The Dodgers couldn’t reveal all their plans, but the following text was contained in a 1959 scorecard message to the fans under a sketch of a multi-level backdrop to a batter swinging at home plate:
“Your Dodgers’ Home of Tomorrow … Artist’s conception of an inside-the-park view of the stands as they will be for the new Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine. In this “dream about to become a reality” Dodger fans will be afforded the finest seating arrangement in any outdoor arena, unobstructed vision from every seat, terraced parking which will enable fans to drive to their section in the stands with practically no walking or climbing, restraints for all, a Stadium Club for season boxholders, unmatched beauties in landscaping, numerous lanes for rapid departure of cars and buses after the games, the most modern lighting equipment in baseball for night ball, a field of balanced playing measurements in left and right field, a breath-taking, sky-high view of the amazingly picturesque Los Angeles area and many other features which will make this new Stadium a landmark of world-wide acclaim. On June 3, 1959, anniversary of the Referendum vote of 1958 in which the Los Angeles citizens approved the transfer of Chavez Ravine to the Dodgers, the contract was signed by the City and Dodgers. The ballclub will now strive to meet its target date — Opening Day, 1960.”
Further delays by opponents of the project delayed the actual construction of the stadium until after Labor Day 1960, which left only 19 months to move the remaining 5 1/2 million yards of dirt en route to building the stadium.
On Sept. 3, 1959, a $646,890 contract for grading the site of Dodger Stadium was awarded by the Board of Public Works to Vinnell Constructors of Alhambra, which submitted the lowest bid among 11 submitted in July and was 9.8% under the city’s estimate.
Jack Yount, the Vinnell contractor in charge who specialized in concrete projects and had experience with freeway interchanges in Southern California, never imagined his company would be asked to build the ballpark using Praeger’s designs and O’Malley’s input. Yount originally wanted only to bid on the leveling of the land. The specialty of the company was installing the sewers and drainage areas associated with any municipal project involving large amounts of concrete.
In a 1971 interview, Yount recalled Praeger wanted Yount to personally supervise the building of the ballpark and feared a deal with another company might lead to delays with subcontractors. O’Malley also wanted Dodger Stadium to be made of concrete instead of steel.
On August 25, 1960, O’Malley signed a contract with Vinnell for the entire construction of the 56,000-seat stadium. The formal signing at the Dodger office in the Statler Hotel at 930 Wilshire Blvd. In downtown Los Angeles cleared the final hurdle for the building of the stadium, although O’Malley said all the refinements might not be ready for Opening Day 1962.
Once the earthwork was well under way, the contractor started to cast and erect the 23,000 concrete members in the grandstands. The consulting engineers planned a casting yard on the job because there was available space and some of the members, especially the 32-ton frames, were too large to truck into the site.Back to top