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Construction of Dodger Stadium

Construction of Dodger Stadium

Sept. 17, 1959: About 3,000 fans attend the ground-breaking ceremony for Dodger Stadium. During the event, several giant earth-movers plunged down a 200-foot slope, shoving tons of dirt ahead of them as spectators watched. Some people scooped up handfuls of dirt and packed it in souvenir cardboard boxes.

Construction started in 1959 and ended in 1962, at a total cost of $23 million. At the time, Dodgers President Walter O’Malley envisioned the ballpark as a “showplace,” according to a Times interview in 1969. Influenced by Walt Disney and Disneyland, he had plans for a musical fountain in left field and an imported Italian sound system, said Mark Langill, author of the books “Los Angeles Dodgers” and “Dodger Stadium.” But then reality set in, O’Malley’s views evolved and the fountain was gone.

The ballpark opened on April 10, 1962, with 52,564 people in attendance to watch the Dodgers play the Cincinnati Reds (the Dodgers lost, 6-3).

The biggest surprise? There were few traffic problems. Most of the spectators were seated for the first pitch, and after the game, stadium parking lots were cleared in 30 minutes, reported The Times.

April 22, 1961: Crews work on the new Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine. Photo credit: Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

March 24, 1962: An aerial photo of the nearly completed Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.  Photo credit: R.L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

8 Comments

  1. March 31, 2011, 8:30 am

    Cool

    By: dodddon
  2. March 31, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I still consider it one of the nicest ballparks in the country!

    By: DodgerDoug
  3. March 31, 2011, 8:32 pm

    What have you been smoking? The place is a dump!

    By: kittybarfola
  4. April 1, 2011, 7:31 am

    Look no further than above for confirmation of the time-worn adage "Opinions are like….."

    By: Duhbya
  5. April 2, 2011, 1:44 am

    Why didn’t the story mention how the people were not fairly compensated for their homes and the ones who refused the meager “compensation” were thrown out (and forcibly removed) from their homes with nothing! If you’re going to tell a story, tell the complete story and don’t leave out the bad parts. Dodger stadium has such a negative history that it’s mere name leaves a bad taste in my mouth!

    By: KarmaDreams
  6. April 10, 2011, 8:24 pm

    It is highly suspicious that this picture-narrative starts with clean, bare land, a blank slate. Chavez Ravine had a name because there was a community of people living there. It's disappointing to have to inform the city's namesake newspaper of recent history, or worse, to see that the newspaper is turning a blind eye to corrupt politics.

    By: Lily
  7. October 10, 2012, 12:11 pm

    The squatters didn't pay for the land they built their uninspected homes on and the city really wanted a big property taxpayer there. Without the Dodgers paying those taxes, property tax would be higher for everyone else in the city. The only thing wrong in the transaction was not that the Dodgers replaced them, or that the city offered only small compensation for their homes, but that the city didn't help the squatters get alternate housing.

    By: NativeAngeleno
  8. April 2, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Wow!! Such a nice construction work I've just seen through here posted photo and simply on that time 1959-1962 construction work was pretty tough to complete but this construction work of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles makes me impressed. Thanks dude.

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