The Los Angeles Dodgers' roster isn't the only thing getting a multi-million-dollar makeover under new ownership.
Fifty-one-year-old Dodger Stadium is undergoing an offseason renovation that will include new video boards over the left and right field pavilions (returning to the old-style hexagonal look), wider concourses, improved cell phone and wifi reception, a new home clubhouse as well as improved weight room and batting cage facilities for the home and visiting teams. This winter's extensive work will cost approximately $100 million -- a figure Dodgers chief executive officer Stan Kasten used for now because "I don't have the final bills yet."
"This is a very ambitious project we're undertaking," Kasten said. "We're doing about 100 things, and that left out another 100 things we want to do because we only had the 24, 25 weeks (of the offseason) to get it all done by Opening Day."
The Dodgers hired Janet Marie Smith as senior vice president for planning and development in August, and Smith is overseeing this winter's work. She previously oversaw construction or renovation projects at Boston's Fenway Park, Atlanta's Turner Field and Baltimore's Camden Yards.
"This project has one notable difference, and that is the emphasis on putting fans first," said Smith, who described the agenda given to her by Dodgers ownership as, "Do as much as you can as fast as you can."
Among major league stadiums, only Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are older than Dodger Stadium, and the outdated nature of much of its infrastructure and player facilities has kept the park from being seriously considered to host the All-Star Game since it last did in 1980. This winter's work should change that, Kasten said, and he plans to talk with commissioner Bud Selig about the possibility of having Los Angeles host a future All-Star Game.