Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten said on Saturday that all of the planned physical upgrades to Dodger Stadium this offseason will be completed by Friday, when the Dodgers host the Angels in the Freeway Series. Kasten said the upgrades came in "north" of $100 million, though he declined to specify an exact cost.
"Structurally this stadium can last for a very, very long time," Kasten said. "Especially with the new improvements and enhancements put in. I don't know of an outer limit on its useful life."
Chief among the improvements are the new scoreboards, both on the walls and above the pavilions in right and left field. But Kasten said there are improvements on every level, and that a full list will be provided in the coming week.
Two things that won't be fully done are the upgrades to the cell service and the Wi-Fi throughout the stadium. Kasten said the cell upgrades should be done by the second homestand, but the Wi-Fi upgrades likely won't be completed until June. The issue was the sequence of the upgrades, in that several physical changes needed to be completed before the Wi-Fi could be addressed.
"By then, we will have the most elaborate and most extensive Wi-Fi network in baseball," Kasten said.
Kasten said the season ticket sales have reached approximately 31,000, which is nearing the limit for full packages.
"Along with season tickets comes the right to buy postseason. With postseason means more baseball, more sponsors, more other teams, and we're getting closer to what our capacity would be," Kasten said. "After a few more season tickets we will have to limit what you would be able to buy for the World Series."
The shuttle service from Union Station to and from Dodger Stadium is said to be upgraded this season as well, with a dedicated bus lane to help speed up the trips.
"I encourage as many people as possible to use public transportation," Kasten said. "It's going to be their quickest way into the ballpark, and this year will be better than ever."
Kasten is excited for the various upgrades to the stadium, but urged patience for the first few games.
"Opening day is always a big day. What makes it more of a challenge is that its the smallest no-show day of the year. We will have physically in the park more people we'll have for any game all year," Kasten said. "The irony is that it's the toughest day to work because we have new people, new systems, and we're learning how to use our new stuff. There is really no way to do that except under fire. So bear with us for the first homestand or for the first couple of weeks as we learn the best way to service our customers."