Dodger Stadium has been around for a relatively long time when it comes to baseball stadiums, 55 years to be exact. Despite age, there are plenty of reasons why a stadium this old is still considered one of the nicest in all of baseball.
The idea for Dodger Stadium began in 1957 once the Dodgers moved West from Brooklyn. However, the stadium wasn’t ready for baseball until 1962. While waiting for their stadium to be built the Dodgers played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for five seasons. On April 10, 1962, the Dodgers played their very first game here against the Cincinnati Reds. This game attracted more than 52,000 fans.
Dodger Stadium is the oldest stadium west of the Mississippi River. Currently, it is the third oldest ballpark in all of Major League Baseball just behind Fenway and Wrigley. It was the first privately financed baseball stadium since the Yankees did it back in 1923. The stadium now holds 56,000 fans and is the largest stadium in the MLB.
Many people call Dodger Stadium Chavez Ravine due to the fact it is built in the Chavez Ravine Valley. There was plenty controversy surrounding Dodgers Stadium construction in LA. Many people lost their homes in result to the stadium being built here as the Dodgers purchased more land than they ended up actually needed because there was hope to expand the stadium to 85,000 seats. This idea never ended up becoming a real project.
The stadium didn’t always hold 56,000 people. In 2004, they made the adjustment to the dugout which moved them closer to the field and added an extra 1,500 seats, making it a total of 56,000.
After the 2005 season, former owner Frank McCourt decided to replace just about every single seat in Dodger Stadium. He got rid of the seats that had been a part of the stadium since 1975 and brought back the original color scheme from the 1962 season. The colors of the seats aren’t just random either. Walter O’Malley, the former owner who brought the Dodgers to Los Angeles, had a meaning for each level of seats and the colors they consisted.
Top Deck is a light blue color that reminded O’Malley of the ocean and the skies that surround all of Los Angeles and Southern California. Reserve level is a sea foam green color that represented the landscape all around Dodger Stadium. The Loge level seats are a light orange which was a representation of the sandy beaches. Lastly, are the Field level seats which are yellow because that reminded O’Malley of the sun which is always out in Los Angeles.
In 2009 the United States Postal Service gave Dodger Stadium their own zip code. In fact, if you look up the zip code 90090, it will come up as Dodgertown, USA.
After the 2012 season, under new ownership, the Dodgers spent $100 million in their latest renovations. These renovations were made to not only help modernize the look of the stadium but also keep its vintage feel. This included a new HD video and scoreboards that still resembled their same hexagonal look they had beforehand. They added Wi-Fi, a new sound system, wider concourses, and new restrooms.
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They also made some new adjustments to the Dodgers’ clubhouse, adding batting cages and a weight room to both the home and visitor’s clubhouses. Before they added these to the visitor’s clubhouse, the visiting team would have to walk through the Dodgers clubhouse before and after games to use these facilities. For fun, they added a play area for kids as well as oversized bobble heads and World Series replica rings in left and right field.
In 2014 the owners continued to add to the stadium’s features. They added seating and an overlook over both bullpens so the fans could watch their favorite pitchers warm up. A new team store in the outfield was an addition as well.
Stan Kasten, current president of the Dodgers, thought that these renovations would help make the stadium more appealing for events. He was specifically speaking about the All-Star Game due to the fact Dodger Stadium has not held one since 1980.
Dodger Stadium is a place filled with history and memories anytime you attend. From Sandy Koufax’s perfect game to Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter, this stadium has seen everything. The Dodgers have won four World Series while playing in Los Angeles and are on a direct path to win a fifth.
Jackie Robinson was enshrined in Dodger Stadium earlier this season with a statue located up in the reserve level. Even Vin Scully has become a permanent part of the stadium with the Dodgers adding him to the Ring of Honor this season. Many people would attend Dodger games and bring in their radios just to hear Vin call the games.
Just sitting Top Deck at the stadium gives many people a feeling of relaxation. With the mountains and the clear blue skies in the background, there isn’t a stadium with a better view. Some people will even take their lunches there and just sit in the seats enjoying the view. This is allowed whenever the Dodgers don’t have a game scheduled for that day.
Dodger Stadium is one of the most beautiful stadiums I’ve been to. Every time I walk into the stadium all I can do is feel right at home. Where do you think Dodgers Stadium ranks amongst the MLB stadiums?