here say Dodger Stadium is a great place. We are excited to share it.”

This opportunity provides an opportunity to introduce to an audience across the country the modern equipment recently added to MLB’s third oldest ballpark.

The $ 100 million expansion that brought the vast Centerfield Plaza and new elevators, escalators and bridges to Dodger Stadium ahead of the 2020 season is a top-deck view of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Los Angeles skyline of the historic stadium. Did not sacrifice the classic atmosphere. Mid-century modern architecture, hexagonal scoreboards, and colorful seating reminiscent of the sunsets of California.

“It’s an iconic space in LA, and I think most people think of it as their own home away from home,” he said. Justin TurnerRaised in Southern California, attended a high school in nearby Lakewood. “It is deeply embedded in the roots of LA and the people who grew up here.”

Turner still remembers his grandmother, who took a vacation to see the progress made by O’Malley and architect Emil Prager when Dodger Stadium was built in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

After negotiations with the Los Angeles City Authority, O’Malley moved the Dodgers from New York to California in 1958. It was three years after Brooklyn won the only World Series Championship.

“His critics said,’He was going to California anyway, he wasn’t interested in Brooklyn-not true,'” said Walter’s son Peter O’Malley. “Only when he saw that he couldn’t do it in New York, he wanted to fund it personally, he wanted to design it, he wanted to do it his way-he noticed. I have to go there, so I have to go elsewhere. “

The Dodgers spent the first four seasons on the west coast of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while the new stadium was being built. The Coliseum featured distinct dimensions of 250 feet from the left fielder and 440 feet to the right fielder.

At Chave Slavine, a more typical striking experience awaited. There, 8 million cubic yards of soil were moved and a stadium was created on the hillside. The center-fielder’s foundry yard has more than 25,000 precast concrete segments, installed by the $ 150,000 crane used to assemble Dodger Stadium.

Some of the elements Walter O’Malley once envisioned, such as the center-field fountain, didn’t come true. But his dream came true on April 10, 1962, when Dodger Stadium debuted. The Dodgers led all the MLB teams that attended that year and had 2,755,184 fans. Fans continued to flock when Sandy Koufax helped the club’s third and fourth World Series titles in 1963 and 1965.

Sixty years later, it is clear that the venue will not go anywhere soon.

Dodger Stadium has a capacity of 56,000 and has increased the pace of Major League Baseball in each of the last eight seasons (excluding the 2020 season with a shortened pandemic featuring only a paper cutout), with 3,974,309 in 2019. Set a franchise record for people’s fans. In 2021, the first 33 games were played in front of a limited number of spectators, with nearly 3 million participants.

Stan Kasten, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dodgers, said: “Without the support of our fans, we wouldn’t have been able to earn enough money to continue building this team and the facilities we own.”

This experience was guided by the Guggenheim baseball management, which the Dodgers invested in strengthening both the product on the field and the stadium itself, where they played off for nine consecutive seasons. The latest enhancements were overseen by Janet Mary Smith, Executive Vice President of Planning and Development. Janet Marie Smith’s previous experience included overseeing Oriole Park at Camdenyard and expanding Fenway Park.

In 2013, Smith’s work to modernize the stadium included new video and sound systems, retail stores, children’s play areas, standing room sections, and ADA seats. The video board on the pavilion has been enlarged by 22% and restored to a hexagon. The top deck and reserve level plazas have added more space, providing space for retirement and life-sized bobblehead dolls.

Instead of hosting a museum at the stadium, the entire stadium became Museum (also a botanical garden, certified as a drought-resistant plant on the premises).

“No matter where you look, there’s something about the Dodgers’ team relationship with Southern California,” Smith said. “The building is a story.”

The exhibition is dedicated to Gil Hodges, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, and Jaime Jarrín, who is in his final season as the Dodgers’ Spanish voice. Jackie Robinson’s 75th Anniversary Season is recognized for stadium-wide souvenirs and an exhibition of “barrier breakers” lent by the Negro League Baseball Museum. Another exhibition, “Baseball’s Bridge to the Pacific Ocean,” celebrates the role that baseball played between Japan and the United States.

Among the ballpark-wide artifacts and souvenirs are the Gold Glove Awards, MVP Awards, Cy Young Awards, and World Series trophies that players pass by every day on their way to the clubhouse. At the field level, the baseline club on the first base side includes all Los Angeles all-star bats, and another club on the third base side has a collection of 1,000 baseball bobblehead dolls.

There are tributes to Fernando Mania and the late Tommy Lasorda (Lasorda himself curated many of the souvenirs), as well as the Dodgers Hall of Fame and the “Legend of Dodgers Baseball” awards. Recently, Smith found a drawing in Peter O’Malley’s office. It was designed in 1959, but has never been created. She built them and used them as hexagonal signs on the stairs.

“Looking at how the fans reacted to what we put out, it just made us want to do more,” she said.

One of the stadium’s most striking overhauls took place prior to the 2020 season, when the Dodgers were first tabbed to host the All-Star game. The new two-acre Centerfield Plaza provides Dodger Stadium with an unprecedented front door and is ultimately home to the Robinson statue built in 2017 and the Koufax statue announced earlier this year. ..

The Gold Grab Bar has a direct view of the bullpen at home, and Speakeasy has a look at the bullpen to visit. Fans can also approach action in the outfield, watch batter practice behind the warning track, or sit on a home run seat that has replaced the exit stairs in front of the pavilion.

The latest refurbishment will make it easier to navigate the Dodger Stadium and provide 360 ​​degree access to the stadium. The ballpark has one of the most beautiful views of Los Angeles from the peak.

“The best thing I do is go to the top of the park and look out over the stadium of Elysian Park in the foreground, from its incredible vantage point 110 feet above the stadium to the view of Dodger Stadium. It’s a view. It’s a kind of central stage in itself, and beyond that is the San Gabriel Mountains. ” “Nothing is better than this in sports. It’s a very strange place.”

Rowan Kavner covers FOX Sports Dodgers and NL West. A proud LSU graduate, he admits that he was a sports writer and editor at The Daily Reveille to prepare for a career covering the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Prior to joining FOX, he worked as an editor for Dodgers digital publications and printed matter. Except when he’s not at the stadium or watching sports, Rowan enjoys playing with dogs, hiking, running, playing golf, and remembering the Mavericks 2011 Championship Run. You can find him on Twitter @Rowan Kavner..

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MLB All-Star Game 2022: Dodger Stadium is a classic yet modern touch

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