Last month a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Ridgecrest, Calif., and was felt throughout the greater Southern California area. At Dodger Stadium, a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres was in the bottom of the fourth inning, and many fans headed for the exits immediately after the shaking was felt, even though the game continued without interruption.
Players on the field and inside the dugout, such as Kiké Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw, later said they did not even notice the earthquake as it was happening. Kenley Jansen, though, said he felt it as he sat in the Dodgers clubhouse and grew concerned when thinking about the fans in attendance.
Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten stated the next day that club officials had quickly determined there was no damage to Dodger Stadium due to the quake and thus no reason to evacuate the ballpark or even stop the game.
Kasten has also confirmed that the stadium, one of the oldest in Major League Baseball, is as prepared as possible for future earthquakes, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“As in all security things we don’t discuss what the procedures are but we do have them,” Kasten said of the safety check given the 57-year-old stadium. “I think it would be comforting for everyone to know among all the things that we have done here starting with the renovations in 2012 we also began a very exhaustive seismic retro-fitting. And we’ve done some every year. So we have done a lot of it since we got here.
“We’re as good as we can be but let’s face it … it’s the power of earthquakes and they are unpredictable. But, yes, I do think we are as safe as we can be with these kinds of things.”
After the Guggenheim Baseball Management group purchased the Dodgers in 2012, they made massive and much-needed renovations throughout Dodger Stadium, which is what Kasten was alluding to.
Following years of neglect to the stadium and fan safety from previous owner Frank McCourt, the current ownership has constantly stated its dedication to improving the Dodger Stadium experience whenever needed.
Recently, Kasten confirmed the team would add additional protective netting down each foul line after a young fan was hit in the head by a Cody Bellinger foul ball on June 23.
Fortunately, the epicenter of the Ridgecrest Earthquake was located over 100 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, so the damage there was minimal. Even near the quake, no major injuries or deaths were reported.