Home to one of the greatest and most influential sports franchises in history, Dodger Stadium is a Southern California icon with its beautiful design, rich tradition, and deep history. Angelenos may know the long and at time tumultuous history of this venerable baseball destination, but few know every secret and little detail about the design and what went into making this modern marvel at the time.
In this guide, we’re hoping that you walk away learning something new about this beautiful Los Angeles venue.
Dodger Stadium History
You have to know where you’ve been to appreciate where you’re going. While the ballpark is a beauty now, how it came to be is one of LA’s darkest moments.
The History of Chavez Ravine
Before the Dodgers moved out west from Brooklyn, New York, the city of Los Angeles forcefully evicted 300+ Mexican-American families from the Chavez Ravine public housing projects in the early 1950’s. Homes, schools, and churches were bulldozed to the ground to make way for the brand new stadium, with promises of first picks of apartments in a proposed housing project, but in the end, there were no reimbursements for the properties which makes the controversy even more easier to understand.
The Driving Forces Behind Building Dodger Stadium
There were basically two people responsible for the Dodgers moving to the West Coast and making Los Angeles their home. A Los Angeles city councilwoman by the name of Rosalind Wyman and the owner of the Dodgers, Walter O’Malley.
Not much is ever said about Wyman, but she was a powerful force in the building of what you see in Los Angeles today. Word got out that O’Malley was looking for a new stadium deal for his Brooklyn Dodgers, but with the Yankees and Giants sharing the market, Wyman saw an opportunity and led a group of Los Angeles city officials to go and woo O’Malley to Los Angeles. Obviously, the plan worked and Wyman would go on and also bring the Lakers to Los Angeles as she goes on to serve 16 years of public office, where she was in involved in multiple projects that helped the economic development and viability of Los Angeles as a major metropolitan city.
The Design and Building of Dodger Stadium
Dodger Stadium was one of the last privately financed baseball only stadiums built and is located near the intersections of the 5, 10, 101, 60 and 110 Freeways near the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. At the time, Dodger Stadium featured innovative designs such as dugout-level seats behind home plate, and a pillar-less design that would ensure every fan would get an obstructed view of the game below. Some design ideas that didn’t quite make it were a drive-in like spot behind home plate for the car crazed fans of Los Angeles and the flexibility to expand the stadium to 85,000 seats in another phase of the build.
The color scheme of the seats are always a big question amongst the uninitiated, but here’s a little guide to help:
- Reserve Level represents the landscape all around the stadium with a sea foam green.
- Loge Level represents the sandy beaches of Southern California with it’s light orange.
- Field Level represents the bright sunny days in Los Angeles with its yellow seats.
Timeline of Dodger Stadium Upgrades and Changes
- 1958: The City of Los Angeles approves the construction of Dodger Stadium
- 1962: Dodger Stadium opens and becomes the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels, who would call it Chavez Ravine Stadium during their tenure up to 1965 when they moved to Anaheim.
- 1975: New plastic seats replaced the old wooden ones.
- 2005: The installation of LED Video displays were finally completed
- 2005: Frank McCourt changes out the seats to return to the color scheme originally installed by Walter O’Malley
- 2012: Jane Marie Smith is hired by the Guggenheim Baseball Management group to direct the new renovations to Dodger Stadium that include updates to the batting cages, sound system, concession stand, restrooms and so much more.
- 2014: Additional entrances, children’s play areas, new team stores and bar areas are added
- 2016: More standing room in the top deck is added along with more memorabilia from the Dodgers rich tradition are shown throughout the stadium.
- 2017: A statue of Jackie Robinson is revealed behind left field along with more premium seating and renovated club and suite seating for large groups of Dodger fans.
- 2018: An ode to the 1962 past as the Club Level seats are returned to the orange, yellow and seafood green of the past. And you guessed it, even more food stands and concession stands are built for fans to get their Dodger Dogs and Micheladas.
- 2019: The Top of the Park store is remodeled.
- 2020: A brand new Center Field plaza is built to be the new home of the Jackie Robinson Statue along with a new Sandy Koufax Statue.
Fun Facts about Dodger Stadium
- The Dodgers have exceeded the official maximum capacity of 56,000 multiple times
- Dodger Stadium has hosted 8 World Series
- There is a secret Japanese Garden located on the property
- Dodger Stadium that has it’s own Zip Code
- The Pope held mass at Dodger Stadium
- The most memorable home run in World Series history was hit at Dodger Stadium
- There is a Time Capsule buried in the top deck of Dodger Stadium
Dodger Stadium Tricks, Tips and Guides
What do I need to know about Dodger Stadium Parking?
The designers of Dodger Stadium couldn’t have predicted how many cars would be driving the freeways near Chavez Ravine, so that’s the excuse we’re going to go with to give them a pass at this part of their design. Getting in and out of the stadium could sometimes be longer than the game itself, but not if you use our Dodger Stadium Parking Guide to find out where the cheap parking is, the best gates to go through and fastest exit routes to get you home fast.
Where are the Best Bars Around Dodger Stadium to Watch Games with Fans?
If you couldn’t get tickets for the game, then the next best thing is to find a great local Dodgers bar to watch games at. Great cocktails, great music and great vibes usually fill these bars, so make sure to check out our Dodgers bar guide here and with more than a dozen to pick from, you’ll be sure to find one that satisfies your thirst!