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Dodgers hire Smith to direct stadium revitalization

Dodgers hire Smith to direct stadium revitalization

Dodgers hire Smith to direct stadium revitalization
LOS ANGELES -- After making a number of moves to help the Dodgers on the field, the new ownership made a big one on Monday to help the organization off of it as the team announced the hiring of Janet Marie Smith as senior vice president of planning and development.

"Dodger Stadium is one of the most iconic venues in sports and Janet Marie is one of the few people I would trust with its future," team president Stan Kasten said in a statement. "She respects baseball's tradition and knows how to retain a ballpark's distinctive charms while providing fans with the amenities and comfort they've come to expect.

"Any fan that has walked through the gates at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the renovated Fenway Park or Atlanta's Turner Field has been a beneficiary of her understanding of what a ballpark means to its community. Every new baseball stadium built since 1992 has been influenced by what she helped build at Camden Yards."

Smith said in a statement that she is excited to work with the Dodgers' new ownership and she is looking forward to finding ways to create a better fan experience. Since taking over, the new ownership group has stressed the importance of doing just that.

"Dodger Stadium is a treasured piece of the Los Angeles community and a special place where I watched more than a dozen games per season when I lived in L.A. during the early 1980s," she said. "It's important to all of us that we restore and enhance the park in a way that honors its heritage and highlights its distinctive appeals, while still capturing what fans want and franchises need in a modern venue."

Smith's track record is as good as it gets. She comes to the Dodgers after serving as the Orioles' vice president of planning and development since 2009. After working with the Orioles from 1989 to 1994, she left to work with the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves.

Kasten thanked Orioles owner Peter Angelos for allowing Smith to join the Dodgers.

Angelos noted the contributions Smith made to the construction of the Orioles' park in Sarasota, Fla., as well as the enhancements she made to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"At Oriole Park, we asked Janet Marie to enhance the fan experience, honor our history, and revitalize some areas of the ballpark with new, more contemporary concepts," Angelos said. "And in this 20th anniversary season, those objectives have resulted in bringing our fans the Roof Deck, Dempsey's and the Orioles Legends sculptures.

"Janet Marie was the perfect choice to oversee these projects, and we wish her the best of luck in her new role with the Dodgers."

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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