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Kasten: Dodger Stadium renovations could hit nine figures

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Dodger Stadium

Saying the renovations could end up costing hundreds of millions, Stan Kasten outlined some of the physical improvements new owners have planned for Dodger Stadium.

While Dodger Stadium is a crown jewel of Major League Baseball ballparks -- now the third oldest, after Fenway Park and Wrigley Field -- it's also been steadily neglected since it was owned by the O'Malley family, first under Fox and then under Frank McCourt. According to Kasten, the first round of renovations overseen by the new Los Angeles Dodgers owners will cover those essential, unglamorous parts of the ballpark that tend to be forgotten: on the agenda are expanded clubhouses, Wi-Fi service and kids' play areas, with a team museum also on the wish list. Some of the 56,000 seats could be removed as well; decreasing capacity will increase demand down the road and not really impact attendance in the short term.

Also on tap: more retail and a grander entrance to the ballpark. 

There's plenty of land for development: Dodger Stadium sits amongst 300 acres on Chavez Ravine, which means one could add retail, restaurants and other amenities to the Dodger Stadium footprint and still have plenty of room for additional development down the road.

And you can expect more sponsorships -- sales pitches -- at the ballpark. While it sounds like Kasten is retaining the possibility of selling naming rights (which would be a monumentally stupid and greedy move), you'll also see more corporate participation at the ballpark:

To increase revenue, the Dodgers plan to solicit premium sponsorships that will let participating companies showcase products in unique ways, Kasten said.

The Dodgers would consider sponsorships similar to those Kasten negotiated in Atlanta as part of the two stadiums and one arena he built during his sports career. At Philips Arena, home of basketball’s Atlanta Hawks, Philips Electronics BV displays its consumer products for fans. At Turner Field, home of the Braves baseball team, Coca-Cola Co.;built an 80-foot soda bottle and kids amusement park.

“Many times the best ideas don’t come from us, they come from the companies interested in a sponsorship,” Kasten said.

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