Populous-designed Rogers Centre exotic spaces



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In a day that will go down in club history, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Toronto Blue Jays officially unveiled the completed first phase of Rogers Centre (in Toronto, Canada) renovations, featuring a brand-new Outfield District that will transform the fan experience at the 34-year-old ballpark.

‘Populous and Toronto Blue Jays’ stated that the Blue Jays fans can enjoy the spaces with five distinct neighborhoods and many additional new social spaces, available to everyone with a game ticket.

The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the American League East division. Since 1989, the team has played its home games primarily at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto, Canada.

The 49,286-capacity Rogers Centre is a multipurpose retractable roof stadium in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated at the base of the CN Tower near the Northern shore of Lake Ontario. Opened in 1989 on the former Railway Lands, it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Mark Shapiro, President-cum-head honcho, Toronto Blue Jays, was joined by Edward Rogers, Chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and Chair of Rogers and Tony Staffieri, President-cum-head honcho, Rogers, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reveal the largest-scale infrastructure project since the Rogers Centre opened in 1989. The new Outfield District is part of a multiyear $300 million privately-funded renovation that will be completed between 2024 and 2025.

Rogers Communications Inc. is a Canadian communications and media company operating primarily in the fields of wireless communications, cable television, telephony, and Internet, with significant additional telecommunications and mass media assets. Rogers has its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario.

Stated Shapiro, “We have the unique privilege of representing a dynamic City and have reflected that energy in the reimagined ballpark. We are extremely excited to debut these spaces to both lifelong and new Blue Jays fans.”

‘Populous and Toronto Blue Jays’ further stated that the result is a dramatically different Rogers Centre experience, immediately noticeable when fans enter the ballpark. Designed with the celebrated design firm Populous, the new Outfield District -available to every fan with a game ticket – features social spaces to gather with friends and get closer to the action, live entertainment off the field and food and beverage menus that reflect the City of Toronto.

Stated Ben Naudet, Populous Project Designer for the Rogers Centre Outfield District, “We’ve worked to completely transform the stadium into a ballpark that features the latest amenities for a wide range of fans and provides best-in-class facilities for players and their families. We couldn’t be more excited with the design and functional changes made to modernize the fan experience and build a great ballpark.”

Added Rogers, “The Rogers Centre is home to Canada’s baseball team, and I’m delighted to see the first phase of this renovation project come to life for the Blue Jays fans. We’re proud of the team and we’re proud to invest in the ballpark, a landmark in the heart of downtown Toronto.”

Said Staffieri, “We’re deeply committed to supporting the team and to delivering the best fan experience both on and off the field. These renovations will bring the heart of the City into the ballpark and create a sense of community for fans attending the game.”

The Blue Jays began the first phase of renovation construction on October 14th, 2022 with PCL Construction. The structural demolition took 35 days and approximately 21,000 worker hours, with the new build beginning on November 14th, 2022.

Stated Derek Sommers, Populous Associate Principal, “The dynamics for how fans experience a game, and their expectations for different options, are evolving quickly. We designed everything in the Rogers Centre Outfield District with this in mind, fostering more of a social, dynamic atmosphere.”
 

Five Outfield Neighborhoods

  • Corona Rooftop Patio (500L right field) – this rooftop patio oasis is the new place to be; nestled in Toronto’s iconic skyline, fans can gather with friends while enjoying live music beneath the CN Tower and a Summer patio menu;
  • Park Social (500L left field) – a park within the park for fans of all ages, featuring games, food truck-style bites and comfortable places to hang out while watching the game;
  • The Stop (100L center field behind the batter’s eye) – your neighborhood bar to grab a quick drink and bite with friends on the way to the next Outfield District destination – an ode to stadium history in a space originally planned as a transit stop;
  • The Catch Bar (100L right field above the visitors’ bullpen) – the place to see and be seen, grab a cocktail and perch above the visitors’ bullpen with unprecedented views to catch all the action up close; and
  • WestJet Flight Deck (200L center field) – the place fans know (and love!) has a refresh with retro arcade games, brewery-style menu and the same great vibe.

 

New Social Spaces

  • Schneiders Porch (200L right field corner) – this open-air porch has epic views of the right field as well as one-of-a-kind hot dog culinary creations and direct bar access, so one doesn’t miss a minute of the action;
  • Rogers Landing (right field corner beside the visitors’ bullpen) – bring your glove to this open-air home run landing pad, with uninterrupted front-row views of the outfield and visitors’ bullpen;
  • Bleacher Seating (100L bowl behind the visitors’ bullpen) – calling all hardcore fans… watch opposing pitchers in these retro-style bleachers directly behind the visitors’ bullpen;
  • Left and Right Field Balconies (100L concourse outfield corners overlooking the home and visitors’ bullpens, respectively) – prime bullpen views await to watch pitchers warm up while taking in the action over the left and right field; and
  • Drink Rails (throughout ballpark) – grab a drink and post-up at a new spot every inning, with countless options around the concourse.

 

Additional Completed Projects

  • Raised Bullpens (left and right field) – bringing fans closer to the action to cheer on their Blue Jays pitchers;
  • Player Weight Room (field level) – 5,000 square foot best-in-class facility to help players prepare, compete and recover;
  • Players’ Family Spaces (field level) – dedicated kids’ room and spouses’ lounge to support the team behind the Blue Jays team; and
  • Staff Spaces (100L) – overhauled gameday staff facilities to support more than 1,000 staff that is essential to the Blue Jays fan experience.

 

Additional New Innovation

  • Tap N Go (Section 104) is a new automated market to speed up service, where fans tap payment on entry, select their food and beverage items and are automatically charged on exit; and
  • Walk Thru Bru (Sections 125 and 519) are self-serve beverage-focused concessions so fans can spend more time enjoying the game.

 
Kansas City (US)-based Populous, legally Populous Holdings, Inc., is a global architectural and design practice specializing in sports facilities, arenas and convention centers, as well as the planning and design of major special events.

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