The 2020 MLB season was shaping to be an exciting year for the Los Angeles Dodgers on many fronts. Not only did a roster coming off a franchise-record 106 wins add All-Stars Mookie Betts and David Price, but Dodger Stadium was undergoing a significant renovation.
The estimated $100 million project was announced last year and projected to be completed in time for Opening Day — originally slated for March 26 — of this season. Heavy rain during multiple stretches of the past winter caused some delays, but construction continued as the 2020 season drew near.
Of course, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has prevent MLB from beginning its campaign, and also impacted the rate at which the Dodger Stadium renovation was being completed as construction crews operated within health and physical distancing recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As MLB and the Players Association negotiate over various terms for a potential season this year, Dodger Stadium has steadily come together over the past few weeks. The latest drone flyover by John Kay provided a look at the nearly-completed project:
Since the last drone to capture video of Dodger Stadium, turf for the new children’s play area has been installed, and all outfield fencing and majority of electronic boards appear to be in place.
Among the changes and improvements coming to Dodger Stadium are the installation of elevators and escalators, a Sandy Koufax statue, new speaker system, batter’s eye and an overhauled pavilion that will feature standing room decks and now be connected to the entire stadium.
“I think the most exciting thing for us this year is that this project has given us the opportunity to renovate the pavilions. And not only to give our fans new amenities — restrooms, concessions and entertainment — but also to really re-think the pavilions themselves,” Dodgers senior vice president of planning and development Janet Marie Smith recently said.
“In between the first row of benches and the wall, we’re creating a new seating section, the Home Run Seats. They have drink rails like at the Top of the Park and barstool seating. We’re really pitching that for groups. It’s got a nice, wonderful environment.
“What could be better than sitting right there at the top of the outfield wall? At the top of the pavilion we created a deck that will not only accommodate ADA seating but importantly standing room and lots of milling around space. And for the first time ever, a physical connection from the pavilions back to Dodger Stadium.”
Of course, when fans will be able to take in the new features at Chavez Ravine remains unclear. While California Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested sports could return as soon as the first week of June, that is without fans in attendance.
Meanwhile, Dodger Stadium was just announced as one of the newest and largest coronavirus testing locations by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
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