Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays have made good progress with the $300 million privately funded renovation that will transform Rogers Centre from a stadium into a ballpark.
The Blue Jays are undertaking a series of projects focused on modernising the fan experience by bringing fans closer to the action, introducing unique social spaces and amenities and building world-class player facilities.
Demolition work began on October 14 with 500L seat removal (all to be replaced for the 2023 season), followed by structural demolition of the outfield beginning on October 20.
The demolition was completed last week (November 18), culminating in 35 days of work and approximately 21,000 worker hours.
An average of about 110 workers have been on site daily, six days per week, including about 50 workers dedicated to demolition.
2.2 million pounds of materials have been recycled from the stadium, including 1.3 million pounds of concrete and 900,000 pounds of steel and metal.
A 200-tonne crane was used for heavy structural removal, while small machinery was utilized to break up concrete
PCL Construction is the club’s construction partner for the first phase of projects, to be completed before the Blue Jays Home Opener on April 11, 2023
The outfield turf has been protected or removed in certain areas to facilitate construction, while the infield remains accessible to the Blue Jays Field Operations team to continue offseason work
It took approximately one month to remove the 500L seats (around 17,000) and railings (October 14 to November 11).
Two mobile cranes (90 tonne and 50 tonne) were used to bring the seats down from the 500L
New seats will be delivered in January 2023; information on the old 500L seats will be shared when available.
The size of the stadium allows for multiple projects to progress at the same time, so while demolition was being completed, building began the second week of November with concrete poured in the 500L and new structural steel installation.
Rogers Centre was conceptualized as a multi-purpose 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.
A series of projects are phased over the coming two to three off-seasons, 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 roof are not in the current scope).
Projects will be completed during the offseason as to not impact baseball activity in-season.
2022-23 offseason projects, completed for Opening Day 2023
100 level and 200 level outfield
Players’ family room
5,000 sq. ft. weight room
Staff locker rooms
2023-2024 offseason projects *designs and full scope in progress
100 level infield
After a successful partnership on the Blue Jays Player Development Complex, the club is once again working with industry-leading Populous on architectural design.
PSAM editor John Sheehan caught up with Yves De Cocker, Managing Director of PitchTecConcept, who explains how his company bridges the gap between sports organisations and the technology used in the playing surface industry.
The interview covers:
Yves 20+ years industry leading experience in the evolution of hybrid grass, trends he has noticed and some of the notable projects he has been involved with
The key reasons for Yves launching PitchTecConcept
Common mistakes often made with playing surface management
The steps he offers as a bridge between the industry and the end user
Advice to clubs looking to maximise their event calendars without compromising on the performance of their playing surface