50 Years of Dodger Stadium- The Vision


1000 Elysian Park Avenue
Dodgertown, California 90090-1112
Broke ground September 17, 1959
Built 1959-1962
Opened April 10, 1962
Owner Los Angeles Dodgers
Surface Santa Ana Bermuda Grass
Construction cost $23 million
($167 million in 2012 dollars)
Architect Captain Emil Praeger
Project Manager Vinell Construction Company
Capacity 56,000 with standing room at least
57,099
Record attendance 57,099 (April 13, 2009) (Giants)
Field dimensions Left Field – 330 feet (101 m)
Medium Left-Center – 360 feet (110 m)
True Left-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)
True Right-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Medium Right-Center – 360 feet (110 m)
Right Field – 330 feet (101 m)
Backstop – 55 feet (17 m

 

April 10, 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of our beloved Dodger Stadium. In celebration of this golden anniversary, I’d like to dedicate some words to our sacred baseball shrine nestled in Chavez Ravine.

Dodger Stadium is the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball behind Wrigley Field in Chicago and the Red Sox’s Fenway Park in Boston. Dodger Stadium was constructed from 1959-1962 and cost $23 million which was paid for by private sources.

Walter O' Malley and Dick Walsh During Construction

“It’s still the most beautiful ballpark in the major leagues,” said Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. “Over the years, the backdrop beyond the outfield has increased in beauty and the landscape is so inspiring, especially at twilight on those cool summer evenings. There isn’t anything to distract a baseball fan when coming to a game at Dodger Stadium. The ballpark is surrounded by beauty and everyone can focus on the game. Even fortysomething years after it was built, the stadium is a tribute to Walter O’Malley’s vision.”

Walter O’Malley’s vision would be a long process to fruition. O’Malley tried for 10 years to build a replacement stadium for Ebbets Field in New York to no avail. On May 2, 1957 O’Malley met with Los Angeles representatives and took a helicopter tour of the land. After negotiations with New York officials regarding a new stadium fell through, O’Malley and Los Angeles agreed to exchange 300 acres in Chavez Ravine for a commitment to build a 50,000 seat stadium.

Ebbets Field

The Dodgers would play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after making the expansive leap to the West Coast from Brooklyn. There was still a lot of work and planning to be done before construction on O’Malley’s dream stadium could begin.

Chavez Ravine May 25, 1950 Leonard Nadel, Housing Authority of L.A.

Next time we will revisit the planning and construction process which ultimately resulted in Dodger Stadium, the crown jewel of West Coast sports and baseball.

Dodger Stadium Under Construction May 25, 1960 Courtesy of the USC Libraries' Los Angeles Examiner Collection

 

Do you have a favorite moment or game spent at Dodger Stadium from the past 50 years? Share it with us in the comments.

Tags: Brooklyn Dodgers Chavez Ravine Ebbets Field Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Vin Scully Walter O'Malley