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Rogers Centre, Toronto
A Captivating Ballpark to Catch a Baseball Game
Rogers Centre is to Toronto, what the Fenway Park is to Boston and the Yankees Stadium is to New York.
Opened in 1989, it's an engineering marvel that pioneered the world's first fully retractable roof and many other features you see in newest ballparks.
Rogers Centre (formerly known as SkyDome) is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of the Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Brilliantly located next to the CN Tower - a great Toronto icon, the Centre is a venue for Toronto Blue Jays home games between April and October. It is also just a short walk from the Union Station, city's main hub for transportation.
Inside the Rogers Centre, you will find life-size banners celebrating the 1991 All-Star game and the 1992-1993 World Series Championship. Several Blue Jays' greats also found prominent place in the Blue Jays' Level of Excellence including Roberto Alomar, Pat Gillick, Tony Fernandez, George Bell, Joe Carter, Cito Gaston, Jackie Robinson, Dave Stieb and Tom Cheek.
You can find several artworks by prominent Canadian artists around the Rogers Centre. This includes 'The Audience' by Michael Snow, 'A Tribute to Baseball' by Lutz Haufschild and 'The Art of the Possible' by Mimi Gellman.
The versatile entertainment complex is also suitable for other sports event, live concerts, trade shows, conventions and community events.
Rogers Centre, Toronto - A Fascinating Engineering Marvel
As I said before, the Rogers Centre is an architectural wonder with several amazing feats. With a fully functional retractable roof, it was the first stadium of its kind when it opened in 1989.
Built at an astronomical cost of $100 million, the roof is made up of four panels. The two rectangular middle panels move sideways to stack over the north semi-circular panel which remains stationary. Then the south semi-circular panel moves in a circular motion and fits inside the stack.
Weighing 11,000 tonnes, it takes 20 minutes for the roof to open or close, covering nearly 8 acres. With the roof open, 100% of the field and 91% of the seating area is exposed.
On one summer day, I clicked some pictures of this beautiful Toronto ballpark when its roof was opening for a Blue Jays game from top of the CN Tower.
The roof can rise to a height of 282 ft and can easily accommodate a 31-story building in the center of the field when the roof is closed.
The best thing about the roof is that you never have to worry about a game being delayed or postponed due to rain. But of course, it's nice to enjoy the ball game with open roof.
Another interesting feature is the video board, one of the largest anywhere in the world.
Measuring 110 ft wide by 33 ft high, the video board is large enough to build a home and have a pool in the backyard!
The LED clad video board is just 2 inch thick and is capable of displaying 4.3 trillion colours. It provides lots of interesting information including team's line-ups, player stats and game stats during the match.
The Toronto ballpark is the only ballpark in the world to have a hotel built into it. If you want to sleep as close to the game as possible, book a room at the Renaissance Hotel located right in the stadium. And more amusingly, 70 of its 348 rooms overlook the playing field and offer great view of the ballpark.
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Rogers Centre -
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Rogers Centre, Toronto - Sports Events
In 1992, the Rogers Centre became the first venue outside the US to host the World Series. The 1993 World Series event was also played here and on both occasions the Toronto Blue Jays was the title holder.
In the glory days of Toronto Blue Jays, between opening of the a new stadium and the Blue Jays winning the World Series in 1992 and 1993, the Centre was packed for every game and the Blue Jays tickets were most difficult to get.
The Centre was like a Temple for the Blue Jays fans! They loved to see their team play here. They enjoyed every moment at the stadium.
Consequently, it was the first major league in the history of professional sports to draw more than 4 million fans in a season for three consecutive years.
But what was once a bustling, energetic and tantalizing ballpark, Rogers Centre is no longer scene of jam-packed Blue Jays games.
With a seating capacity of nearly 50,000 for baseball, the average ticket sell is just between 20,000 to 25,000 seats per game depending on the opponent. However, Blue Jays season opener is still a big event with capacity crowd.
But still the fans are very enthusiastic and vocal. They support their team passionately. They dance and sing. Wave their flags excitedly. Let's Go, Blue Jays!
I wish more fans come up for Blue Jays games and cheer for their team, anticipating more victories.
In 1991, the Centre was Host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Few games of 2009 World Baseball Classic were also played here.
The Centre is also home of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. They play their home games at the Rogers Center between June and November.
Additionally, the Centre has also hosted many exhibition and friendly games in different sport events including soccer, cricket, wrestling, NCAA college football and many more.
It is also the main venue of the 2015 Pan American Games (July 10-26, 2015) and will host the opening and closing ceremonies along with numerous sports events.
Rogers Centre, Toronto - Concerts, Performances
Since its opening, over 2000 events have been organized including concerts, trade shows, family shows, circuses, ice shows, conventions, TV shows and much more.
The versatile venue is the largest indoor concert venue in the city and has been scene of numerous sellout concerts and shows by famous performers including U2, Bon Jovi and Madonna.
It has also hosted several religious and political leaders.
Upcoming Events and Concerts at Rogers Centre, Toronto
|Sensation||Sat, June 1, 2013 @8:00PM|
|Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran||Fri, June 14, 2013 @6:30 PM|
|Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran||Sat, June 15, 2013 @6:30 PM|
|Legends Of The Summer: Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z||Wed, July 17, 2013 @8:00 PM|
Rogers Centre Tours
Take a one hour guided tour of the Rogers Centre and discover how the stadium can change configurations from baseball, football and concert modes.
The behind-the-scenes tour allows you to recognize the wonders of the Centre and includes a visit to different levels, a press box, turf and a luxury suite among other stops.
Tour Prices and Details
Seniors (65+): $12
Youth (12 - 17): $12
Children (5 - 11): $10
You can purchase tickets from the tour box office located at lower 100 level, adjacent to Blue Jays shop, north-east side of Rogers Centre. Alternatively, you can buy tickets online from its website.
Tour runs daily on non-event days from 11.00 am, with last tour at 4.00 pm. Call 416-341-2771 to confirm timings.
Rogers Centre, Toronto - Food and Beverages
At the Rogers Centre, you'll find a variety of delicious cuisine reflecting the diverse cultures of Toronto.
There are lots of concession stands and restaurants offering pizza, hot dogs, fries, burgers, popcorn, cotton candy and much more.
But as with other major sport venues, you have to pay ridiculously high price for food and beer.
Rogers Centre, Toronto - Tourist Information
Location: 1 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, M5V 1J1
Transit and Driving Directions:
Take the Yonge-University-Spadina Subway to the Union Station in downtown Toronto. From Union Station - follow the SkyWalk west or walk west on the Front Street.
Hop the GO Transit train or bus to the Union Station in downtown Toronto. From Union Station - follow the SkyWalk west or walk west on the Front Street.
From the South or West - Follow the QEW into Toronto, where it turns into the Gardiner Expressway. Take the Spadina Avenue exit and turn left onto Lower Spadina Ave/Spadina Ave. Take first rigth onto Bremner Blvd.
From the East - Take Highway 401 into Toronto and exit onto the Don Valley Parkway Southbound. As you approach Downtown, Don Valley Pkwy becomes the Gardiner Expressway West. Exit the Gardiner Expressway West at the Spadina Avenue. Turn right onto Spadina Ave. Take first rigth onto Bremner Blvd.
From the North - Take Highway 400 into Toronto, exiting onto Highway 401 West. Continue until you reach Highway 427 southbound. Follow Highway 427 to downtown via the QEW/Gardiner Expressway. Take the Spadina Avenue exit and turn left onto Lower Spadina Ave/Spadina Ave. Take first rigth onto Bremner Blvd.
Parking: There is parking located under the venue. Alternate parking is available north of Rogers Centre along Front Street or south of Rogers Centre along Queen's Quay. Parking at or near the facility can be limited at times, so consider taking public transit.
For more information visit www.rogerscentre.com
More useful and related information
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Toronto Blue Jays
Rogers Centre Events
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Rogers Centre Events Tickets
Toronto Argonauts Schedule