Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred recently discussed the condition of the Rogers Centre, a ballpark that could targeted for renovations by the Toronto Blue Jays.
The retractable-roof Rogers Centre originally opened as the SkyDome in 1989, and remains a functional facility. However, it has been surpassed in terms of fan amenities by newer ballparks, a factor that has prompted considerable discussion over how the Blue Jays will address its condition down the road.
Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro has publicly discussed the team’s consideration of a renovation, but no plans have been finalized to this point. During a visit to Toronto this week, Manfred addressed the current status of the Rogers Centre. He noted that the ballpark is still functional, but indicated that updates to some areas of the facility would make it more economically viable going forward. More from The Toronto Star:
“The stadium, when it was built, was a great building, one of our best,” Manfred said. “Given the passage of time, the building is probably out of date in terms of amenities that are available in many of our ballparks. So many stadiums have millennial areas that have been built and become popular more recently.
“While the building is fundamentally sound, I think it needs an update to make it as economically viable as possible. That’s something that ownership and Mark have to work through, in terms of the size of the investment. I do know that there’s limited premium seating in this facility. I think in a market as robust as Toronto, if it were my club I’d probably want a lot more.”
Time will tell what the Blue Jays target for updates in a Rogers Centre renovation, but social spaces could be a priority, given the influx of teams incorporating them into ballpark improvements. There could also be other initiatives aimed at creating a more intimate baseball experience. Rogers Centre was originally designed to host the Blue Jays and the Toronto Argonauts (Canadian Football League), but the Argonauts have not played there in several years, as they moved into an expanded BMO Field in 2016.
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