LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will hold a Dodger Stadium workout Thursday night that is closed to the public, but open to season-ticket holders.
Delivering on the promise of re-establishing the connection between the club and its fans, management has invited season-ticket holders to attend the prep for the second half that opens Friday night against the Padres, with Matt Kemp in the lineup.
Club president Stan Kasten will speak to the fans before manager Don Mattingly runs the club through a workout.
David Siegel, senior director of ticket sales, said the invitation is an added benefit to being a season-ticket holder.
"New ownership has delivered on the things it said it would do from the start, and that resonates with the fans," said Siegel. "Add to that the club's performance in the first half, which has exceeded expectations and gotten a lot of traction with the fans."
Thursday night's event coincides with the club's continued push to ramp up ticket sales, that includes a limited number of season-ticket plans with full postseason rights available for purchase now through the end of July.
"This is the perfect example of the type of thing season-ticket holders can expect," said Siegel. "We've had a lot of feedback from fans, they want to feel connected to this team. We're trying to do everything we can to make that happen. I really think this is just a sign of things to come."
Siegel said across-the-board price reductions in ticket prices, announced during the offseason, contributed to an increase in season-ticket sales even before new ownership took over.
"Since the change in control of the team, it's accelerated," Siegel said. "Normally, you don't sell season tickets in April, May, June. The change in ownership expanded the sales cycle. It's stronger than I've seen and I'm in my 16th season."
Kasten said 3,000 season seats have been sold since his group took over May 1, that the total is more than 20,000 and closing in on "the good old days," when season-ticket sales peaked around 27,000.
The Dodgers project attendance this year of at least three million. They slipped to 2.9 million last year, falling below the three-million threshold for the first time since the strike years of 1994-95.
"The connection of the fan base, the roots in the community are as deep as any team anywhere," said Kasten. "Once we do our job, the fans are just waiting to turn out.
"We are averaging 5,000 more fans per game over last season. and we are close to selling our three-millionth ticket. We now have our greatest season-ticket holder fan base since 2007 and we're approaching season-seat levels unseen since 1988, the Dodgers' last championship year."
Fans that purchase season tickets in July are guaranteed full postseason rights and other incentives such as access to parking and entry at Dodger Stadium one hour before it opens to the public, access to Dodgers batting practice and the opportunity to play catch on the field with their guests after select games.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.