Jays planning to demolish Rogers Centre, build new stadium in its place

soxhop411

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It’s been the subject of conversation for years and now it appears a plan is in the works to build a brand new home for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The proposal from Rogers Communications is to reportedly demolish the Rogers Centre and construct a new ballpark in its place.

Rogers and Brookfield Asset Management want to transform the huge parcel of land as part of a whole downtown redevelopment.

Sources tell the Globe and Mail, a new natural grass baseball-focused stadium would take up the southern end of the current property, with residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space planned for the northern portion.

This multi-billion dollar plan would be privately funded though Rogers and Brookfield are working with all three levels of government on this project.
The current ballpark remains one of only two left in Major League Baseball that uses artificial turf instead of real grass.

It is believed that the ultimate goal is for ownership to keep the new stadium downtown. Rogers is also reportedly exploring some waterfront options as a backup plan.
According to the Globe and Mail, government officials and the two companies intend to go public with their plans in the new year.
I assume that if this plan still goes thru they would play somewhere like Buffalo until the stadium is complete.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Wow. This is hard to believe. The place was a monument to excess when it opened. Compared to freezing cold Exhibition Stadium, where I went to my first Jay's game, Skydome was like being in the world's largest mall, all in blue, with a baseball field in the middle. You could get any kind of fast food you wanted in the huge concourses. The sightlines were all excellent. I was there when the roof closed mid-game for the first time. Everyone started at the roof. It was like being entombed. I saw Moe Vaughn hit a ball off the hotel windows in center field. They played commercials at max volume on the jumbotron and a weird corny song during the seventh inning stretch. I was on the field once during a tour and it seemed the "field" was just a concrete floor with a shitty carpet on it. It was as hard as a rock. How can they justify wasting all the money it took to built it?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Weird time to go forward with these plans when the Raptors will be playing in Tampa Bay.

Guess you can't hold off forever though.
 

jose melendez

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The fact that teams that are abandoning stadiums build well withing my lifetime kind of blows my mind. A little bit is that I'm getting old, but a lot seems like it's just waste.

Looking back at the old multi-purpose stadiums, it looks like their lifespan was typically 30-50 years, so I guess this isn't really that out of line. Though Turner Field lasting for a pathetic 20 years is really a travesty.

Still, it seems incredibly wasteful, particularly given that so many stadiums are build with public money. Are we 10-20 years away from replacing Gillette? Is the TD garden only 5 years away from replacement?
 

canderson

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It’ll be a logistical nightmare to rebuild in the current spot, it’s so locked in. But it is a monstrosity soooo, good riddance.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Weird time to go forward with these plans when the Raptors will be playing in Tampa Bay.

Guess you can't hold off forever though.
If the Jays can't play in Toronto anyway (assuming travel back and forth over the border is still an issue for the 2021 season), seems like the ideal time to raze their stadium if they want to rebuild on site. Throw in the looming possibility of a strike in 2022, and maybe they can get the new place finished without ever having to displace a home game due to construction.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The fact that teams that are abandoning stadiums build well withing my lifetime kind of blows my mind. A little bit is that I'm getting old, but a lot seems like it's just waste.

Looking back at the old multi-purpose stadiums, it looks like their lifespan was typically 30-50 years, so I guess this isn't really that out of line. Though Turner Field lasting for a pathetic 20 years is really a travesty.

Still, it seems incredibly wasteful, particularly given that so many stadiums are build with public money. Are we 10-20 years away from replacing Gillette? Is the TD garden only 5 years away from replacement?
Aren't Gillette and the Garden privately owned? I imagine they might be renovated in various ways, but I don't think they're going away anytime soon. The privately owned stadia don't seem to get replaced as often as the publicly owned/financed ones...mainly because owners understand how expensive they are to build. There's a reason they keep suckering municipalities into building for them.

Rogers Centre is the 7th oldest park in MLB. Kinda mindblowing. More mindblowing is that #8 is Tropicana Field.
 

YTF

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If the Jays can't play in Toronto anyway (assuming travel back and forth over the border is still an issue for the 2021 season), seems like the ideal time to raze their stadium if they want to rebuild on site. Throw in the looming possibility of a strike in 2022, and maybe they can get the new place finished without ever having to displace a home game due to construction.
I'm no engineer or construction expert, but that seems incredibly ambitious. It takes a couple of years to get a stadium built under the best of circumstances. From my understanding this project will be built on the current site of The Rogers Centre. I wonder what the time frame would be just for demolition and removal of the present facility.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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There's been a massive real estate boom in Toronto over the last decade or so. Toronto has seen amazing population growth, driven by lots of immigration to Canada, people moving into the city from the boonies and thriving tech and financial services industries. I would guess Rogers and Brookfield think they will make enough money on the real estate development to pay for the sunk cost of the old stadium. There have been persistent fears that the real estate boom will end badly, but so far there have been no signs.
 

E5 Yaz

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I guess people take it for granted baseball games will be played in front of fans in Toronto some time soon/again.
Reading the story, it's clear that a lot of tumblers have to click into place for this to happen. If they do, however, this might be the perfect time for something like this ... since they can work out the agreement in Buffalo and take down the existing stadium. This will be a long project, might as well start when it won't be used.
 

curly2

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The fact that teams that are abandoning stadiums build well withing my lifetime kind of blows my mind. A little bit is that I'm getting old, but a lot seems like it's just waste.

Looking back at the old multi-purpose stadiums, it looks like their lifespan was typically 30-50 years, so I guess this isn't really that out of line. Though Turner Field lasting for a pathetic 20 years is really a travesty.

Still, it seems incredibly wasteful, particularly given that so many stadiums are build with public money. Are we 10-20 years away from replacing Gillette? Is the TD garden only 5 years away from replacement?
"Travesty" is a good word for Turner Field. I was there in 2008, thought it was a fine place to watch and game and figured it might outlive me as an MLB venue. But that's more an aberration. The move was driven by the Braves' desire to get out of the city and cash in with the whole ballpark village thing they can get in the suburbs.

The other places that were replaced, however, deserved that fate. The multipurpose stadiums that were the rage in the 1970s were generally decent for football and OK at best for football. The one place that did it right was Kansas City, which built two stadiums. Both were renovated and not replaced, are great venues and aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

In Toronto, specifically, one of the problems of it being a multipurpose stadium is that the seats along the first- and third-base lines don't face the plate. People have to turn their necks or their bodies to see the plate, much like in Fenway.
 

Trautwein's Degree

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"Travesty" is a good word for Turner Field. I was there in 2008, thought it was a fine place to watch and game and figured it might outlive me as an MLB venue. But that's more an aberration. The move was driven by the Braves' desire to get out of the city and cash in with the whole ballpark village thing they can get in the suburbs.
The Ballpark at Arlington was amazing in every way. I mean - yes it needed a roof and should have been designed with one but it was a great park. Sorry to see it go.
 

jose melendez

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Aren't Gillette and the Garden privately owned? I imagine they might be renovated in various ways, but I don't think they're going away anytime soon. The privately owned stadia don't seem to get replaced as often as the publicly owned/financed ones...mainly because owners understand how expensive they are to build. There's a reason they keep suckering municipalities into building for them.

Rogers Centre is the 7th oldest park in MLB. Kinda mindblowing. More mindblowing is that #8 is Tropicana Field.
Fenway, Wrigley, Comiskey (or whatever it's called now), Oakland Colleseum, Kaufmann, and Camden Yards?

edit: Duh, Dodger Stadium. Less duh, Anaheim. South Side and Camden were just after skydome and Trop
 

E5 Yaz

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Fenway, Wrigley, Comiskey (or whatever it's called now), Oakland Colleseum, Kaufmann, and Camden Yards?

edit: Duh, Dodger Stadium. Less duh, Anaheim. South Side and Camden were just after skydome and Trop
Comiskey's long gone. New Stadium opened in 91
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The interesting part of the Trop being so old is it was used a couple times to leverage newer ballparks elsewhere, starting with the new Comiskey.
 

IpswichSox

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I guess people take it for granted baseball games will be played in front of fans in Toronto some time soon/again.
Wonder also how this could affect Toronto's ability to attract free agents this winter. In the best-case scenario for vaccine distribution, it's conceivable that most or potentially all Blue Jays' home games in 2021 would be played in Toronto. But if Rogers Centre is being torn down and rebuilt, and that means a full season or more of "home" games would be in Buffalo, would that be as attractive to a prospective free agent signee? Or maybe it's a selling point -- the cost of living is lower, imagine how much more your millions could go in Buffalo!
 

lexrageorge

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I guess people take it for granted baseball games will be played in front of fans in Toronto some time soon/again.
While the jury is still out on there being fans in baseball stadiums in 2021, there is literally nothing to indicate that fans would not be back in stadiums by 2022. Especially with 2 vaccine candidates heading towards approval before the year is out.
 

Royal Reader

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Wonder also how this could affect Toronto's ability to attract free agents this winter. In the best-case scenario for vaccine distribution, it's conceivable that most or potentially all Blue Jays' home games in 2021 would be played in Toronto. But if Rogers Centre is being torn down and rebuilt, and that means a full season or more of "home" games would be in Buffalo, would that be as attractive to a prospective free agent signee? Or maybe it's a selling point -- the cost of living is lower, imagine how much more your millions could go in Buffalo!
I got the impression that living in Canada was a negative for most American FAs. Toronto is obviously a nicer city for people with money, but it's not clear to me it'd make that much difference for the bulk of FA. Maybe there might be a international guy or two who might be put off.
 

JimD

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The Ballpark at Arlington was amazing in every way. I mean - yes it needed a roof and should have been designed with one but it was a great park. Sorry to see it go.
Yes it was - it was the first Major League ballpark I got to see a game in besides Fenway. I was always a 'They can't replace Fenway Park!' guy, but visiting The Ballpark sure starting making me think otherwise.
 

moondog80

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I've been to about 23 or 24 of the MLB stadiums, and without question the best experience I had was getting a hotel room overlooking the field for a Sox/Jays game at SkyDome. Reasonably priced too -- maybe $500 in 2012. Highly recommended.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I still remember hearing talk radio dolts in the mid-90s (Eddie Andleman I think, plus several others who I thankfully can't remember) going on and on about how the Red Sox would never be able to compete the Blue Jays' huge Skydome revenues until they tore down Fenway Park and built a huge domed stadium in the suburbs.

Fenway was not only small and cramped, it was dirty too, you see. When a building is dirty, there's nothing you can do but tear it down I suppose.

It all makes perfect sense, and that's why the Red Sox haven't won anything or made any money in the last 25 years while the big money Blue Jays have dominated.
 

uncannymanny

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I've been to about 23 or 24 of the MLB stadiums, and without question the best experience I had was getting a hotel room overlooking the field for a Sox/Jays game at SkyDome. Reasonably priced too -- maybe $500 in 2012. Highly recommended.
Come on, you weren’t even watching the game.


(NSFW)
 

Harry Hooper

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I still remember hearing talk radio dolts in the mid-90s (Eddie Andleman I think, plus several others who I thankfully can't remember) going on and on about how the Red Sox would never be able to compete the Blue Jays' huge Skydome revenues until they tore down Fenway Park and built a huge domed stadium in the suburbs.

Fenway was not only small and cramped, it was dirty too, you see. When a building is dirty, there's nothing you can do but tear it down I suppose.

It all makes perfect sense, and that's why the Red Sox haven't won anything or made any money in the last 25 years while the big money Blue Jays have dominated.
Yes, Eddie raved and raved about the wonders of Skydome, but then fell quite silent as reports of the heavy financial losses in Toronto came rolling in.
 

luckiestman

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Yes, Eddie raved and raved about the wonders of Skydome, but then fell quite silent as reports of the heavy financial losses in Toronto came rolling in.
This reminds me how bad that early 90s recession was in Mass. It’s a forgotten story. Rent control going away and the tech economy booming Boston wasn’t something a ton of people predicted.
 

Humphrey

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Texas (new park) has artificial turf, Miami and Arizona too (they both switched) so there's 5 currently that have it, not two.

Is the CFL officially dead? Aren't the Argos a tenant too?
 

santadevil

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Texas (new park) has artificial turf, Miami and Arizona too (they both switched) so there's 5 currently that have it, not two.

Is the CFL officially dead? Aren't the Argos a tenant too?
No, the Argo's play at BMO Field now and share it with Toronto FC. But you may be right, the CFL may be dead if they don't play this upcoming year
 

RSN Diaspora

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There's been a massive real estate boom in Toronto over the last decade or so. Toronto has seen amazing population growth, driven by lots of immigration to Canada, people moving into the city from the boonies and thriving tech and financial services industries. I would guess Rogers and Brookfield think they will make enough money on the real estate development to pay for the sunk cost of the old stadium. There have been persistent fears that the real estate boom will end badly, but so far there have been no signs.
And Rogers Centre is in a primo downtown spot surrounded by a bunch of luxury condo buildings. I can only imagine what condos with Wrigley-style roof decks overlooking the ballfield would go for.
 

mauf

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It’s ironic that SkyDome was heralded as a futuristic stadium when it opened, because today it feels like one of those multipurpose concrete toilet bowls that cities across North America have been tearing down for almost 30 years. They have also not invested in upkeep; we stayed at the hotel a couple years ago on a family trip, and other than the location it sucked. My guess is that they’ve been deferring improvements for years now, because the owners couldn’t wrap their heads around spending a few hundred million dollars to refurbish a complex that is so fundamentally flawed.

And Rogers Centre is in a primo downtown spot surrounded by a bunch of luxury condo buildings. I can only imagine what condos with Wrigley-style roof decks overlooking the ballfield would go for.
For folks who haven’t been to Toronto, it’s hard to understate how prime the location is. It would be like building a stadium for the Red Sox right in Copley Square. They should probably sell the site and use the proceeds to build a ballpark elsewhere; even lakefront property probably isn’t as valuable as the Rogers Center site, and with Toronto’s population shifting toward the 905 and Mississauga, a site with at least some parking might be preferable, particularly if you don’t think high-rise downtown offices are going to return to their pre-pandemic heyday.
 

Fred not Lynn

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For folks who haven’t been to Toronto, it’s hard to understate how prime the location is. It would be like building a stadium for the Red Sox right in Copley Square. They should probably sell the site and use the proceeds to build a ballpark elsewhere; even lakefront property probably isn’t as valuable as the Rogers Center site, and with Toronto’s population shifting toward the 905 and Mississauga, a site with at least some parking might be preferable, particularly if you don’t think high-rise downtown offices are going to return to their pre-pandemic heyday.
I think the Rogers Centre itself is part of what makes it such a prime location...and with population shifting, downtowns need to reinvent themselves with emphasis on having features people WANT to visit and live near (entertainment), rather than those they need to go to (work).
 

Mighty Joe Young

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My MLB ballpark experiences are limited to Fenway (too many to remember .. 20+ And Skydome twice .. including a Pedro start. While it seemed a pleasant enough spot it just felt like (as has been mentioned) a large, plastic, soulless mall. I won’t miss it. If this ever happens it’s not going to be until at least 2022 - which means 2024 before it opens. If we are still worried about COVID by then ..well .. bigger fish to fry.

As I understand it, the best case scenario has them building the new park next door on basically the same site. Also, as mentioned the current land is worth a fortune .. but moving to the suburbs is very 80s and is never going to happen. The torn down skydome will be replaced by commercial developments that may pay for the new park.
 

Humphrey

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Yes, Eddie raved and raved about the wonders of Skydome, but then fell quite silent as reports of the heavy financial losses in Toronto came rolling in.
Sounds very much like something Ted Sarandis would have jumped on the bandwagon for, as well. By the 90s, it had become more about the waterfront than the suburbs, I believe.