Stan Kasten, Janet Marie Smith Prioritized Preserving Nostalgic Feel And Viewpoints When Dodgers Planned Dodger Stadium Renovation

In arguably the most ambitious project under Guggenheim Baseball Management, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced a significant Dodger Stadium renovation that will bring several modern amenities to MLB’s third-oldest ballpark behind a plan more than one year in the making.

“You’ve heard me many times talk about Dodger Stadium as a design, it was a work of genius when it was created, and it remains that way today,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “You’ve also often heard me say that there has never been a place like this. It is the most beautiful place ever built to watch or play the game of baseball.

“When we got here in the winter of 2012, we spent a lot of time, money and effort, led by the leadership of Janet Marie Smith, to upgrade what had been a 50-year-old stadium then. So we added new plumbing, new wiring, widened the concourses, new concessions, restrooms, WiFi, scoreboards. We did all of those things to bring the stadium into the 21st century. And we thought that next year would be a perfect time to do our next round of renovations.”

Among other changes coming to Dodger Stadium in 2020 are the creation of a two-acre entertainment plaza in center field, installation of elevators and escalators, a Sandy Koufax statue, and an overhauled pavilion that will feature standing room decks and now be connected to the entire stadium.

While Dodger Stadium is being ushered into a new era, the franchise emphasized retaining its historic feel and picturesque views of palm trees and San Gabriel Mountains. “This was really important to me and to Janet,” Kasten said.

“When you describe stadiums, you think of the vista between foul pole to foul pole. You think of Wrigley Field, Fenway, Yankee Stadium. We are fortunate enough to have the very best view of all.

“That view of those bleachers, those palm trees, the San Gabriel Mountains, that is iconic, timeless and unmatched anywhere in the world in sports. I’m very proud we’re going to do all of the things I described without changing that look at all. That’s something I’m really proud of.”

Dodger Stadium renovation rendering
Los Angeles Dodgers

The latest renovation brings Guggenheim’s total investment into Dodger Stadium to a reported $300 million. “I do keep track, but that’s a round number that’s probably fair,” Kasten said. “This iteration, roughly, we’ll call it $100 million.”

The changes will be in place well before the Dodgers host the 2020 MLB All-Star Game on July 14, but that likely won’t hold true with respect to Opening Day of next season.

“When Janet and I have been through this, we’re usually screwing in bolts the morning of the first game,” Kasten quipped. “That’s literally not an exaggeration.

“Approximately noon on Day 1 of our first game. We’re going to take every minute we have, but we’re going to get it done by then. It’s going to be ready to go by Opening Day.”