Rogers Centre, Home of the
Toronto Blue Jays

Rogers Centre, Home of the Toronto Blue Jays

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Rogers Centre Overview

Rogers Centre (formerly known as the SkyDome) is located in Toronto, Canada. As a multi-purpose stadium, not only is it the home of the Toronto Blue Jays, it is also home of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). It is mainly used for sports, but it also hosts special events such as trade shows, conventions, fairs and concerts.

CN Tower at Rogers Centre

Rogers Communications renamed the stadium when they bought the SkyDome in 2005. This is the same company that owns the Toronto Blue Jays.

This stadium was the first to have a roof that was motorized and fully retractable. It also has a hotel connected that has 348 rooms with 70 of them looking out over the field. This is the most recent of the major-league stadiums constructed in North American to host both baseball and football.

This stadium will be involved in some upcoming specials events too. One of which is the 2011 IIFA Awards, and the other is the Pan American Games in 2015. With the later it will be used for the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony.

Rogers Centre Quick Facts

  • Location: One Blue Jays Way, Toronto, Ontario M5V 1J3
  • Years: June 3, 1989 to present
  • Seating Capacity: 49,539; 52,383 (including standing room)
  • Surface: AstroTurf (new version)
  • Architect: Rod Robbie
  • Project Cost: C$570 million

Rogers Centre History

The idea for this stadium came into being after the 1982 Grey Cup held at Exhibition Stadium, which was an outdoor venue. Horrendous weather drenched the fans and caused the washrooms to overflow. It was so bad in fact that the fans went and rallied for a domed stadium. In June of 1983, the premier appointed a committee to examine the possibility of constructing a stadium with a dome at Exhibition Place. Larry Grossman, Hugh Macaulay and Paul Godfrey were on the committee.

Roof of Rogers Centre from CN Tower After discussing a variety of ideas in 1985, the Ontario Government put out a competition for a stadium design and a location for the stadium. Rod Robbie and Michael Allen won the competition, primarily because their concept offered the biggest roof opening and the sturdiest design. The final site was located at the base of the CN Tower. This was close to Union Station a transit and railway hub. The stadium would cost $150 million.

So with Rod Robbie and Michael Allen’s design in hand, construction began in October 1986. The structure was built by EllisDon Construction Company based in London, Ontario, Canada and completed in May 1989. It total cost of the domed stadium was approximately C$570 million, financed by the City of Toronto, Ontario government, federal government and a group of corporations.

During the construction process, several complications plagued the project. They had to relocate the pre-existing water-pumping station, the soil was contaminated from nearby industrial use, and the railway buildings needed to be fixed or torn down . They even found many archaeological artifacts.

To make sure the dome roof would work without problems, the architects and the engineers kept the roof design as simple as possible. The roof consisted of 4 panels with one in a fixed position and the others moving with electric-train engines. These panels move on regular railway tracks. It takes about 20 minutes for the roof to open.

Roger Centre Sculptures

The grand opening of the then SkyDome was on the 3rd of June in 1989. They even broadcasted the opening on television. Sadly over the years the stadium did not earn enough money to make a profit. The fact that they added a luxury health and hotel only added to the debt. In 1998, SkyDome filed for bankruptcy.

Sportsco International LP purchased the stadium in the later part of 1998, and removed it from bankruptcy protection at the cost of $85 million. Rogers Communications then bought the stadium in 2004, and changed the name to Rogers Centre. The stadium was refurbished with a new Jumbotron along with new FieldTurf artificial surface. The stadium now uses the new version of AstroTurf.

In April of 2006, the stadium adopted a no smoking policy in the building. The no smoking policy came ahead of legislation passed in June of 2006 to ban smoking. Smoking was not allowed at any event.

The field dimensions at the Rogers Centre are 328 feet down the left field line, 400 feet to center field, 328 feet down the right field line, and 60 feet to the backstop.

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