Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Dodger Stadium, occasionally referenced by local sportscasters with the metonym Chavez Ravine, is a stadium in Los Angeles. Located adjacent to Downtown Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium has been the home ballpark of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers team since 1962. Dodger Stadium was constructed from 1959 to 1962 at a cost of $23 million, financed by private sources.
Dodger Stadium is currently the third-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, after Fenway Park in Boston (opened in 1912) and Wrigley Field in Chicago (opened in 1914) and is, by seating capacity, the largest baseball-specific stadium in the United States. Often referred to as a "pitcher's ballpark", the stadium has seen 11 no-hitters, two of which were perfect games. The most recent no-hitter was thrown by Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers on June 18, 2014 against the Colorado Rockies.
The stadium hosted the 1980 MLB All-Star Game, as well as games of the 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1988 World Series.
It also hosted the semifinals and finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic as well as exhibition baseball during the 1984 Summer Olympics. The 2012 season marked the fiftieth anniversary of the stadium.
Dodger Stadium was one of the last baseball-only facilities built before the dawn of the multi-purpose stadium. It was built near the convergence of several freeways near downtown Los Angeles, with an expansive parking lot surrounding the stadium. With the construction of many new MLB ballparks in recent years, it is now the third-oldest park still in use, and the oldest on the West Coast.
Dodger Stadium offered several innovative design features. One of these was a covered and screened section of dugout-level seats behind home plate. Dodger owner Walter O'Malley was inspired to incorporate this feature into the Dodger Stadium design after having seen it at Tokyo's Korakuen Stadium during the Brooklyn Dodgers' postseason goodwill tour of Japan in 1956. The original dugout seating area was replaced by more conventional box seating in a 1999 renovation, but this feature has been replicated at Progressive Field in Cleveland and Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Two of Dodger Stadium's most distinctive features are the wavy roof atop each outfield pavilion and the top of a ten-story elevator shaft bearing the Dodger logo rising directly behind home plate at the top of the uppermost seating level.
A unique terraced-earthworks parking lot was built behind the main stands, allowing ticketholders to park at roughly the level of their seats, minimizing use of ramps once inside. The stadium was also designed to be earthquake-resistant, an important consideration in California, and it has withstood several serious earthquakes.
Strobe lights were added in 1999; they flash when the Dodgers take the field, after a Dodger home run, and after a Dodger win.
In addition to those of Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Don Sutton, the retired numbers of Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda, Walter Alston, Roy Campanella and Jim Gilliam are mounted below the pavilion roofs behind the outfield fence.
Built in the Los Angeles community of Chavez Ravine in Solano Canyon, the stadium overlooks downtown Los Angeles and provides views of the city to the south, the green tree-lined hills of Elysian Park to the north and east, and the San Gabriel Mountains beyond the outfield pavilions. Due to dry summers in Southern California, rainouts at Dodger Stadium are rare. Prior to 1976, the Dodgers were rained out only once, against the St.Louis Cardinals, on April 21, 1967, ending a streak of 737 consecutive games without a postponement.
Dodger Stadium is the only current MLB park (excluding the most recently built parks) that has never increased its capacity. It has historically held 56,000 fans, due to a conditional-use permit limiting its capacity.
With the retirement of the original Yankee Stadium (1923) and Shea Stadium in 2008, the park claimed the title of being the largest capacity stadium in the Majors.