Now that he's part of a group that bought the San Diego Padres, the former Dodger owner might want to steer clear of Chavez Ravine. But in the weeks following the team's $2.15 billion sale, O'Malley was offering a little front-office advice, something that never would have happened during the Frank McCourt administration. THR's Daniel Miller, who profiles the new group in next week's edition of the Reporter magazine, reports on the O'Malley sighting:
On a hot, cloudless June afternoon, Dodgers president Stan Kasten stands in a chilly Dodger Stadium office having a lively conversation with Peter O'Malley, the team's much-loved former owner. At issue: the eight variations of Dodger blue that now adorn team merchandise. "The shade of blue has changed," notes O'Malley, 74, whose father, Walter, moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958 and who remains for many fans the strongest link to the organization's storied history. "Wherever you can, you ought to try and make it the same." Kasten agrees it would be good to winnow the blue hues to one. The detail might seem small, but the fact that O'Malley, an infrequent visitor to Chavez Ravine during McCourt's rocky seven-season tenure, is now involved in these kinds of discussions says a lot about how much things have changed in the short time since Guggenheim Baseball Management took over the team.
The owners remain shy on their plans for Dodger Stadium or the land surrounding the facility.
During the off-season, the team is expected to upgrade the stadium's water and power systems and improve mobile phone service by adding WiFi to the notoriously technology-unfriendly ballpark. To that end, on Aug. 6, the Dodgers hired Janet Marie Smith, an executive who has worked for teams including the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, to oversee upgrades to the stadium. Bigger changes include a potential $100 million-plus renovation that might add more kid-friendly amenities, new restaurants and a Dodgers museum. "I think more and more, fans expect, and fans are better served by, additional things in ballparks," says [Dodger president Stan] Kasten. But [minority investor Peter] Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, cautions that the new owners won't rush to jump into a redevelopment plan: "All of us made our money the old-fashioned way -- we've earned it hard, so we spend it carefully."