Frank McCourt, Owner and Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, today announced the next phase of the multi-year renovation of Dodger Stadium. The multi-million dollar construction project will expand the Field Level concourse to include nearly double the number of points of sale and restrooms, two new all-inclusive clubs for baseline seat ticket holders and a new energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cooling system. More than $60 million has been invested in stadium renovations over the last three years, and with this phase, the cumulative investment will more than double.
"One of our primary goals as stewards of the Dodgers is to provide the best fan experience in all of sports," said McCourt. "When Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, there were 2.7 million fans. This year, we will welcome more than 3.8 million fans. Dodger Stadium is one of the finest stadiums in all of sports, but in order to provide better service and more amenities for this increased fan base, we need to create more space and redesign the concourses."
With this redesign, all concession stands will now be served by the kitchen space behind them and those kitchens will be sized to produce and distribute the amount of food required for the number of patrons on each level. The ergonomically designed workspace will be outfitted with brand new state-of-the-art equipment, from grills, to refrigerators, to soda dispensers and ice cream machines, and grilled Dodger Dogs will now be available at every concession stand on the Field Level. The addition of a new stadium-wide cooling system will lower temperatures in the workspace and all concession stands now will be fully compliant with ADA standards from both an employee and customer standpoint.
"With the upgrade in technology and improved work conditions workers will be able to better serve the Dodger fans," said Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
"Dodger Stadium is one of the crown jewels of the sports world, so we're excited about partnering with the Dodgers on this new project," said Andy Lansing, President and CEO Levy Restaurants. "Through new dining concepts, greater variety in increased locations and our continued focus on service and hospitality, we look forward to providing a great fan experience."
As part of the expansion, the Field Level concourses will now include two new Baseline Box Clubs for the exclusive use of baseline box season ticket holders. The "Hollywood Bowl-style" private baseline box seats include a table and storage area. The Baseline Box Clubs will be located on both the first- and third-base sides at the end of the concourse and offer all-inclusive buffet dining, carryout options, a full-service bar and private restrooms.
HKS Architects has overseen the redesign and kept within the Stadium's original mid-century modern architecture. The widened concourses will feature a monochromatic color scheme utilizing stainless steel, gray tile, architectural metal panels, concrete, textured wall coating, and sculptured architectural panels accented with yellow highlights, which is consistent with the seat color on the Field Level. Taking hints from the existing language of the building, the open, airy concourse will provide more space for fans to move throughout the concourse and improve the lighting scheme and signage.
The new energy efficient cooling system replaces localized, small, air conditioning systems with a more efficient centralized chilled water system. The chillers produce cold water, which is then circulated around the entire stadium via pumps. This chilled water has a variety of applications including cooling spaces through air handlers and providing heat rejection for concession equipment. Presently, the concession equipment emits a significant amount of heat into the work space. By removing the concession equipment heat via the chilled water, the equipment will use less energy and lower the temperatures in the concession areas. Additional environmental improvements include moving to waterless urinals, which will save up to 2.4 million gallons of water annually on the Field Level alone, and hand dryers.
As with the previous renovations, The McCourt Company will oversee and manage all construction. Prior stadium renovations included: new dugouts; replacing the entire playing surface, warning track and drainage system; adding seating in the Dugout Club and introducing the baseline box seats; replacing all of the seats within the primary seating bowl; returning to the stadium's original color palette; repairing and conducting maintenance on the concrete and structure within the seating bowl area; adding a new LED ribbon board; creating a new terrace outside the Loge level seating entrance; installing new ticket, telephone and computer systems; and instituting a new parking plan to improve safety and simplify the entrance and exit process.
Elements of this renovation were approved by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning in April 2005. The other concourses will be similarly redesigned in upcoming off-seasons.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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