Saturday, May 6, 2023

Stadium... Saturday? (Just for this week)

 As I posted yesterday, I was not in the headspace to do much of anything.. As it is, I just rolled my carcass out of bed not too long ago to have something to eat and make this post.. I feel better than yesterday but depression is a BITCH!


I've covered Exhibition Stadium, or the Canadian Mistake by the Lake. 

Today I'm going to cover the place they moved into partway through the 1989 season, the SkyDome, or as it's called now.. The Rogers Centre (but people still call it SkyDome, or The Dome)

This view is so nice they STILL use it on cards 

So, building a dome in Toronto had been a thought since before they even had the Jays. It was thought of when they lost out to Montreal to host the Olympics in 1976. The location of the stadium would have been where Maple Leaf Stadium was, at the foot of Bathurst St below Lakeshore Drive. Of course, since they were going to use it for the Olympics, it would have been an 80 000-100 000 seat venue. 
Obviously, that didn't come to pass. 
More recent calls came after the 1982 Grey Cup game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos..  (Now Elks) The game was played in a heavy rainstorm that left the field and fans drenched. 
The original design was going to be an air supported dome like BC Place, or the Metrodome.. A few different options were floated as to where they would place it too, between the same site, York University, and other places. Finally, CN Rail sold some of the railway lands for the Dome to be built at its current location.

They kept the roof design simple to not run into the same issues that Olympic Stadium had with their roof. Originally, the Big O's roof was supposed to be retractable, but it never worked properly. 
Other things like ground contamination, archaeological finds, and having to move functioning buildings all complicated the construction of the Dome. Included in the construction were bridges and other pathways to get to the Stadium. An elevated walkway called the SkyWalk was built at the base of the CN Tower to the Dome over the tracks. 
The stadium became the SkyDome as a result of a name the team contest. Other options were the TowerDome, HarbourDome, or The Dome. The winner got lifetime seats.

Originally owned publicly, original numbers showed the place needed to be booked 600 days a year in order to be profitable. in 1994, the stadium was sold to a consortium that included Labatt's brewery. In 1998, the stadium filed for bankruptcy protection.
In 1999, Sportsco bought the stadium out of bankruptcy protection. 

In 2004, Rogers Communications bought the Dome from Sportsco. The deal did not include the hotel, which was sold to Renaissance.
Rogers started refurbishing the stadium almost immediately. 
The Argos had leases that would lock them in place until 2019, but the idea of natural grass going into the staduim and locking it into baseball only caused them to move to BMO field in 2016. 
Over the years there have been different phases of renovations and refurbishments. Most recently, this offseason the Stadium had the wall configuration changed and the addition of multiple social areas. Other things that may be coming would be a change in the roof and renovating the outside facade. 

Courtesy Wikipedia

Other than baseball, the SkyDome has hosted the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Argonauts, A series of games from the Buffalo Bills, Canadian University Football, (the championship game was held here) and the International Bowl from the NCAA was here four times. 

Soccer games have also happened here after the FieldTurf was installed. 

Of course, motorsports and concerts happened here as well. Motorsports not so much now that the FieldTurf is in.. 
The Dome held WrestleMania 6 and X8
The acoustics were poor in the stadium, so concerts moved over to ScotiaBank Arena. 

There have been some instances in the hotel rooms looking over the field of.... Guests getting a little... Frisky??
This lead to the place getting the nicknames of SexDome, or Exhibitionist Stadium. Now hotel guests have to sign a form stating they will not perform lewd acts by the windows. 

So this is my little thing on the Rogers Centre.. You might be interested to know one more thing.. Ted Rogers, the owner of Rogers Communication before his death, was going to call the Stadium Rogers SkyDome, but a pencil pushing subordinate talked him out of it stating "People would just call it SkyDome"
Well.... He's right... But people call it that regardless..

Apologies for this being a day late. I appreciate the support you all give me. 


  1. Hope things start looking up for you, Mike!

  2. I've actually been to the SkyDome and it was really neat. It's been almost 25 years since I've visited Toronto and I miss it. Hope to go back one day. Thanks for the history lesson here.

    Are there any calls to replace the stadium? It seems fine to me but it was built in the 80s, and it's like the 6th-oldest in MLB now. The Braves have had at least three homes since SkyDome was built, lol.

    Depression sucks, I've had it come and go at the most random times and no one around me gets it when I just shut down after being seemingly fine. Take care of your mentals, Mike.

    1. There have been some calls recently. The refurbishment is meant to get another, I think, 10-20 years from the place.
      As with anywhere, the issue becomes where to build it. I've heard talk of building on the same site like GABP and Citi. Otherwise you're looking at places in the further outskirts of the GTA.

  3. Glad you're feeling better.