Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Overhead view of Rogers Centre with
roof closed, seen from the CN Tower.
|Location||1 Blue Jays Way|
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1J3
|Broke Ground||October 3, 1986|
|Opened||June 5, 1989|
|Owner||Rogers Communications/ Toronto Blue Jays|
|Construction Cost||$570 million CAD|
|Architects||Rod Robbie, Michael Allen|
|Toronto Blue Jays||1989-present|
|2004 CFL Football||53,506|
|Baseball Field Dimensions|
|Foul Lines||328 ft / 100 m|
|Power Alleys||375 ft / 114 m|
|Center Field||400 ft / 122 m|
|Backstop||60 ft / 18 m|
The Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), which opened on June 1, 1989, is a huge ballpark in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower near the shores of Lake Ontario. There is significant public opposition to renaming SkyDome to Rogers Centre. It is the stadium where the Toronto Blue Jays play baseball and the Toronto Argonauts play Canadian football. It is also the home of many special events that require very large venues, including what is believed (in 2003) to be the world's largest book reading, by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, on 24th October 2000. It was one of the first stadiums in the world to have a fully retractable motorized roof. It can seat 53,506 people at a football game. The Rogers Centre also has a hotel.
The original mascot of the stadium was a turtle by the name of Domer.
The Rogers Centre was designed by Rod Robbie and Michael Allan and was constructed by Ellis-Don Construction of Toronto. The stadium's construction lasted just over three years, from April 1986 to May 1989. The approximate cost of construction was $600 million (CAD) which was paid for by the Canadian federal government, Ontario provincial government, and a large consortium of corporations. Though nominally a multi-purpose stadium the primary impetus for its construction was the need for a new baseball stadium for the Blue Jays, who until 1989 played in the wholly inadequate Exhibition Stadium.
The Rogers Centre was the first major team sports arena in North America to sport a fully retractable roof. It is also well known for its enormous Jumbotron scoreboard, at 10 by 35 metres the largest scoreboard in the world. It is the tallest and most massive stadium used by any Major League Baseball team.
In the early 1990s the consortium of companies that had built the stadium had amassed a huge debt and a massive, and controversial, government bail-out was given them. However, by 2004, Rogers Communications, parent company of the Blue Jays, agreed to acquire SkyDome from Sportco International, LP for about $25 million CAD (about $21.24 million USD) which was 1/24 the cost of construction.
On February 2, 2005 Ted Rogers, President and CEO of Rogers Communications, which owns the Blue Jays, announced that his company will significantly increase the Blue Jays team payroll to the tune of $210 million over the next three seasons, starting in 2005 and announced a three-year corporate contract to change the name on SkyDome to the Rogers Centre.
After the purchase, Rogers refurbished the stadium by erecting a new state of the art, integrated scoring and display system along with replacing the Jumbotron. The Rogers Centre features a new artificial playing surface starting in the called FieldTurf.
Usage note: According to the building's owners, correct usage of the former name was SkyDome, without an article. This usage had been more or less accepted outside of Toronto, especially by ESPN, but in everyday conversation 'the Sky Dome' was common. It remains to be seen whether the new name 'Rogers Centre' will replace it in common parlance.
See also: List of Major League Baseball stadiums
More images of the Rogers Centre
The Rogers Centre is visible at left in these photos.
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