Dodger Stadium has been the home of unique and special moments, Hall of Famers and World Champions. From no-hitters to Nomo-mania, Most Valuable Players and Cy Young Award winners to World Series victories, Dodger Stadium has a rich history that places it among the truly great venues in sports history. With musical extravaganzas that have included rock, pop and opera royalty, a papal visit and unique events such as motorcycle racing and monster truck events, Dodger Stadium is also among the great entertainment destinations in the country.
It is the third oldest continually used park in Major League Baseball and stands as one of the most unique and picturesque settings in sports, carved as it is into the hillside of Chavez Ravine overlooking downtown LA to the south and the San Gabriel mountains to the north.
Through the years, Dodger Stadium has seen legendary moments, such as Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, the rise of Fernandomania in 1981, Kirk Gibson's walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series (one of 20 World Series games), the 1980 All-Star Game, the 1984 Olympic Games baseball competition, the 2009 World Baseball Classic Final and events such as a Mass conducted by Pope John Paul II and concerts by the biggest names in the business like The Beatles, Michael Jackson and U2.
One of the true cathedrals of baseball, Dodger Stadium has hosted more than 147 million fans since it opened its doors in 1962. The club topped the 3.85 million mark in 2007, which stands as the all-time franchise record.
The ballpark's rich history began with Dodger President Walter O'Malley's foresight six decades ago. In 1957, O'Malley lobbied for a new stadium to be built for his Brooklyn club, but when a deal could not be reached, the Dodgers made the unprecedented move to California. In September of that year, the city of Los Angeles agreed to give 300 acres of land to the Dodgers in exchange for the deed to Wrigley Field in Los Angeles and their commitment to construct a 50,000-seat stadium. While Dodger Stadium was being built, the Dodgers played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum through 1961, before the true Opening Day- April 10, 1962 - when the Dodgers finally played in their new home before 52,564 fans. The 56,000-seat Dodger Stadium, the first privately financed ballpark since Yankee Stadium in 1923, is a reflection of the careful study Walter O'Malley put into this seminal project. Dodger Stadium was designed by O'Malley and New York based architect and civil engineer, Emil Praeger with support from Los Angeles based Edward Fickett, FAIA, a fourth generation California native and prolific architect who brought a regional flare to the engineering feat that is Dodger Stadium. Praeger designed the stadium so that each entry is at grade -- from the Top Deck to the Field level seats. The 21 terraced entrances on the six different seating levels presents a unique vertical circulation along the landscaped plazas around the stadium perimeter and each section of seating has parking immediately adjacent the entrance . There is parking for 16,000 cars on site, carved as the stadium is, into the hillside of Chavez Ravine. Fickett's contribution of style and color gives the building a uniquely Southern California 1960's "modern" style.
Dodger Stadium has seen improvements in the past from the addition of suites to new scoreboards and a renovation of the field level. Now in its 52nd season, Dodger Stadium is undergoing its most ambitious improvements to date including both visible changes and behind the scenes upgrades to the aging infrastructure.
HD video screens and a new sound system, more spacious concourses, restrooms and concessions and expanded and renovated clubhouse and a state-of-the-art WiFi network will help evolve one of Los Angeles' best known landmarks into a technologically advanced, fan friendly entertainment venue.
Many of the architectural touches that make Dodger Stadium unique are repeated in the new additions, inspired by exploring the venue as well as researching the original, well kept, Walter O'Malley archives.
Since opening its gates, Dodger Stadium has hosted eight World Series and the Dodgers have won four World Championships (1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988), eight NL pennants (1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988), 11 NL Western Division crowns (1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1995, 2004, 2008, 2009) and two NL Wild Card berths (1996, 2006). The stadium has also hosted 3,939 regular-season games, with the Dodgers posting a 2,224-1,715 (.565) record during that time.
Dodger Stadium continues to be a major part of the history and tradition of the Dodgers. It is the home of one of baseball's most storied franchises, a destination for a worldwide fan base and a monument for a bustling, multicultural city. For 51 years, Dodger Stadium has been a home for a team and a community. Its history lives on.