Built in 1962, Dodger Stadium is the largest baseball park in the major leagues, and has always had arguably the best seats in the game with perfectly constructed sightlines. New owners Guggenheim Partners, led by chairman Mark Walters and owners Earvin Johnson, Todd Boehly, Bobby Patton, Peter Guber, and Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten saw a number of ways, however, to improve the fan experience even further.
Covered refreshment areas and more than 90 new
trees in the plaza of Dodger Stadium combine to
provide comfort and shade for fans.
Several new eating options and other amenities
enhance the fan experience.
With this recent construction, Dodger Stadium now boasts additional entrances convenient for ticket holders who arrive on foot or by public transportation. Attendees can stroll freely through concourses, in pedestrian outfield plazas, and to lounging areas that overlook the bullpens. More food options are available, including new outdoor grills, Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria, the Think Blue BBQ, and an expansion of the popular LA Taqueria concession stand. Nor is good sportsmanship neglected; the visiting team’s clubhouse was expanded and moved closer to the visitors’ dugout and to the batting tunnel and conditioning area.
On Track in the Off Season
It’s in the nature of a baseball stadium renovation that work must be completed between seasons. The Dodgers played into the 2013 post-season and, although good news for fans of the club, this shortened the limited construction timeframe even further. But by the end of the year, the necessary permits and funding were in place, and demolition and excavation began before the New Year. With the next season’s exhibition games less than three months away, it was crucial to use time wisely before construction even began.
One of the ways the PCL project team mitigated the compressed construction schedule was by procuring items with long lead times, such as glazing systems and structural steel, early, so they would be on-site when needed; where that proved impossible, the use of quality alternatives helped compress the schedule.
Building on Fill
Tying together the primary structure of Dodger Stadium with the pavilions in the outfield was a challenge from the start. Several elevations had to meet and coordinate with the original structure. Some of the foundations had to be built on bedrock and others on fill, yet it all had to form a cohesive whole. What’s more, the fill was uncertified. In California, it is not permitted to build on uncertified fill without putting in piles. To do so would easily have cost a month in schedule and $200,000, so the project team worked with the structural engineer to design a mat foundation—a type of structure that is set directly on grade and provides load-bearing capacity in expansive or rocky soil, or on that which water has made prone to collapse.
The team then consulted with the City of Los Angeles to have this solution approved without altering the structural foundation. This aspect of the job is hidden from view and is “not one you will ever see on a postcard of Dodger Stadium,” said Janet Marie Smith, senior vice president of Planning and Development for the LA Dodgers, “but it was crucial to the project.”
“PCL helped us map out a schedule and really stuck to it. And they managed to keep us from doing a lot of inefficient things in the name of being in a hurry,” said Smith.
When fans arrived for the start of a new season in spring 2014, they found the timeless mid-twentieth-century building they love, renewed for a twenty-first-century experience.