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Singer Gloria Estefan has stepped up the campaign to resurrect one of South Florida’s architectural gems, the Miami Marine Stadium.

Estefan, currently on tour, has agreed to be the public face of a new national campaign to raise the stadium’s profile and help activists raise the millions of dollars needed to renovate the historic, city-owned structure, closed since suffering severe damage from Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The building was designed by a young, newly arrived Cuban exile, Hilario Candela, who went on to become one of Miami’s leading architects. Candela collaborated with engineer Jack Meyer.

The campaign will be coordinated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which has designated the stadium as one of 34 National Treasures in need of saving.

A nonprofit group, Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium, is awaiting a vote by the city commission on a plan it developed for the facility’s resuscitation.

Gloria Estefan has agreed to campaign to preserve Miami Marine Stadium

Gloria Estefan has agreed to campaign to preserve Miami Marine Stadium

Dodger Stadium enhancements complete for 2013 season

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Dodger Stadium completed $100 million of enhancements ahead of its 52nd season in the iconic stadium. Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten said:

The upgrades were designed with particular emphasis on the Top Deck and Reserve levels and outfield pavilions that had been essentially untouched since the stadium first opened. Our goal is to provide the most pleasurable experience from the time fans arrive at the stadium until the time they depart, ideally after a Dodger victory.

We are confident our fans will be delighted with what they experience at the stadium this season. We look forward to receiving feedback from our fans as we continue to work diligently to enhance their experience.

The project was overseen by Janet Marie Smith, Senior VP of Planning and Development, whose work on previous ballparks is recognised in Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Hunt Construction Group served as the construction manager for the renovations.

As part of the upgrades, the Dodgers are going green, instituting many measures toward being energy efficient. Included in the construction was installation of new water valves, low-flush fixtures, waterless urinals, hand-driers to eliminate paper waste, automatic faucets to control water flow and new power and lighting energy-efficient systems.

The Dodgers increased the number of positions for wheelchair patrons on the Loge, Reserve and Top Deck levels. Each position has a companion seat and is positioned so these patrons have improved views of the game, even if someone stands up in front of them.

The team is adding fan services representatives on all levels as part of its commitment to providing the best customer service in sports.

Many of the Dodgers’ historical items will be displayed for the first time. Fans will be able to enjoy Dodger memorabilia and artifacts such as MVP awards, Cy Young awards and Gold Gloves awarded to Dodgers. Some items are on display during games and others will be available during daily tours of the stadium.

A new retail store was created at the Top of the Park location behind home plate. It will be open daily, along with the Top of the Park ticket office. Tours of Dodger Stadium will be conducted daily from this location. A second retail store, along with new concessions, has been constructed on the Reserve level on the third base side.

The footprint of the Dodgers’ clubhouse doubled in size and the training room and indoor batting cage was enhanced. An indoor batting cage for visiting teams also was created, so they won’t have to share the Dodgers’ indoor cage.

New signage around the stadium is patterned after original drawings consulted in the Walter O’Malley archives.

Upgrades and amenities include:

  • High definition video boards in left field and right field. Message boards, including ribbon boards at the Loge level and outfield wall, were also replaced with the new technology. The unique hexagon shape of both outfield video boards was restored.
  • New sound system designed to minimise echoes in the stadium
  • Wi-fi network and cellular antenna system to support cell-phone and internet connectivity from mobile devices
  • Food service enhancements to Loge, Reserve and Top Deck levels, including new concession stands, cooking facilities and menus
  • New entry plazas on the Reserve and Top Deck levels featuring life-size bobbleheads and 5-foot replicas of Dodger Cy Young Award winners, autographed baseballs and Hall of Fame retired numbers
  • Kids play areas on the Reserve level
  • Expanded and renovated restrooms with substantially more fixtures
  • Wider concourses and additional locations for wheelchair-bound fans and their companions on all levels, as well as “drink rails” for fans who may wish to leave their seats during the game to explore the stadium
  • All stairwells have new lighting and signage
  • A new home team clubhouse, expanded and enhanced training/conditioning areas, and new indoor batting cages for both teams

The LA Times has been tracking the upgrade.