The Los Angeles Dodgers got off to a disastrous start in the 2011 season—none of which occurred on the actual playing field.

Already dealing with the issues concerning owner Frank McCourt and his pending divorce, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was badly beaten and repeatedly kicked in the head in one of the parking lots at Dodgers Stadium on Opening Day.

Stow has been in a medically induced coma for the past 15 days at County-USC Medical Center. Doctors had briefly reduced his coma-induced medication, however on Saturday they were forced to return to full dosage after Stow began having seizures.

The Los Angeles police have thus far been unable to track down the suspects, and thousands of dollars have been raised for information leading to their arrest and conviction. Many people have also donated money for Stow’s medical expenses, including Giants‘ pitcher Tim Lincecum.

The Dodgers, facing mounting criticism for lax security around Dodger Stadium, reacted by hiring former Los Angeles police chief Bill Bratton to evaluate stadium procedures.

Now, the Dodgers have announced the hiring of Steve Soboroff as Vice Chairman in charge of improving the overall fan experience and strengthening community ties throughout the Los Angeles area.

Here is the official press release from the Los Angeles Dodgers regarding the hiring of Steve Soboroff:

LOS ANGELES – Civic and business leader Steve Soboroff is joining the Los Angeles Dodgers as vice chairman with responsibility for leading efforts to improve the fan experience at the stadium, strengthening ties to the region’s community and philanthropic organizations, and expanding conservation and sustainability programs at Dodger Stadium.  He will report directly to Dodger Owner Frank McCourt.

Soboroff, who begins in the new role today, will coordinate the implementation of recommendations from former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton’s team to enhance safety, security and the overall fan experience at Dodger Stadium.  Soboroff will also step up efforts by the Dodger organization to expand the positive impacts of the Dodgers throughout Southern California.

“Steve understands this city as few others do, and his contributions have made Los Angeles a better place,” said McCourt.  “Not only will he infuse great ideas and energy to the Dodger organization, but he will use his trademark ‘get-it-done’ approach to extend the Dodgers’ positive impact on Los Angeles.   It starts with a quality fan experience in the stadium, and extends throughout the Southern California community.”

Soboroff is a former president of the City’s Recreation and Parks Commission, former CEO of the award-winning Playa Vista community, and currently board chairman of both the Weingart Foundation and the EXPO Center in Exposition Park.  As senior advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Soboroff played a lead role in putting together the Alameda Corridor project, and is widely regarded as the person who brought the Staples Center to Downtown Los Angeles.

“The fan experience starts with a safe, comfortable, family environment, and extends from there,” said Soboroff. “That’s the recipe for success in the city’s parks, at Playa Vista and in every neighborhood throughout Los Angeles.  It is about having the right plan, and putting that plan into action.  People throughout the city and country can expect their phone to ring from me, so be prepared to talk about innovative partnerships that help kids, advance sustainability, improve transportation to and from the ballpark, and create a second-to-none fan experience.”

Soboroff also plans to meet with fans and other Dodger stakeholders to hear their ideas for improving the Dodger experience.  “You will see me in every section of the ballpark checking things out, listening to fans, and taking strong actions in a number of areas.  And I’m in a hurry,” Soboroff said.  “The Dodgers are one of the great professional sports franchises in the world, and an important civic institution in Southern California.  Frank has empowered me to set a new standard when it comes to the fan experience and the Dodgers’ impact on the Los Angeles community.”

A lifelong Dodger fan, Soboroff lived in the San Fernando Valley as a teen.  He and wife Patti raised their five children in Los Angeles. 

Considering the backlash that continues to plague the Dodgers concerning Opening Day, Soboroff’s hiring is not only necessary, it’s also welcomed.

For continuing coverage of Major League Baseball, follow Doug on Twitter @Sports_A_Holic.

Read more MLB news on