The Dodgers will host the Angels on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, but it will be less about the Freeway Series and more about the stadium getting a dry run through on all the new bells and whistles before opening day.
First and foremost among the upgrades are the new scoreboards above the left and right field pavilions, as well as the new scoreboards in the wall, and the new sound system. Many of the upgrades are still being finalized just hours before game time, but the finished product should be quite impressive.
The first image I saw in person of the new scoreboards was a soap opera, which was a bit disappointing though the high definition was pretty amazing.
I generally sit near organist Nancy Bea Hefley, who sits near all the sound and video crews, now in expanded and upgraded areas
The chairs in the press box were upgraded too
There were finishing touches being added to the bullpen just this afternoon.
The Dodgers also unveiled their upgrades to the stadium today.
"The upgrades were designed with particular emphasis on the Top Deck and Reserve levels and outfield pavilions that had been essentially untouched since the stadium first opened," CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement. "Our goal is to provide the most pleasurable experience from the time fans arrive at the stadium until the time they depart, ideally after a Dodger victory."
Here is a list of the upgrades to each section:
Top of the park
-- Expanded concourse area with enhanced views of the downtown skyline
-- Two new and enlarged concession areas, including new stands, cooking facilities and menus.
-- All new and enlarged restrooms, including a family restroom
-- New team store with ticket windows attached
-- 5-feet high "retired number" sculptures
-- Entry gates extended out 30 feet to enlarge the concourse. Each gate will feature some special Dodger memorabilia, including oversized baseballs autographed by winners of the Cy Young Award and life-size bobbleheads featuring uniforms worn by the Dodgers through the decades.
-- All restrooms enlarged. Family restrooms added along with water fountains.
-- New concession areas, including new stands, cooking facilities and menus.
-- A team store on the left-field side and another will be completed on the right-field side on a date TBD
-- Kids play areas on the first-base and third-base side
-- Expanded concourse allows for more standing room with views of the game and more space for fans in wheelchairs and their companions
-- Life-size replicas of bobbleheads and MVP, Cy Young and Gold Glove awards at entry plazas
-- The United Suite Concourse houses a display of Dodger yearbook covers, media guide covers and other team memorabilia. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation baseball display was relocated from the breezeway lobby reception area by the Dodgers’ office to outside the press box. A new display of team media guides was created in the lobby area
-- New concession areas, including new stands, cooking facilities and menus
-- All restrooms were enlarged. Family restrooms were added, along with water fountains and a fan service area.
-- Patio boxes for group seating in a casual setting were created at the back of the concourse
-- Wider concourse and additional locations for wheelchair-bound fans and their companions and standing room with drink rails beyond the foul poles
-- Enhanced lighting
-- Murals depicting Dodger history
-- New entry plazas to create standing room areas with a view of the game
-- Wider concourse, drink rails and additional locations for wheelchair-bound fans and their companions
-- Reduced number of Prime Ticket Club seats along foul lines to improve sightlines (from 1066 to 640), with wheelchair positions on the front row. As a result, there will be an additional six feet of foul territory on left field and right field foul lines
-- In both left and right field, new and larger restrooms were created more conveniently located under the pavilions. Picnic areas were added.