While there are no new stadiums opening for the 2013 Major League Baseball season, one of the league’s older venues – Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles – received $100 million worth of upgrades during the off-season. It’s an excellent example of how you can provide an improved experience for your fans (and, in this case, your players) without spending a billion dollars on a new stadium.
The new owners of the Dodgers spent $2 billion to buy the team last year and they obviously want a ballpark that matches that kind of expenditure. One of the most notable changes for fans is the expansion of the concourses on most of the stadium levels. A couple of rows of seats were removed to allow for wider concourses and the addition of standing-room “drink rails”. Some concession stands were added and others were made larger – same for rest rooms. There are a couple of new team stores for those fans who don’t already have enough Dodger Blue gear.
In the outfield there are a couple of new high-resolution video boards that resurrect the hexagon shape used when Dodger Stadium opened back in 1962. If you visit the outfield pavilions, you’ll find new restrooms and picnic areas, too.
Some of the biggest changes won’t be seen by many fans. In an amazingly speedy construction project, the field level seats were removed, lots of digging was done to expand the underground areas, much improved clubhouse facilities were added and the field level seats were reconstructed. The Dodgers clubhouse space was doubled with lots more space for batting cages and weight rooms. When you spend $2 billion to buy a team, you want your players to be happy, too.