Populous touch to Rogers Centre rejig plans



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Toronto's Rogers Centre renovation Image: Populous & Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays (Canada) unveiled on July 28th the scope and first renderings of a multiyear $300 million privately-funded renovation that will transform Rogers Centre from a stadium into a ballpark through a series of projects focused on modernizing the fan experience and building world-class player facilities.

The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto, Canada. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League East division.

The 53,506-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).

‘Populous/Toronto Blue Jays’ quoted Mark Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Toronto Blue Jays, as stating, “We are committed to building a sustainable championship organization for years to come, and this renovation to Rogers Centre will give new and lifelong Blue Jays fans a ballpark where they can proudly cheer on their team. This project would not be possible without the support of Edward Rogers, Tony Staffieri and our Rogers ownership group, who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Blue Jays, both in fielding the best team to win championships, as well as in the infrastructure needed to create a modern ballpark for our fans and players.”

Said Edward Rogers, Chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and Chair of the Board, Rogers Communications, “This renovation to Rogers Centre will deliver an enhanced ballpark experience for fans of Canada’s team so they can gather to cheer on the Blue Jays and make cherished memories with family and friends, as they have for the last 33 years. We proudly support the efforts of Mark and the entire Blue Jays leadership team as they embark on this project, and we have the utmost confidence in their ability to build both a winning team on the field and a modern ballpark that meets the evolving needs of our passionate Blue Jays fans.”

‘Populous/Toronto Blue Jays’ stated that Rogers Centre was conceptualized as a multipurpose stadium when it opened in 1989 and has not undergone a large-scale renovation in its 33-year history. The scope of this project will address the most important challenges with the current stadium, while not rushing the necessary long-term work needed to maintain the ballpark for future generations of fans.

After a successful partnership on the Blue Jays Player Development Complex, the club is once again working with industry-leading Populous on the architectural design.

Kansas City (US)-based Populous 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. Populous was created through a management buyout in January 2009, becoming independently-owned and operated.

To ensure the renovation’s scope reflects Blue Jays fan desires, the organization completed important research to influence designs, including direct fan feedback and market research, visiting other facilities and ballparks, learnings from the Player Development Complex usage and Populous partnership for best-in-class input.

Put in Pat Tangen, Principal and Senior Architect, Populous, “This innovative transformation of Rogers Centre reimagines a modern, baseball-centric fan experience. A smart, efficient and meaningful upgrade that will honor the venue, these renovations will introduce a wide variety of interactive viewing opportunities that draw fans into the action no matter their location in the ballpark.”

A series of projects are phased over the coming two to three offseasons, focused on the interior of the building, including the 100L and 200L outfield, 500L, 100L infield and field level (for clarity, the exterior of the building, turf field modification and the roof are not in the current scope). Projects will be completed during the offseason as to not impact baseball activity in-season.
 

2022-2023 offseason projects, completed for Opening Day 2023

  • 100 level and 200 level outfield
    • Creation of multiple new social spaces with patios, drink rails, bars, and viewing platforms;
    • Raised bullpens surrounded by traditional and new bleacher seats, as well as social viewing areas that look into the bullpens to increase fan and player interaction; and
    • 100L seats brought forward to the new outfield walls to brings fans closer to the game.
  • 500 level
    • Two new social decks in the right and left field; and
    • Replacing every 500L seat from the originals when the building opened.
  • Field level
    • Players’ family room;
    • 5,000 sq. ft. weight room; and
    • Staff locker rooms.

 

2023-2024 season projects *designs and full scope in progress

  • 100 level infield;
  • Field level premium clubs and social spaces; and
  • Clubhouses and player facilities.

 
Design renderings for the 2022 offseason projects are available in the electronic media kit. The organization is currently working through future project designs to be shared at a later date.

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