VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Owner Frank McCourt says everything is
on track for the Los Angeles Dodgers' move in 2009 from their
longtime Florida home to a new spring training facility in
Glendale, Ariz., they will share with the Chicago White Sox.
"These things are never done till they are done, but there's
nothing I see on the horizon in that category of something that
would recall the deal," McCourt said Saturday.
Glendale is close to choosing an architect and has final say in
the design, but the Dodgers have been included in the process and
hope to incorporate many of the historic landmarks of Vero Beach's
Among them will likely be items like the "Campy's Court" bench
that Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella used.
"At the end of the day, what we are trying to do is capture
some of the aura and history of Dodgertown and bring it to the
field in Glendale," McCourt said.
He said the team is also looking to create a spring training
facility that gives the fans the same up-close feeling they get at
Dodgertown. The team's spring training home of more than 50 years
has no physical barriers separating fans from players, and McCourt
says he wants to keep things that way.
"We can create a facility with that access to the players, and
our fans expect that, so I don't see why we can't do that in the
Glendale/Phoenix area," McCourt said.
The Dodgers have also made improvements to Dodger Stadium in Los
The seat cushions behind home plate now feature a dark tan color
to eliminate concerns players had about not being able to see the
ball clearly in front of a light background.
Team officials also worked during the offseason to improve
parking at the stadium. McCourt didn't immediately provide details
except to say fans will enter and exit in different places to help
ease congestion before and after games.
As for the on-field product, McCourt said he is happy with the
mix of veterans and young players the Dodgers have assembled.
However, he said the team would be open to expanding its payroll if
that is what it takes to make a trade that would improve the
"We are going to spend what it takes, but we are going to spend
it wisely," McCourt said.