SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are slimming down this year, and it has nothing to do with players' weights. The addition of almost 100 high-definition, flat-panel televisions around the promenade concourse at AT&T Park is one of the most noticeable ballpark upgrades unveiled Tuesday during the team's annual media "open house" event. A key component to the Giants' efforts to restore the original design concept for AT&T Park's promenade, the monitors highlight three new "club zones," concession areas that are replacing the food carts that used to ring the main concourse and blocked views of the field.
"The moving of the food carts, particularly, opened up a lot of those viewing areas," said Giants vice president of communications Staci Slaughter. "The whole idea when we built the ballpark was that when you got up to get something at the concession stands or to buy a novelty, that you wouldn't really miss any action of the game because you'd be able to see what's going on when you're standing in line because everything would be open. "But when we opened the ballpark, we had a lot of carts and things that were in those open areas. It was difficult to see the game when you weren't in your seat. So the idea was to get back the original concept of being able to still get up and move around the ballpark but not miss any of the action." Also upgraded as part of a two-year capital improvement project is the field club lounge, which now features two new "view cooking" venues already popular in the upstairs club level: Edsel Ford Fong (Asian cuisine) and Joe Garcia (Mexican fare). The lounge has undergone an extensive makeover, with improved lighting and seating, and an upgraded bar. "What we really tried to do is just simplify everything, both in the field club area and on the promenade level, improve circulation around the promenade level but also give people more of an opportunity to take advantage of taking in the views outside and inside the park," said Slaughter. The Giants have also added a new bar and barbecue area located on an elevated deck constructed above Lefty O'Doul Plaza, and they've added a new history mural nearby detailing some of the team's major accomplishments, including pennants, World Series titles and Hall of Famers. Two new LED fascia boards replace the rotating signs down the first-base and third-base lines. In the Coca-Cola Fan Lot behind the left-field bleachers, Little Giants Park -- where children play Wiffle ball while watching themselves on a large video board above the playfield's center-field wall -- is now adorned with original cartoon-like artwork by artist Halsted Craig Hannah. Fans will also be able to make their own dolls of Giants mascot Lou Seal and other characters at the new Build-A-Bear Workshop out in the Fan Lot. "Just like the baseball team, we feel it's important for the ballpark to get re-engineered, for the ballpark to take on a different look and continue to remain fresh," said Larry Baer, the team's executive vice president and chief operating officer. The Giants also plan to entice fans with a number of special promotions, including one tied to a new partnership with Levi's, now the sponsor of the right-field wall and arcade section, dubbed Levi's Landing. Following any home game the Giants win by the score of 5-1, in tribute to the company's famous 501 jeans, fans will be able to redeem their tickets for a 15 percent discount at the San Francisco company's Union Square store. "Orange Fridays," in which fans are encouraged to wear orange on Fridays and partake in orange-themed promotions and special events, will return, starting with orange fireworks on Opening Night, April 7, and including the Giants wearing their 1982 orange jerseys as part of '80s Retro Night on June 23. For Opening Day, April 6, the Giants will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake by honoring a group of the few remaining survivors from that disaster. Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti will perform the national anthem, and Omar Vizquel and Mike Matheny will receive their 2005 Gold Glove Awards. Other notable special events include a wedding vows renewal night, Willie Mays' 75th birthday part and a tribute to former Giants pitcher Kirk Rueter.
Chris Shuttlesworth is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.