Wait..you mean there’s a way to renovate a stadium and make it cool? No way!
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled a four-year upgrade plan for Dodger Stadium on Thursday that owner Frank McCourt said amounts to a new home for the team built around the nearly 50-year-old core of the old.
The plan includes a tree-lined entrance to a landscaped grand plaza beyond center field that will connect to a promenade of restaurants, shops and a Dodgers museum.
Acres of parking around the stadium will be turned into a perimeter walkway, which the team is calling “the green necklace,” allowing fans to move outdoors around the ballpark while inside the gates.
One plaza will have views encompassing downtown, the Pacific Ocean and mountains.
“We’re creating a new stadium without tearing down the old,” McCourt said in a statement. “That may take more effort and more resources, but we’re talking about Dodger Stadium.”
It’s all planned to be completed by opening day in 2012, with a price tag of about $500 million, according to a news release from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office.
The changes require approval from the city council, expected to be a formality.
The announcement should help bring an end to speculation about a new stadium for the Dodgers, which had increased as more of the stadiums of the 1960s are torn down for newer, more neoclassical venues.
“We are very pleased to see the Dodgers commit to remain at a ‘new’ Dodger Stadium,” baseball commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
The Dodgers summarized the changes for community groups and season ticket holders earlier in the week, and formally announced the facelift Thursday at a news conference.
The stadium, in use since 1962, will be the third oldest in Major League Baseball after the New York Yankees move to their new home next year. Only Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field will be older.
This is the fifth phase of renovations since McCourt and his wife Jamie purchased the Dodgers in 2004.
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