08/28/07 8:25 PM ET
New stadium renovations announced
Dodgers owner McCourt unveils next phase of improvements
By Jayson Addcox / MLB.com
The Dodgers, who have already renovated seating and parking at Dodger Stadium, unveiled a multimillion-dollar construction project that will expand the Field Level concourse to include nearly double the number of concession stands and restrooms, two new all-inclusive clubs for the baseline seat ticketholders and a new energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cooling system.
"We talk often about our three core values: championship-caliber baseball, giving back to the community and providing our fans with the best experience in all of sports," said McCourt at the press conference. "And today, we are sitting here talking about how to improve the fan experience."
McCourt said there were three things that were brought to his attention by the fans when he took over as the owner the Dodgers in 2004. He said fans complained about the seating at the stadium, the congestion in the parking lots and the long lines at the concession stands.
In 2005, McCourt had the seats in the stadium replaced, and this season, the team unveiled a new parking system, coordinated by a high-tech transportation center located in the stadium. Now, McCourt has set his sights on improving the fan experience by providing new and improved kitchens, wider hallways to accommodates more people and more restrooms.
"One of our primary goals as stewards of the Dodgers is to provide the best fan experience in all of sports," McCourt said. "When the Dodgers opened in 1962, there were 2.7 million fans. This year, we will welcome more than 3.8 million fans. Dodger Stadium is one of the finest stadiums in all of the sports, but in order to provide better service and more amenities for this increased fan base, we need to create more space and redesign the concourses."
McCourt announced that the new plan will be "green friendly," with the addition of a new energy-efficient and environmentally safe cooling system that will provide stadium-wide cooling in the work space and at all concessions stands.
Maria Elena Durazo, the executive secretary and treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, acknowledged the efforts of McCourt and the Dodgers in improving the workspace environment of the hundreds of kitchen workers at Dodger Stadium.
"With the upgrade in technology and improved work conditions, workers will be able to better serve the Dodger fans," Durazo said. "We're very proud of our relationship with Mr. and Mrs. McCourt and the entire Dodger organization. This relationship is based on trust, based on inclusion and based on commitment to good jobs, and those good jobs are a big contribution to our community and our city."
The renovation plan, which is already under way, is expected to be completed in the offseason, and the Dodgers expect to renovate the other levels in the upcoming years. According to McCourt, all the levels at Dodger Stadium will undergo a face lift, improving the fan experience from field level to the reserve level.
"All in all, it's going to be a great addition to our ballpark," McCourt said. "We want to improve the amenities and the fan experience while keeping the great feel of Dodger Stadium. We will make sure to protect that."
Jayson Addcox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.