Revitalize THE Ravine

DODGER STADIUM AND ITS SURROUNDINGS NEED IMPROVEMENTS.

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About two years ago I wrote about the need for the McCourt’s to spend serious money to upgrade and redevelop Dodger Stadium and its magnificent city hilltop to bring fans’ experiences into the 21st century. No new development has taken root. Frank and Jamie’s estrangement, multi-million dollar divorce and subsequent team’s sale got in the way of progress; if it were intended at all by ownership. Now’s the time, for new buyers, M. Johnson & Company to plan, spend and revitalize Chavez Ravine – so it can once again become L.A.’s shining spectacle on the hill.

Fifty years ago, in April ‘62, Dodger Stadium opened to the public. Since then, scoreboards, dugouts, fences, turfs and warning tracks have come and gone. Other minor cosmetic changes have been made, too, and most notably under McCourt’s stewardship the addition of several thousand new field level seats to add revenues at the expense of foul territories. But, these changes have been slight over five decades in comparison to what other owners and cities have done to attract and entertain baseball fans.

Cities across America from New York to Cleveland and beyond and from Denver

to San Francisco have all constructed new ballparks with adjacent shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, sports bars, residences and hotels stimulating high patron energy and commerce. Today’s the time for Chavez Ravine to grow up. Our city and our fans deserve a newly improved version.

Guggenheim Baseball Management, fronted by L.A.’s popular Magic Johnson, is purchasing the Dodgers for a reported $2.15 billion. Why don’t they just earmark another half billion dollars or more to be spent over the next decade to redevelop the stadium and construct fine shopping, dining and nightlife complexes right outside Gate A? Today, Dodger Stadium has too much black asphalt. Most fans tend to come for the game and then dash to their cars immediately following the last pitch and out. Some leave by the 7th inning stretch. Today, there is very little sense of community on the hill. That could change with $500 million of improvements. Fans would gleefully gather before and after games. They would shop, dine, entertain and spend money. Fine residences and hotels could also be built which might outline the stadium. Thousands of loyal fans could then simply stroll out their front doors just before the national anthem and first pitch to their seats. The extra $500 million or more spent by Magic & Co., would not be lost. They would become landlords to tenants and developers seeking a handsome return on investment. In fact, the profits made from new developments could keep patrons happy through stagnant ticket, peanut and beer prices, which would of course attract more fans.

Tomorrow’s changes at Chavez Ravine don’t have to rest solely on the backs of new ownership. L.A. could float a $2 -$3 billion bond measure to raise funds for public improvements at the Ravine. New pedestrian and biker friendly pathways could be built leading directly to Gates A, B and C. Let’s name them Parker’s path and Wills’ walkway.

The Gold and Red lines could be extended to add the Robinson rail stops – depositing fans a baseball’s throw from the park. And, at the center of it all let’s have fans congregate at the Koufax Connection sporting the Lasorda Library and a Dodgers’ museum with a bronze statue of Vin Scully out front.

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Mr. Lux, formerly worked at a major investment firm. He is a graduate of UCLA and holds an MBA in finance and has been involved in real estate lending in the Los Angeles area for over 20 years. Mr. Lux has had numerous societal and business articles published by leading news publications. He is author of the investment book, Exposing the Wheel Spin on Wall Street. For more information please visit: http://wwwluxlends.blogspot.com

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