HOME

TheInfoList




Rogers Centre (originally SkyDome) is a multi-purpose
retractable roof A retractable roof is a roof system designed to roll back the roof of a structure so that the interior of the facility is open to the outdoors. Retractable roofs are sometimes referred to as operable roofs or retractable skylights. The term oper ...
stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a tiered structure designed to allow spectators to stan ...

stadium
in
Downtown Toronto Downtown Toronto is the main central business district A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. It contains commercial space and offices. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's "fina ...

Downtown Toronto
,
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , capi ...

Ontario
, Canada, situated just southwest of the
CN Tower The CN Tower (french: Tour CN) is a concrete Interior of the Pantheon dome, seen from beneath. The concrete for the coffered dome was laid on moulds, mounted on temporary scaffolding. Concrete is a composite material A composite ...

CN Tower
near the northern shore of
Lake Ontario Lake Ontario (french: Lac Ontario) is one of the five Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upright=1.3, Location in North America The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurenti ...

Lake Ontario
. Opened in 1989 on the former Railway Lands, it is home to the
Toronto Blue Jays The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it i ...
of
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leagu ...
(MLB). Previously, the stadium was also home to the
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
of the
Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football, LCF, links=no) is a professional sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains ...
(CFL) and the
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA), ...
of the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, m ...
(NBA). The
Buffalo Bills The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
of the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
(NFL) played an annual game at the stadium as part of the
Bills Toronto Series The Bills Toronto Series was a series of National Football League (NFL) games featuring the Buffalo Bills played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of O ...
from 2008 to 2013. While it is primarily a sports venue, it also hosts other large events such as conventions,
trade fair A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, na ...

trade fair
s,
concert A concert is a live music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural Culture () is an umbrella term wh ...

concert
s, travelling carnivals,
circus A circus is a company of performers who put on diverse entertainment shows that may include s, , trained animals, acts, s, s, , s, , s, , and as well as other and stunt-oriented artists. The term ''circus'' also describes the performance w ...

circus
es and
monster truck A monster truck is a specialized truck with a heavy duty suspension Suspension or suspended may refer to: Science and engineering * Suspension (topology), in mathematics * Suspension (dynamical systems), in mathematics * Suspension of a ring, ...

monster truck
shows. The stadium was renamed "Rogers Centre" following the 2005 purchase of the stadium by
Rogers Communications Rogers Communications Inc. is a Telecommunications in Canada, Canadian communications and media company operating primarily in the fields of mobile phone operator, wireless communications, cable television, telephony and Internet access, Intern ...
, which also owns the Toronto Blue Jays. The venue is noted for being the first stadium to have a fully retractable motorized roof, as well as for the 348-room hotel attached to it with 70 rooms overlooking the field. It is also the last North American major-league stadium built to accommodate both
football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg Sch ...

football
and baseball. The stadium served as the site of both the 2015 Pan American Games opening ceremony, opening and 2015 Pan American Games closing ceremony, closing ceremonies of the 2015 Pan American Games (renamed the Pan-Am Dome or Pan-Am Ceremonies Venue due to sponsorship regulations).


History


Background and design

The idea of building a domed stadium can be traced back to the 1968 Olympic bid that Toronto lost to Montreal as the Canadian candidate city for the 1976 games. In the proposal, an 80,000–100,000 seat complex would be part of the planned Harbour City development on the site of
Maple Leaf Stadium Maple Leaf Stadium was a jewel box-style baseball stadium in Toronto, Ontario Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the Li ...
. The contemporary impetus for building an enclosed sports venue in Toronto came following the
Grey Cup The Grey Cup (french: Coupe Grey) is both the championship game of the Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football, LCF, links=no) is a professional sports league A sports league is a grou ...
game in November 1982, held at the outdoor
Exhibition Stadium Canadian National Exhibition Stadium (commonly known as Exhibition Stadium or CNE Stadium) was a multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium cou ...

Exhibition Stadium
. The game (in which the hometown
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
(also known as the Argos) were making their first Grey Cup appearance since 1971) was played in a driving rainstorm that left most of the crowd drenched, leading the media to call it "the Rain Bowl". As many of the seats were completely exposed to the elements, thousands watched the game from the concession section. To make a bad experience even worse, the washrooms overflowed. In attendance that day was
Bill Davis William Grenville Davis, (born July 30, 1929) is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all ...
, the
Premier of Ontario The premier of Ontario (french: premier ministre de l'Ontario) is the first First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number 1 (number), one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record, specifically the first instance of a particular achie ...
, and the poor conditions were seen by the largest television audience in Canada (over 7.862 million viewers) to that point. The following day, at a rally for the Argos at
Toronto City Hall The Toronto City Hall, or New City Hall, is the seat of the municipal government A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative ...

Toronto City Hall
, tens of thousands of people who attended the game began to chant, "We want a
dome A dome () is an architectural element similar to the hollow upper half of a sphere. There is significant overlap with the term cupola, which may also refer to a dome or a structure on top of a dome. The precise definition of a dome has been a m ...

dome
! We want a dome!" Seven months later, in June 1983, Davis formally announced a three-person committee would look into the feasibility of building a domed stadium at
Exhibition Place Exhibition Place is a publicly owned Mixed-use development, mixed-use district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located by the Lake Shore Boulevard, shoreline of Lake Ontario, just west of Downtown Toronto, downtown. The site includes exhibit, trade, ...
. The committee consisted of
Paul Godfrey Paul Victor Godfrey, CM, OOnt (born January 1939) is a businessman and former Canadian politician. During his career, Godfrey was a North York alderman, Chairman of Metro Toronto, President of the '' Toronto Sun'' and head of the Toronto Blue ...

Paul Godfrey
, Larry Grossman and former Ontario Hydro chairman Hugh Macaulay. The committee examined various projects, including a large indoor stadium at Exhibition Place with an air-supported dome, similar to
BC Place BC Place is a multi-purpose stadium located at the north side of False Creek False Creek (french: Faux ruisseau) is a short inlet in the heart of Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland ...

BC Place
in Vancouver. In 1985, an international design competition was launched to design a new stadium, along with selection of a site. Some of the proposed sites included Exhibition Place,
Downsview Airport Downsview Airport is located in the North York district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. An air field, then air force base, it has been a testing facility for Bombardier Aviation, Bombardier Aerospace since 1994. Bombardier has sold the facility and m ...
, and
York University York University (french: Université York), also known as YorkU or simply YU, is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization ...
. The final site was at the base of the
CN Tower The CN Tower (french: Tour CN) is a concrete Interior of the Pantheon dome, seen from beneath. The concrete for the coffered dome was laid on moulds, mounted on temporary scaffolding. Concrete is a composite material A composite ...

CN Tower
not far from
Union Station A union station (also known as a union terminal and, in Europe, a joint station) is a railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, whi ...
, a major railway and transit hub. The Railway Lands were a major
Canadian National Railway The Canadian National Railway (french: Canadien National) is a Canadian Class I freight railway headquartered in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in th ...
rail switching yard encompassing the CNR Spadina Roundhouse (the desolate downtown lands were part of a master plan for revitalizing the area, which includes CityPlace). Ultimately, the Robbie/Allen concept won because it provided the largest roof opening of all the finalists, and it was the most technically sound. The stadium was designed by architect
Rod Robbie Roderick "Rod" George Robbie, (September 15, 1928 – January 4, 2012) was a British-born Canadian architect and planner. He was known for his design of the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67 and Toronto's Rogers Centre (SkyDome). Biography and p ...
and structural engineer Michael Allen and was constructed by the
EllisDon EllisDon is an employee-owned construction services company that was founded and incorporated in 1951 in London, Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, by brothers Don and David Ellis Smith. The company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. ...
Construction company of
London, Ontario London (pronounced ) is a city in southwestern Ontario Southwestern Ontario is a secondary region of Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a coun ...
and the
Dominion Bridge Company Dominion Bridge Company Limited was a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connec ...
of Lachine, Quebec. The stadium's construction lasted about two and a half years, from October 1986 to May 1989. The approximate cost of construction was C$570 million ($ in dollars) which was paid for by the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...
,
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , capi ...

Ontario
provincial government A state (subnational), state government is the government of a country subdivision in a federation, federal form of government, which shares political power with ...
, the City of Toronto, and a large
consortium A consortium (plural: consortia) is an association Association may refer to: *Club (organization), an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal *Trade association, an organization founded and funded by businesses tha ...

consortium
of corporations.


Financing

The stadium was funded by a public/private partnership, with the government paying the largest percentage of the tab. The initial cost of $150 million was greatly underestimated, with the final tab coming in at C$570 million ($ in dollars). Two levels of government (
Metro Toronto The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto was an upper tier level of municipal government in Ontario, Canada, from 1954 to 1998. It was made up of the old city of Toronto and numerous townships, towns and villages that surrounded Toronto, which ...
and Provincial) each initially contributed $30 million ($ in dollars). This does not include the value of the land that the stadium sits on, which is owned by the
Canada Lands Company Canada Lands Company Limited (french: La Société immobilière du Canada) is a self-financing federal Crown corporation reporting to the Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, ...
(a
Crown corporations of Canada Crown corporations in Canada are government organizations with a mixture of commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television ad ...
) and the City of Toronto and was leased for $900,000 a year through 2088. Canada's three main breweries (
Labatt's Labatt Brewing Company Limited (french: La Brasserie Labatt Limitée) is a Belgian-owned brewery headquartered in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded ...
,
Molson The Molson Brewery is a Canadian brewery and beer company in Montreal formed in 1786 by the Molson family. In 2005, Molson merged with the Adolph Coors Company to become Molson Coors. Molson Coors maintains some of its Canadian operations at ...

Molson
, and
Carling O'Keefe Carling O'Keefe was a brewing Brewing is the production of beer by steeping Steeping is the soaking in liquid (usually water) of a solid, usually so as to extract flavours or to soften it. The specific process of teas being prepared fo ...
) and the Toronto Blue Jays each paid $5 million ($ in dollars) to help fund the stadium. An additional 26 other Canadian corporations (selected by invitation only) also contributed $5 million, for which they received one of the 161 Skyboxes with four parking spaces (for ten years, with an opportunity for renewal) and a 99-year exclusive option on stadium advertising. Skyboxes initially leased for $150,000 up to $225,000 ($ to $ in dollars) a year in 1989 – plus the cost of tickets for all events. The then unusual financing structure created controversy. First of all, there was no public tender for supplies and equipment. Secondly, companies that paid the $5 million fee, such as
Coca-Cola Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical sub ...

Coca-Cola
, TSN and
CIBC The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC; french: Banque Canadienne Impériale de Commerce), is a Canadian multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Mu ...
, received 100 percent stadium exclusivity, including advertising rights, for the life of their contract that could be extended up to 99 years. Third, the contracts were not put up for bid, meaning there was some doubt the contracts were made at a market rate:
Pepsi Pepsi is a carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical substance is a form of ...

Pepsi
stated at the time that had they known the terms of the contract they would have paid far more than $5 million for the rights. Local media like ''NOW Magazine'' called the amount charged to the companies "scandalously low".


Construction

Construction of the ''Ontario Stadium Project'' was spearheaded by lead contractor EllisDon. Several factors complicated the construction: The lands housed a functioning water pumping station that needed to be relocated, the soil was contaminated from a century of industrial use, railway buildings needed to be torn down or moved, and the site was rich with archaeological finds. One of the most complex issues was moving the John Street pumping station across the street to its new home south of the stadium. Foundations to the stadium were being poured even as the facility (in the infield area) continued to function, as construction on its new location had yet to be completed. Because the stadium was the first of its kind in the world, the architects and engineers kept the design simple (by using a sturdy dome shape) and used proven technologies to move the roof. It was important the design would work and be reliable as to avoid the various problems that plagued Montreal's
Olympic Stadium ''Olympic Stadium'' is the name usually given to the main stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or complete ...

Olympic Stadium
. The 31-storey-high roof consists of four panels: one (on the north end) is fixed in place and the other three are moved by electrically driven 'train' engines, that run on high-strength railway rails. The roof, which takes 20 minutes to open, was made out of steel trusses covered by corrugated steel cladding, which in turn is covered by a single-ply PVC membrane. Because of its location south of the major railway corridor, new pedestrian connections had to be built; the infrastructure was part of the reason for the high cost of the stadium. The
SkyWalk The SkyWalk is an approximately 160 metre enclosed walkway connecting Union Station A union station (also known as a union terminal and, in Europe, a joint station) is a railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) ...

SkyWalk
is an approximately enclosed walkway that leads from the base of the CN Tower and via a bridge connects to Union Station (and is part of the PATH network). The John Street
cable-stayed bridge A cable-stayed bridge has one or more ''towers'' (or ''pylons''), from which cable Cable may refer to: Mechanical * Nautical cable A nautical cable is a band of tightly woven and clamped ropes, of a defined cable length, used during the ag ...

cable-stayed bridge
was built to provide north–south passage over the rail tracks, linking Front Street with the stadium. Construction at the site, which at one time was south of the shoreline, unearthed over 1,500 artifacts. These included a 200-year-old French cannon used as ballast for a ship, cannonballs, pottery and a telescope. The stadium was completed two months late, having been planned to open for the first regular season Toronto Blue Jays game in 1989; the team played the first two months of their home schedule at Exhibition Stadium that year.


Naming

The official name prior to and during construction was the 'Ontario Stadium Project' but was widely referred to in local media as simply 'the Dome' or 'Toronto Domed' stadium. As completion neared the name "SkyDome" was chosen as part of a province-wide "name the stadium" contest in 1987. Sponsored by the ''
Toronto Sun The ''Toronto Sun'' is an English-language tabloid journalism, tabloid newspaper published daily in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. History The ''Sun'' was first published on November 1, 1971, the Monday after the demise of the ''Toronto Telegram'' ...
'', ballots were offered for people to submit their suggested name, with lifetime seats behind home plate to all events at the stadium (including concerts) as the prize. Over 150,000 entries were received with 12,897 different names. The selection committee narrowed it down to four choices: "Towerdome", "Harbourdome", "SkyDome", and simply "the Dome". The judges' final selection was SkyDome. Premier
David Peterson David Robert Peterson, (born December 28, 1943) is a Canadian former politician. He was the 20th premier of the province of Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt ...
drew the prize-winning entry of Kellie Watson from a lottery barrel containing the over-2,000 entries that proposed "SkyDome". At the press conference announcing the name, Chuck Magwood, president of the Stadium Corporation of Ontario (Stadco), the crown corporation created to run SkyDome, commented: "The sky is a huge part of the whole roof process. The name has a sense of the infinite and that's what this is all about." Kellie Watson received lifetime seating of choice at SkyDome, which is still honoured after the stadium was renamed to Rogers Centre, under new ownership.


Opening

The stadium officially opened on June 3, 1989, and hosted an official grand opening show: "The Opening of SkyDome: A Celebration", broadcast on CBC television the following evening hosted by
Brian Williams Brian Douglas Williams (born May 5, 1959) is an American journalist at MSNBC MSNBC is an American news broadcasting, news-based pay television cable channel based in New York City. It is owned by the NBCUniversal Television Group#NBCUnivers ...
. With a crowd of over 50,000 in attendance, the event included appearances by
Alan Thicke Alan Thicke (born Alan Willis Jeffrey; 1 March 1947 13 December 2016) was a Canadian actor, songwriter, and game and talk show host. He was the father of singer Robin Thicke Robin Charles Thicke (born March 10, 1977) is an American singer, son ...

Alan Thicke
,
Oscar Peterson Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist, virtuoso and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, simply "O.P." by his friends, and informally in the jazz commun ...

Oscar Peterson
,
Andrea Martin Andrea Louise Martin (born January 15, 1947) is an American-Canadian actress, singer, author, and comedian,
of ''SCTV'', impersonator André-Philippe Gagnon and rock band
Glass Tiger Glass Tiger is a Grammy Award The Grammy Award (stylized as GRAMMY, originally called Gramophone Award), or just Grammy, is an award presented by the US Recording Academy to recognize "Outstanding Achievement in the music industry The mu ...

Glass Tiger
. The roof was ceremonially "opened" by Ontario Premier
David Peterson David Robert Peterson, (born December 28, 1943) is a Canadian former politician. He was the 20th premier of the province of Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt ...
with a laser pen. The roof's opening exposed the crowd to a downpour of rain. Despite audible chants of "close the roof", Magwood insisted the roof remain fully open.


Financial problems and fallout

The stadium became a thorn in the side of
David Peterson David Robert Peterson, (born December 28, 1943) is a Canadian former politician. He was the 20th premier of the province of Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt ...
's Ontario Liberal government for repeated cost overruns. After the
Liberals Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
were defeated by the NDP in the 1990 Ontario election, a review by the new
Bob Rae Robert Keith Rae (born August 2, 1948) is a Canadian diplomat, lawyer, negotiator, public speaker, and former politician at both the federal and provincial level, the latter of which included a term as Premier of Ontario. On July 6, 2020, his ...

Bob Rae
government in October 1990 revealed Stadco's debt meant the Dome would have to be booked 600 days a year to turn a profit, almost twice as many days as there are days in a calendar year. The stadium income was only $17 million in its first year of operations, while debt service was $40 million. It was determined the abrupt late inclusion by Stadco of a hotel and health club added an additional $112 million to the cost of the building. As the province slipped into a recession, Rae appointed
University of Toronto The University of Toronto (U of T or UToronto) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organ ...

University of Toronto
professor
Bruce Kidd Bruce Kidd, (born July 26, 1943) is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these conne ...
and
Canadian Auto Workers The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW; formally the National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada) was one of Canada's largest and highest profile labour unions. In 2013 it merged with the Communications, Energy and ...
President Bob White to the Stadco board to help deal with the stadium's growing debt, but the original $165 million debt had ballooned to $400 million by 1993. Stadco became a political liability, and in March 1994, the Ontario government paid off all outstanding Stadco debts from the government treasury and sold the stadium for $151 million to a private consortium that included Labatt Breweries, the Blue Jays' owner. In November 1998, the stadium, which Labatt then owned as 49 percent of total, filed for bankruptcy protection, triggered after disastrous Skybox renewal numbers. Most of the 161 Skybox tenants had signed on for 10-year leases; a marked decrease in interest in the stadium's teams and the construction of the
Air Canada Centre Scotiabank Arena, (Canadian French, French: ''Aréna Scotiabank)'' formerly Air Canada Centre (ACC), is a multi-purpose arena located on Bay Street in the South Core, Toronto, South Core district of Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is t ...

Air Canada Centre
, which hosted the
Toronto Maple Leafs The Toronto Maple Leafs (officially the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club and often referred to as the Leafs) are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Atlantic Divi ...
and
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA), ...
, resulted in few renewals for Skybox leases. That same month, the Blue Jays re-signed for an additional ten years in the facility. In April 1999, Sportsco International LP bought the stadium out of bankruptcy protection for $80 million.


Purchase and renaming

In November 2004,
Rogers Communications Rogers Communications Inc. is a Telecommunications in Canada, Canadian communications and media company operating primarily in the fields of mobile phone operator, wireless communications, cable television, telephony and Internet access, Intern ...
, parent company of the Blue Jays, acquired SkyDome, excluding the attached SkyDome hotel, which had been sold to Renaissance for a reported $31 million in 1999, from Sportsco for about $25 million – roughly four percent of the cost of construction. On February 2, 2005, Ted Rogers, President and
CEO A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator officer, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as c ...
of Rogers Communications, announced a three-year corporate contract to change the name of SkyDome to Rogers Centre. The name change remains controversial and is unpopular with many fans, most of whom continue to refer to it as SkyDome in opposition to increased commercialism from the purchase of
naming rights Naming rights are a financial transaction and form of advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a ...
. One example is a 25,000-name petition started by TTC bus driver Randy Rajmoolie. A baseball diamond in Toronto's
Trinity Bellwoods Park Trinity Bellwoods Park is a public park located in Toronto, Ontario Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the List of the ...
is named SkyDome after the stadium's former and popular name. After the purchase Rogers refurbished the stadium by, among other things, replacing the
Jumbotron A jumbotron, sometimes referred to as jumbovision, is a video display using large-screen television technology Large-screen television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for tran ...

Jumbotron
with a
Daktronics Daktronics is an American company based in Brookings, South Dakota that designs, manufactures, sells, and services video displays, scoreboards, digital billboard (advertising), billboards, Variable-message sign, dynamic message signs, sound sy ...
video display, and erecting other new monitors, including several built into the outfield wall. They also installed a new
FieldTurf FieldTurf is a brand of artificial turf playing surface. It is manufactured and installed by FieldTurf Tarkett, a division of French company Tarkett Inc. FieldTurf is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, , Ti ...
artificial playing surface. In May 2005, the
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
agreed to three five-year leases at Rogers Centre, which could have seen the Argonauts play out of Rogers Centre up to and including 2019. The team had the option to leave at the end of each of the three lease agreements. Proposed plans to lock Rogers Centre into its baseball configuration permanently in order to install a natural grass surface forced the Argonauts to relocate to
BMO Field BMO Field is an outdoor stadium located at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which is home to Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Constructed on the site of the former Exhibiti ...

BMO Field
before the 2016 season. However, it is now unclear whether the planned surface replacement and configuration change will take place, if at all, despite the Argonauts' departure. In November 2005, Rogers Centre received a complete makeover to "open" the 100 Level concourse to the playing field and convert 43 luxury boxes to "party suites". This required some seats to be removed, which lowered overall capacity. In April 2006, Rogers Centre became one of the first buildings of its size to adopt a completely smoke-free policy in Canada, anticipating an act of provincial legislature that required all Ontario public places to go smoke-free by June 1, 2006. Alcohol was not available to patrons of Rogers Centre on April 7, 2009, as the
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is a provincial Crown agency that reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General. The AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming and horse racing sectors in accordance with the princ ...
imposed the first of a three-day alcohol suspension at the stadium for "infractions (that) took place at certain past events", according to the press release.


Improvements

Significant improvements to the facility since opening in 1989 include: * Exterior roof lighting that can be programmed for themes and/or events. * The Blue Jays clubhouse was substantially renovated, including a larger training room, an open concept lounge and personal lockers. In total, the clubhouse expanded from . * Main level concourse expansion, making the space brighter, more fan-friendly with expanded wheelchair seating. * The FieldTurf was upgraded to AstroTurf Gameday Grass for 2010. * The main video board was upgraded in 2005, from a JumboTron to a modern Daktronics video board, measuring . * Jays Shop – Stadium Edition, was expanded to an retail space along the main concourse (2007). * Two video boards were built into the outfield fence that each measure . These boards provide player stats, out-of-town scores and other information related to the game and league. * A continuous, ribbon-style video board was installed on the facing of the 300 Level, providing statistics and scores. * Installation of 150 new flat-screen video monitors in the main and second level concourses, bringing the number of stadium monitors to around 300. * Upgrade of the entire field lighting system in a two-month conversion process with all 840 of the 2,000-watt bowl lights replaced. * A centre-field porch (later named the West Jet Flight Deck) in the 200 Level was added following the removal of the windows of the former Windows Restaurant (2013, $2 million). * In April 2014, an open-air organist's booth was installed next to the West Jet Flight Deck to provide traditional ballpark theme music during games. * The AstroTurf Gameday Grass was upgraded to AstroTurf Gameday Grass 3D Extreme for the
2015 2015 was designated as: * International Year of Light The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 or International Year of Light 2015 (IYL 2015) was a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovern ...
season. * A full dirt infield was installed for for the previous six seasons, Rogers Centre was the only MLB ballpark with * A two-year, $10 million roof upgrade, completed for the
2017 2017 was designated as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development2017 was declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2015 relating to sustainab ...
season, added computer technology and sped the opening and closing process. * A new AstroTurf field was installed prior to the 2021 season. The new turf is attached to the floor, so the stands will no longer to be able to be rolled and will be permanenetly locked into baseball configuration.


Proposed replacement

Rogers Communications and Brookfield Asset Management have reportedly discussed replacing Rogers Centre with a smaller, baseball-specific stadium plus residential towers, office buildings, retail stores and public space. The new venue would be constructed on the southern end of the current stadium and adjacent parking lots, while the mixed-use development would be built on the northern portion of the site. An alternate site has also been considered for a new baseball park, at Quayside, Toronto, Quayside in Toronto's east end next to
Lake Ontario Lake Ontario (french: Lac Ontario) is one of the five Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upright=1.3, Location in North America The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurenti ...

Lake Ontario
. In December 2021, the Blue Jays opted to renovate the stadium instead of replacing it.


Stadium features

The venue was the first major team sports stadium in North America with a functional, fully
retractable roof A retractable roof is a roof system designed to roll back the roof of a structure so that the interior of the facility is open to the outdoors. Retractable roofs are sometimes referred to as operable roofs or retractable skylights. The term oper ...
(Montreal's
Olympic Stadium ''Olympic Stadium'' is the name usually given to the main stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or complete ...

Olympic Stadium
also had a retractable roof, but due to operational issues, it was replaced with a permanent roof). The roof is composed of four panels and covers an area of . The two middle panels slide laterally to stack over the north semi-circular panel, and then the south semi-circular panel rotates around the stadium and nests inside the stack. It takes 20 minutes for the roof to open or close. It is not possible to move the roof in cold weather because the mechanism that closes the roof could fail in cooler weather. The original AstroTurf installation was replaced with
FieldTurf FieldTurf is a brand of artificial turf playing surface. It is manufactured and installed by FieldTurf Tarkett, a division of French company Tarkett Inc. FieldTurf is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, , Ti ...
from 2005 to 2010. The FieldTurf took about 40 hours to remove for events such as concerts or trade shows, as it used 1,400 trays that needed to be stacked and transported off the field. Prior to the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays season, 2010 baseball season, to reduce the amount of time required to convert the playing field, a new, roll-based version of AstroTurf was installed. Similar to FieldTurf, the installation uses a sand- and rubber-based infill within the synthetic fibres. Rogers Centre is one of five venues in
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leagu ...
that use artificial turf (the others are Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, LoanDepot Park in Miami, Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona) and was the last venue to use "sliding pits" before switching to a full dirt infield for the 2016 Toronto Blue Jays season, 2016 baseball season. Before the Argonauts moved out, the pitcher's mound could be lowered or raised hydraulically when converting from baseball to football (or vice versa). The use of natural grass was long thought to be unfeasible since the stadium was designed as a closed structure with a roof that opens, and as such, the interior was not intended or built to deal with weather, including low temperatures and drainage. As of the 2020 season, they are one of two teams to have never played a home game on grass at their main stadium (the Tampa Bay Rays played some home games in 2007 and 2008 at Champion Stadium in Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida, and during the 2020 Toronto Blue Jays season, 2020 and much of the 2021 Toronto Blue Jays season, 2021 seasons, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, COVID-19 pandemic, the Toronto Blue Jays were playing most of their home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York with the Blue Jays also playing home games in TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, during the first two months of the 2021 season). However, the Blue Jays have long explored the possibility of converting the Rogers Centre to a natural grass surface, and plans are in place to install a grass field by 2018 to allow enough time for research and growing of the sod. Installing grass would require digging up the floor, adding a drainage system, and installing of dirt. The stadium would need to be permanently locked into its baseball configuration; the lower stands, which roll into position for football, would be permanently fixed in position for baseball. The plan became more definite when Rogers renewed the Argonauts' lease through 2017, but ruled out any further extensions; in May 2015, it was announced the Argos would move to
BMO Field BMO Field is an outdoor stadium located at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which is home to Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Constructed on the site of the former Exhibiti ...

BMO Field
for the 2016 season. The Blue Jays subsequently confirmed the Argonauts' early departure would not accelerate their own plans to install grass in 2018, though it did allow for a dirt infield to be installed for the 2016 season. However, it does not appear likely the field will be converted to natural grass, as no further announcements for replacing the surface have been made since, and the field continues to retain its artificial surface. There are a total of 5,700 club seats and 161 luxury suites at the Rogers Centre. The complex had a Hard Rock Cafe, Hard Rock Café restaurant until December 2009 when the restaurant closed after its lease expired. The Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel is also within Rogers Centre with 70 rooms, and a restaurant and bar called the Sportsnet Grill overlooks the field. Over $5 million of artwork was commissioned in 1989 ($ million in dollars): *''The Audience'' – by Michael Snow is a collection of larger-than-life depictions of fans above the northeast and northwest entrances. Painted gold, the sculptures show fans in various acts of celebration. *''A Tribute to Baseball'' – by Lutz Haufschild, above the Southeast and Southwest entrances of Gate 5. *''The Art of the Possible'' – by Mimi Gellman, inside along the north side of the concourse on the 100 Level. The glass and steel sculpture incorporates the signatures of 2,000 builders of SkyDome, and is a tribute to their work. Some of the artifacts found during excavation, such as musket balls and pottery, have also been included. The brightly illuminated sculpture became an issue to baseball players when the stadium first opened. The bright lights were considered a distraction to batters. *''Salmon Run'' – by Susan Schelle, outside by the Southeast entrance in Bobbie Rosenfeld Park; it is a large fountain with various stainless steel salmon cutouts. *''Spiral Fountain'' – by Judith Schwarz.


Seating capacity


Rogers Centre video board

The Rogers Centre video board is high and across. The panel is made up of modular Light-emitting diode, LED units that can be replaced unit by unit, and can be repaired immediately should it be damaged during an event. Originally, this screen was a Sony
Jumbotron A jumbotron, sometimes referred to as jumbovision, is a video display using large-screen television technology Large-screen television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for tran ...

Jumbotron
, which was the largest in North America at the time of the stadium's opening, but it has since been replaced. There are also two ribbon boards made up of LED that run along the East and West sides of the stadium interior. Each board is long by high. In addition, there are two video boards that make up parts of the left and right outfield walls while the stadium is in baseball configuration. These are wide by nearly high. The video board and the stadium played host to several Series television, serial television events, including the series finales for ''Cheers'' and ''Star Trek: The Next Generation'', along with live coverage of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess Diana in 1997.


Stadium usage


Baseball

The Blue Jays have won two World Series championships at Rogers Centre, hosting Games 3, 4, and 5 of the 1992 World Series and Games 1, 2, and 6 of the 1993 World Series at the stadium, then known as SkyDome, with Game 3 of the 1992 series the first World Series game ever played in Canada. The stadium also hosted the 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The 1991 American League Championship Series was the first Major League Baseball playoff series played entirely indoors with the first two games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Metrodome in Minneapolis and the final three at SkyDome. Games in the first round of the 2009 World Baseball Classic were played at the Rogers Centre.


Basketball

Besides baseball, Rogers Centre was the original home of the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, m ...
's
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA), ...
, who played at the venue from November 1995 to February 1999, while the Air Canada Centre (later renamed Scotiabank Arena) was being planned and built. It proved to be somewhat problematic as a basketball venue, even considering it was only a temporary facility. For instance, many seats that were theoretically in line with the court were so far away fans needed binoculars to see the action. Other seats were so badly obstructed that fans sitting there could only watch the game on the replay boards. For most games, Rogers Centre seated 22,900 people. However, the Raptors sometimes opened the 500 Level, which is the stadium's uppermost level, when popular opponents came to town, such as the Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan was a member of the team, expanding capacity to 29,000 and held over 36,000 attendees at one point.


Football

Rogers Centre hosted Canadian football from opening in 1989 to 2015, as the Argonauts moved to
BMO Field BMO Field is an outdoor stadium located at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which is home to Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Constructed on the site of the former Exhibiti ...

BMO Field
in 2016. In November 2007, it hosted the 95th Grey Cup, its first since 1992 and third all-time. It was the 56th Grey Cup hosted by the city of Toronto since the championship's inception in 1909. From 1989 to 2003, SkyDome hosted the Vanier Cup championship of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (later renamed U Sports in 2016) football. In 1994, then-part owner of SkyDome Labatt considered purchasing a
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
and a Major League Soccer team to play at the stadium. The International Bowl, a National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA college football game between two American schools -- one from the Big East Conference and one from the Mid-American Conference -- has been played at Rogers Centre four times. The Big East school has won all four bowl games. On January 6, 2007, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the Western Michigan University Broncos, 27-24. The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University won the second bowl game in the series on January 5, 2008 by beating the Cardinals of Ball State University, 52-30. The Bulls of the University at Buffalo, a school within a ninety-minute drive of Rogers Centre, lost the third International Bowl to the University of Connecticut Huskies, 38-20. On January 2, 2010, the University of South Florida Bulls beat the Huskies of Northern Illinois University, 27-3. Rogers Centre was also the venue for the 43rd Vanier Cup on Friday November 23, 2007 just two days before Grey Cup Sunday. It was the 16th Vanier Cup hosted at the venue, returning after a three-year absence in which it was hosted by Hamilton, Ontario (2004 and 2005) and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2006). It was the 40th Vanier Cup hosted by Toronto since that championship's inception in 1965. The
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
's
Buffalo Bills The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
announced its intentions to play five "home" games (and three pre-season games) in Rogers Centre in October 2007, so beginning the
Bills Toronto Series The Bills Toronto Series was a series of National Football League (NFL) games featuring the Buffalo Bills played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of O ...
; the first of these regular-season games took place on December 7 of the 2008 NFL season versus the Miami Dolphins. It marked the first time an NFL team has established a "home" stadium outside the United States for regular-season games. The Bills played a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Rogers Centre on August 14, 2008; the Toronto Series was played every year through the 2013 season.


Soccer

From the mid-2000s, soccer matches have been regularly held in SkyDome/Rogers Centre; they had been rarely played at the venue when its AstroTurf surface had been in place. On June 8, 2005, an international soccer friendly between Serbia and Montenegro national football team, Serbia and Montenegro and Italy national football team, Italy took place, ending in a 1–1 draw. On May 25, 2010, the stadium hosted a friendly soccer match between Italy's ACF Fiorentina and Juventus F.C. with Fiorentina winning 1–0. On July 16, 2010, the stadium hosted a friendly soccer match between England's Manchester United F.C. and Scotland's Celtic F.C. Manchester United F.C. defeated Celtic F.C. with a score of 3–1. The match was played on a temporary grass surface harvested from Burford, Ontario and transported via 18 tractor-trailers. On July 21, 2012, the stadium hosted the friendly between Toronto FC and Liverpool F.C., a match that finished in a 1–1 draw. On November 19, 2013, Rogers Centre hosted a friendly soccer match between Brazil national football team, Brazil and Chile national football team, Chile, a match that finished in a 2–1 victory for the Brazilian side.


Motorsports

Having originated in 1980 at Exhibition Stadium, the Toronto Supercross moved to the Rogers Centre upon its opening in 1989. The event was held annually through 1996 before going on hiatus. It was revived as a part of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, FIM World Supercross GP series in 2004 and joined the AMA Supercross Championship after the two series fully merged in 2008. The event ran until 2014 and returned for 2016 and 2017. On January 16, 1993, the stadium hosted the Skydome Grand Prix featuring the United States Auto Club, USAC United States Auto Club#USAC National Midget Championship, National Midget Car Series. The night of racing featured NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR stars John Andretti, Kenny Irwin Jr., Tony Stewart and Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva racing on a Oval track racing, 1/6 mile oval track and was broadcast across Canada on TSN. The Monster Jam
monster truck A monster truck is a specialized truck with a heavy duty suspension Suspension or suspended may refer to: Science and engineering * Suspension (topology), in mathematics * Suspension (dynamical systems), in mathematics * Suspension of a ring, ...

monster truck
tour hosts an annual event in the month of January.


Other sports

Rogers Centre has also hosted exhibition cricket, gaelic football, hurling, Australian rules football and 1990 SkyDome World Tennis Tournament, tennis. It hosted the 1993 IAAF World Indoor Championships, 1993 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships. On May 31, 1997, the venue hosted a post-Olympic Bailey–Johnson 150-metre race, track and field event that pitted Olympic track champions Donovan Bailey and Michael Johnson (sprinter), Michael Johnson, in a 150 m race billed as a competition for the title of the "World's Fastest Man". Bailey won the race, completing it in a time of 15 seconds and winning the $1.5 million prize. Johnson pulled up lame at the 110 m mark claiming a quadriceps injury. Rogers Centre is the site of several major High school (North America), high school and College athletics, collegiate sporting competitions, such as the Prentice Cup for baseball. Since 2008, the Rogers Centre is the host of the Greater Toronto high schools' Metro Bowl. On April 30, 2011, UFC 129 was hosted at Rogers Centre, in the first major mixed martial arts event to ever be held in Ontario. Due to overwhelming demand for tickets (with the initial slate of 42,000 selling in around half an hour), the UFC and Rogers Centre reconfigured the event for 55,000 tickets. The event broke a UFC attendance record set at UFC 124 in Montreal, and also set records for the largest single-day gate revenue in both UFC (surpassing UFC 66 by at least double) and Rogers Centre history. For the 2015 Pan American Games, the Rogers Centre was used for the 2015 Pan American Games opening ceremony, opening and 2015 Pan American Games closing ceremony, closing ceremonies.


Professional wrestling

WWE has hosted WrestleMania at Rogers Centre twice. Wrestlemania VI was held on April 1, 1990, with the main event being a title vs title match which saw the WWE Intercontinental Championship, WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior defeat the WWE Championship, WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, set the SkyDome attendance record of 67,678. The attendance record was broken when 68,237 attended WrestleMania X8, Wrestlemania X8 on March 17, 2002, the main event seeing Triple H win the WWE Championship, WWF Undisputed Championship against Canadian Chris Jericho. In February 1999, the stadium hosted a taping for the February 13, 1999 episode of ''WWE Raw, Raw'' (a List of WWE Raw special episodes, special Saturday-night airing of ''Raw'' due to USA Network's coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show), featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin being defeated by Mr. McMahon in a gauntlet match against The Corporation (professional wrestling), The Corporation. It had the largest crowd in ''Raw'' history, with a reported attendance of 41,432.


Concerts

The stadium has several concert configurations, including smaller ''Theatre'' (capacity 5,000 to 7,000) and ''Concert Hall'' (formerly ''SkyTent''; capacity 10,000 to 25,000). Due to the stadium's design and building materials, the acoustics are poor, and the loudness/quality can vary greatly around the stadium. Its popularity with artists and fans has diminished over the years, and the Scotiabank Arena now hosts most major concerts. The SkyTent, a group of acoustical curtain sails hoisted on rigging above the floor, helps reduce sound distortion and improve sound quality by dampening reverberations around the stadium. Soon after its opening, the stadium became a popular venue for large-scale rock concerts and is the largest indoor concert venue in Toronto. Artists have included Bruce Springsteen, U2 with two concerts in 2009, as well as their concert in 2011, all part of their U2 360° Tour, 360° Tour. Bon Jovi performed two sellout shows on July 20 and 21, 2010, at Rogers Centre as part of The Circle Tour. The Rolling Stones played two sold-out concerts at the stadium: on December 4, 1989, during the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour, Steel Wheels Tour and on September 26, 2005, during their highest-grossing tour A Bigger Bang Tour. Rogers Centre has been a venue for large electronic dance music events. During 2013, notable events included two back to back sold-out shows on Swedish House Mafia's farewell tour, One Last Tour and Sensation (event), Sensation's first Canadian event. One of the more notable concerts, as shown in the documentary ''Madonna: Truth or Dare, Truth or Dare'', was Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour show. The touring show had become extremely controversial, due to the risqué visuals and performances. When the concert arrived in Toronto, police were alerted the show might violate local obscenity laws. The police were on site for the concert and threatened charges without changes. The show went on as planned, however, without any legal action taken. Later, she performed two concerts at the stadium again during The Girlie Show World Tour in 1993. Bruce Springsteen performed on August 24, 2012, during his Wrecking Ball World Tour in front of 39,000 attendees. Guns N' Roses performed at Rogers Centre on July 16, 2016, during their Not in This Lifetime... Tour in front of 48,016 attendees with Billy Talent. Metallica also played a sold-out show at the stadium as part of their WorldWired Tour on July 16, 2017, with special guests Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat. Shawn Mendes headlined his first stadium show to a sold-out crowd on September 6, 2019, at Rogers Centre during his Shawn Mendes: The Tour.


Other uses

Rogers Centre contains of exhibition space, allowing it to host a variety of events year-round. Disney on Ice and
circus A circus is a company of performers who put on diverse entertainment shows that may include s, , trained animals, acts, s, s, , s, , s, , and as well as other and stunt-oriented artists. The term ''circus'' also describes the performance w ...

circus
es have used the venue. It is home to several annual auto shows, with the Canadian International AutoShow in February and Importfest in October. The Opening Ceremonies of the XVI International AIDS Conference, 2006, XVI International AIDS Conference were held at Rogers Centre on August 13, 2006. It has also hosted many Public speaking, public speakers, including appearances by the 14th Dalai Lama, Dalai Lama, Evangelism, Christian evangelist Billy Graham, Nelson Mandela, and for a book reading with J. K. Rowling and Margaret Atwood. In addition to being a venue that hosts sports, concerts and other events, the Rogers Centre also houses the head offices of a number of businesses. The
Toronto Blue Jays The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it i ...
have its office headquarters in the building and until 2008, the
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
did as well. It is also the home of the head offices of Ticketmaster Canada and Zuffa Canada, the former also having the main Ticketmaster outlet (ticket centre) for eastern Canada, at the south end of the building beside Gate 9. In addition, the building contains the Toronto Renaissance Hotels, Renaissance Hotel, a Premier Fitness/Health Club, a Rogers Plus store, (formerly) a Hard Rock Cafe (now John Street Terrace), and (formerly) Windows Restaurant (now WestJet Flight Deck). Starting in 2006, the Hard Rock Cafe only opened when there was a performance in the building, and closed altogether in 2009. On non-event days, there are daily tours of the Rogers Centre.


Attendance records

*WWE, World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania X8 attracted the largest paid crowd to SkyDome. The March 17, 2002, event gathered 68,237 fans. WrestleMania VI held the previous record of 67,678 on April 1, 1990. *
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leagu ...
: The 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, 1991 All-Star Game on July 9 attracted 52,383 spectators. *Billy Graham Mission Ontario Youth Rally: This meeting, on June 10, 1995, is conceivably the most attended event in SkyDome's history. The attendance of 72,500 was boosted by performances by several Christian music groups, and by extensive seating on the field. There were as many as 30,000 people outside, watching the event on screens around the stadium. *
Toronto Blue Jays The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it i ...
: A crowd of 52,268 attended game five of the 1992 World Series, which Toronto lost 7–2 to the Atlanta Braves. The smallest crowd for a Jays game occurred in April 2010, when 10,314 watched Toronto win 8–1 against the Kansas City Royals. *
Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football, LCF, links=no) is a professional sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains ...
: 54,088 packed SkyDome to watch the 77th Grey Cup, 1989 Grey Cup Game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. *
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
: The 1991 Eastern Division Final played against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers drew a crowd of 50,386. The smallest crowd for an Argonauts game occurred on July 13, 2001, when 11,041 people watched Toronto lose 30–16 against Winnipeg *
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
: 55,799 fans filled the Rogers Centre to see the
Buffalo Bills The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
defeat the Dallas Cowboys 9–7 in an American Bowl exhibition game on August 12, 1995. *
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA), ...
: A March 24, 1996, game against the Chicago Bulls drew a crowd of 36,131. For this game, the basketball venue was reconfigured to accommodate more fans due to the popularity of the visiting team, which basketball superstar Michael Jordan played for during this time. The expansion Raptors handed the record-setting Bulls one of their ten defeats that season, winning 109–108. *Association football, Soccer: A July 31, 2004, soccer game between Celtic F.C. and A.S. Roma drew 50,158. *Mixed martial arts: UFC 129 sold 55,000 tickets for the highest single-day event gate in the stadium's history and set new world records for the sport. *
Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football, LCF, links=no) is a professional sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains ...
: Packed in 53,208 into the stadium for the 100th Grey Cup between the
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
and the Calgary Stampeders


Timeline

*1986 – October 3 – SkyDome's ground is broken. *1987 – June 3 – The stadium is officially named "SkyDome". *1989 – June 2 – Dress rehearsal for opening ceremony, family/friends of volunteer performers invited to attend. First unofficial "Wave (audience), wave" performed at SkyDome. *1989 – June 3 – SkyDome officially opens, hosting a live opening night gala. *1989 – June 5 – SkyDome plays host to its first Toronto Blue Jays, Blue Jays game. The Jays lose 5–3 to the Milwaukee Brewers. *1989 – June 5 – Fred McGriff hits the first home run at SkyDome. *1989 – June 7 – John Cerutti records the first Blue Jays win at SkyDome, beating the Brewers 4–2. *1989 – June 8 – Rod Stewart performs the first concert at SkyDome. *1989 – July 12 – The stadium plays host to its first Toronto Argonauts, Argonauts game. *1989 – July 17 – First Doubleheader at Skydome and the Jays win both games beating Angels. *1989 – Jose Canseco hits a home run into the fifth deck of SkyDome, off Toronto Blue Jays' pitcher Mike Flanagan (baseball), Mike Flanagan. It is an estimated shot, although one journalist estimated it to be at least 500 feet. *1989 - November 5 - Rest of the World defeats West Indies by 11 runs in longest game (Cricket) hosted by SkyDome *1989 – November 26 - The Saskatchewan Roughriders defeat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 43–40 in the 77th Grey Cup. *1990 – April 1 – WrestleMania VI saw the then SkyDome attendance record of 67,678. *1990 – The Major League Baseball, MLB single season attendance record is broken with 58 sellouts and a season total crowd of 3,885,284. *1991 – July 9 – The stadium is the host of the 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, MLB All-Star Game. *1992 – The Calgary Stampeders defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 24–10 in the 80th Grey Cup. *1992 – The first World Series game outside the United States is played at SkyDome, as the Blue Jays host the Atlanta Braves in game three of the 1992 World Series. *1993 – October 23 – The Blue Jays win their second straight World Series championship when Toronto outfielder Joe Carter hits a walk-off home run against Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams. *1995 – June 22 – During a game against the Milwaukee Brewers, two acoustic panels fall off the inner ceiling in the seventh inning, injuring seven fans. The game is not stopped. *1995 – July 9 – A worker dies when installing lights for a computer show (falling ) *1998 – November – Several dignitaries, including Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien, honour the visiting South African President of South Africa, president Nelson Mandela. *1998 – November – SkyDome files for bankruptcy protection. *1998 – SkyDome is purchased out of bankruptcy by Sportsco. *2001 – April 12 – A scheduled Blue Jays' game against the Kansas City Royals is cancelled due to the retractable roof jamming during a test run, damaging the roof and sending debris crashing to the field below. *2001 – August 3 – The retractable roof is ordered closed in the third inning of a Toronto Blue Jays' game against the Baltimore Orioles at the request of home plate Umpire (baseball), umpire Tim Welke, as a swarm of thousands of aphids descends on SkyDome. *2001 – Oct 5 – The second doubleheader at SkyDome and the Jays win both games again beating Cleveland Indians. *2002 – March 17 – WrestleMania X8 sets the SkyDome attendance record of 68,237. *2005 – February 2 –
Rogers Communications Rogers Communications Inc. is a Telecommunications in Canada, Canadian communications and media company operating primarily in the fields of mobile phone operator, wireless communications, cable television, telephony and Internet access, Intern ...
buys the stadium and renames it Rogers Centre. *2007 – November 25 – Rogers Centre plays host to the 95th Grey Cup, the first in Toronto in 15 years. The Saskatchewan Roughriders defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23–19 in the game. *2008 – August 14 – Rogers Centre plays host to a pre-season
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
game between the
Buffalo Bills The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
and Pittsburgh Steelers, the first of a five-year lease deal that sees Bills Toronto Series, the Bills playing occasional home games in Toronto. *2011 – April 30 – Rogers Centre holds its first Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC event, UFC 129. It is the first to be held in a stadium and was the biggest Mixed martial arts, MMA event in North America at that time. *2011 – June 25 – Rogers Centre successfully holds the first International Indian Film Academy Awards event in North America. *2012 – November 25 – The
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
defeat the Calgary Stampeders in the 100th Grey Cup 35–22. Johnny Reid headlined a special Kick-Off Show, and half time performers include internationally renowned Canadian singers Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Marianas Trench (band), Marianas Trench, and Gordon Lightfoot. *2015 – July 10 – Rogers Centre holds 2015 Pan American Games opening ceremony, the opening ceremony of the 2015 Pan American Games. *2015 – July 26 – Rogers Centre holds 2015 Pan American Games closing ceremony, the closing ceremony of the 2015 Pan American Games. *2016 – October 4 – Rogers Centre opens its roof for the first time in Blue Jays postseason history during the 2016 American League Wild Card Game, American League Wild Card Game against the Baltimore Orioles. *2018 – April 16 – A scheduled Blue Jays' game against the Kansas City Royals is cancelled due to the retractable roof having a hole as a result of the mid-April 2018 ice storm. *2018 – April 17 – The third doubleheader in Blue Jays history at Rogers Centre and the Blue Jays would remain unbeaten in doubleheaders at Rogers Centre as they beat Royals 11–3 in Game 1 and 5–4 in Game 2. *2020–21 – The Blue Jays are forced to relocate their home games to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York and TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida on a temporary basis for the 2020 Toronto Blue Jays season, 2020 season and the start of the following season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Canada–United States border. *2021 – July 30 – The first Blue Jays game back at Rogers Centre since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic against the Kansas City Royals.


Facts and figures


Baseball firsts


Opening Day (June 5, 1989)

Reference: #RetrosheetRef, Retrosheet: Skydome [''sic''] firsts


Batting


Pitching


Stadium-related

*The stadium roof has a patent, preventing its design from being easily copied: U.S. Patent #4676033. The patent was officially filed on May 1, 1986 and published June 30, 1987, to dome designers, architect
Rod Robbie Roderick "Rod" George Robbie, (September 15, 1928 – January 4, 2012) was a British-born Canadian architect and planner. He was known for his design of the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67 and Toronto's Rogers Centre (SkyDome). Biography and p ...
and structural engineer Michael Allen. *The original mascot of the stadium was a turtle by the name of ''Domer''. Domer has not been widely used since the mid-1990s, although he did make a return on June 6, 2014, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Rogers Centre. *When the retractable roof is open, people standing on the observation deck of the nearby
CN Tower The CN Tower (french: Tour CN) is a concrete Interior of the Pantheon dome, seen from beneath. The concrete for the coffered dome was laid on moulds, mounted on temporary scaffolding. Concrete is a composite material A composite ...

CN Tower
can look down on the field. *Over 50 million people have visited SkyDome/Rogers Centre. *When the roof is open, 91 percent of the seats and 100 percent of the field is open to the sky, covering an area of . *The roof weighs 11,000 tons and is held together by 250,000 bolts. *The stadium's inward-looking hotel rooms have regular two-way windows, yielding instances of what some could consider indecent exposure and leading to nicknames such as "SexDome" and "Exhibitionist Stadium". When SkyDome first opened, a couple engaging in sexual intercourse was televised on the scoreboard Jumbotron during a baseball game, thanks to illumination from stadium lighting despite the room's lights being off. Days later, a man was caught masturbating during a game in full view of the packed stands. The man, later tracked down by a ''Sports Illustrated'' reporter, calmly said, "I thought they were one-way windows." Patrons now have to sign contracts stipulating they will not perform any lewd acts within view of the stadium. The last reported such instance occurred in 1996. Occasionally, broadcasts will Kiss cam, zoom into humorous instances from these hotel rooms, such as a pillow fight during the 1992 World Series. *When the stadium first opened, the Toronto Transit Commission was worried about the challenge of moving the large crowds. As a way to streamline the entry to the subway and to encourage public transit use to the stadium, all tickets for the first 30 days also worked as a Toronto Transit Commission fares, Metropass, which was the commission's monthly pass. *The stadium corporation has been requested to help in the planning of other venues from the U.S., Netherlands, England, Australia, New Zealand, to Singapore, China and Germany ''(Source: Rogers Centre Press release)''. *It was the most expensive stadium in both the
Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football, LCF, links=no) is a professional sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains ...
and
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leagu ...
, constructed at a price of C$570 million (C$ in dollars). This record was passed by the Yankee Stadium, New Yankee Stadium at a cost of US$1.5 billion. If Montreal's
Olympic Stadium ''Olympic Stadium'' is the name usually given to the main stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or complete ...

Olympic Stadium
(which was formerly the home field of the Montreal Expos, Expos, only used for CFL playoff games since the late 2000s and MLS Cup Playoffs, MLS playoff games since the mid-2010s) were counted, it would take the title, with a 1976 cost of C$1.6 billion (C$ in dollars). *Because of the orientation of the baseball playing field at Rogers Centre, when a player is at bat, the direction he is facing looks farther to the west than at any other Major League Baseball park. *Rogers Centre has hosted regular-season games of five of the six major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada throughout the stadium's history; all but a National Hockey League (NHL) game, despite the
Toronto Maple Leafs The Toronto Maple Leafs (officially the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club and often referred to as the Leafs) are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Atlantic Divi ...
being in the NHL.


See also

*List of Australian Football League grounds *List of Canadian Football League stadiums *List of current National Football League stadiums *List of current Major League Baseball stadiums *List of stadiums in Canada


References

*


Notes


External links

* {{Navboxes , list1= {{s-start-collapsible, header={{s-sta, et {{succession box , title = Home of the
Toronto Blue Jays The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it i ...
, years = 1989 – present , before =
Exhibition Stadium Canadian National Exhibition Stadium (commonly known as Exhibition Stadium or CNE Stadium) was a multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium cou ...

Exhibition Stadium
, after = current {{succession box , title = Home of the
Toronto Argonauts The Toronto Argonauts (officially the Toronto Argonaut Football Club and colloquially known as the Argos) are a professional Canadian football team competing in the CFL East Division, East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in ...
, years = 1989 – 2015 , before =
Exhibition Stadium Canadian National Exhibition Stadium (commonly known as Exhibition Stadium or CNE Stadium) was a multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium cou ...

Exhibition Stadium
, after =
BMO Field BMO Field is an outdoor stadium located at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which is home to Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Constructed on the site of the former Exhibiti ...

BMO Field
{{succession box , title = Home of the
International Bowl , years = 2007 – 2010 , before = first stadium , after = last stadium {{succession box , title = Home of the
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA), ...
, years = 1995 – 1999 , before = first arena , after =
Air Canada Centre Scotiabank Arena, (Canadian French, French: ''Aréna Scotiabank)'' formerly Air Canada Centre (ACC), is a multi-purpose arena located on Bay Street in the South Core, Toronto, South Core district of Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is t ...

Air Canada Centre
{{succession box , title = Host of WrestleMania , years = WrestleMania VI, 1990
WrestleMania X8, 2002 , before = Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Trump Plaza
Astrodome, Reliant Astrodome , after = Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
T-Mobile Park, Safeco Field {{succession box , title = Host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, MLB All-Star Game , years = 1991 , before = Wrigley Field , after = SDCCU Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium {{succession box , title = IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics
Venue , before = Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo
Seville , after = Palau Sant Jordi
Barcelona , years = 1993 IAAF World Indoor Championships, 1993 {{succession box , title = FIBA Basketball World Cup, FIBA World Cup
Final Venue , before = Estadio Luna Park, Luna Park
Buenos Aires , after = O.A.C.A. Olympic Indoor Hall, Olympic Indoor Hall
Athens , years = 1994 FIBA World Championship, 1994 {{succession box , title = Pan American Games
Opening and Closing Ceremonies , before = Estadio Jalisco
Guadalajara , after = Estadio Nacional del Perú, Estadio Nacional
Lima , years = 2015 Pan American Games, 2015 {{end {{Buffalo Bills {{Toronto Argonauts {{Toronto Blue Jays {{Toronto Raptors {{Toronto landmarks {{Grey Cup {{Sport venues in Toronto {{MLB Ballparks {{AMA Supercross venues {{Rogers Communications {{IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics venues {{FIBA Basketball World Cup Final venues {{2009 World Baseball Classic Stadiums {{Pan American Games stadiums {{Defunct NFL stadiums {{Former NBA arenas American Bowl venues Sports venues in Toronto Amphitheatres in Canada Baseball venues in Ontario Canadian Football League venues Defunct Canadian football venues Major League Baseball venues Convention centres in Canada Multi-purpose stadiums in Canada Music venues in Toronto Retractable-roof stadiums Rogers Communications Toronto Argonauts Toronto Blue Jays stadiums Toronto Raptors venues Buffalo Bills stadiums Soccer venues in Ontario Australian rules football grounds Former National Basketball Association venues Bills Toronto Series Venues of defunct NCAA bowl games Sports venues completed in 1989 Event venues established in 1989 Indoor track and field venues Venues of the 2015 Pan American Games Pan American Games opening ceremony stadiums Railway Lands 1989 establishments in Ontario American football venues in Canada Canadian football venues in Ontario World Baseball Classic venues