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Last year's ranking: 56
Title track: 43
Fan relations: 91
Stadium experience: 47
Bang for the buck: 48
In a city where image is paramount, venerable Dodger Stadium lost its aura in the final years of the Frank McCourt regime, dropping to an unsightly 97th in stadium experience in 2011. The new ownership group fronted by Magic Johnson has worked to change that, investing more than $150 million in ballpark upgrades over the past two offseasons. Dodger fans have taken notice -- the club is now 47th in stadium experience, the third straight year of double-digit improvement.
Enhancements this year include a clock in left field with Vin Scully's signature line, "It's time for Dodger baseball," the planting of more than 90 new trees in plaza areas in left and right field, and the addition of dedicated pedestrian walkways and bicycle lanes formerly designed for autos. As for concessions, a 20-ounce soda sets you back $5.75, the highest price in the majors. After all, someone has to pay for that $229 million Opening Day 2014 payroll. The Dodger Dog remains a staple at Chavez Ravine, while Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria made its debut this season, a stand in the right field plaza that specializes in such fare as Italian sausage and pizza by the slice.
Lasorda and his offerings may have more appeal than current skipper Don Mattingly: The Dodgers rank in the 80s in coaching for the second straight year, even though they made it to the NLCS last year and were a first-place team in early September. At least ownership rose 16 spots to 27th -- so maybe Johnson and his group will soon be as popular as Kershaw and Puig.