Get to Know the Venue: Dodger Stadium

Tonight, the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings get to play hockey at venerable Dodger Stadium. For over 50 years, this Southern California icon has hosted everything from the Pope to The Beatles and the Three Tenors, but the lifeblood of this ballpark belongs to its primary tenant, the 2013 NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The beginnings of Dodger Stadium began in the mid-1950s, when Brooklyn Dodgers president Walter O’Malley wanted to build a new domed stadium as a replacement for Ebbets Field. After failing to reach an agreement with the city of Brooklyn, he made a deal with the city of Los Angeles, and the team headed west in 1958. Land for the Dodgers’ new stadium was purchased by eminent domain on the site of Chavez Ravine. Ground was broken on September 17, 1959, and the stadium was built in 3 1/2 years. During those years, the Dodgers played at the Memorial Coliseum. Dodger Stadium was one of the last “true ballparks” built before the multi-purpose stadium became the norm in the late 1960s. It was built into the hillside with the intention of spectators arriving by car parking near the level of where they sat. The Dodgers’ first game at this stadium happened on April 9, 1962, and since then, players like Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills, Mike Piazza, Steve Garvey, “Mr. Dodger” Tommy Lasorda, and “The Voice of the Dodgers”; the legendary Vin Scully, have made their careers inside this ballpark, the largest in the Major Leagues by seating capacity. So grab a Dodger Dog and enjoy tonight’s game; another first in the storied history of this house of baseball.

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