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Dodgers will 'beautify and modernize' stadium

Dodgers will 'beautify and modernize' stadium

Dodgers will 'beautify and modernize' stadium
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten on Thursday said the club's new owners are "thrilled" with the uptick in attendance this year and are moving forward with offseason plans to "beautify and modernize" Dodger Stadium.

Kasten said the work to be done will mostly be in the stadium infrastructure and out of sight of fans. Nothing will be extensive enough to require work beyond Opening Day and will be done "for this generation of customers."

Left unsaid are long-term plans for where the club will play. With Dodgers chairman Mark Walter confirming he's considering a bid for AEG -- the entertainment and venue operator building Farmer's Field near its Staples Center -- there is continued speculation the Dodgers could wind up in a new downtown ballpark. Kasten said he "hasn't thought" about the future beyond the next few years.

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Kasten said polling of fans shows generally "positive" feedback in the four months since Guggenheim Baseball Partners purchased the team from Frank McCourt, "but the jury's still out."

Kasten said attendance this year increased more than the 13 percent shown by official attendance numbers, implying that last year's attendance totals were flawed.

"For reasons I don't want to get into, it's a brighter picture than you all realize because of the way the arithmetic was done," he said.

The Dodgers drew 3.3 million in 2012 and announced 2.93 million last year. Kasten said ticket prices in general will stay the same, with some going up and some going down in certain locations.

Kasten defended the club's midseason addition to payroll via trades as "opportunistic" even though it didn't result in a postseason appearance, and added that he had no regrets because the acquisitions give the club a nucleus of star players in their prime.

"I'm glad we did it," Kasten said, adding that he had no problem with the price paid in prospects and the $400 million in absorbed salary. "If I didn't feel that way we wouldn't have done it."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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