With the Blue Jays the only remaining permanent tenants, Toronto’s Rogers Centre is making a transition from a multipurpose stadium to a true ballpark.
On Thursday, the team announced a $300 million, privately funded renovation project aimed at modernizing fan experience and enhancing player facilities.
It’s the first large-scale renovation in the building’s 33-year history.
“The largest focus [is] modernizing fan experience,” said Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro. “Taking a 1980s perspective of what an experience was and turning that into a 2020s [notion] and beyond of what a compelling fan experience should be in our modern sports entertainment landscape.”
The first phase of the project — expected to be completed in time for Opening Day 2023 — will prioritize social spaces in the 100, 200, and 500 levels, allowing fans to move around, socialize, and access different views during the game.
The team also plans to raise the bullpens and move 100-level seating closer to the field.
For the team itself, the Jays will add a 5,000-square-foot weight room, a players’ family room, and a staff locker room.
Phase 2 of the renovations — expected to be ready in time for the 2024 season — will overhaul the 100-level infield seating and upgrade other player facilities, including clubhouses.
“This renovation to Rogers Centre will deliver an enhanced ballpark experience for fans of Canada’s team,” said Edward Rogers, chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rogers Communications board.