Rogers Centre History
|Rogers Centre is one of the world's
premiere entertainment centres.
|There isn't one bad seat in the house; no matter
the event you watch.
Rogers Centre, formerly known as SkyDome, is one of the most dynamic and versatile entertainment centres in the world. No other venue has the diversity of events that Rogers Centre hosts on an annual basis across over 200 event days. Since its spectacular opening on June 3, 1989, Rogers Centre has achieved the highest honours in the stadium entertainment industry and is a leader in corporate environmental responsibility.
Rogers Centre’s versatility allows it to accommodate a variety of events suited for an arena, a domed stadium and an open-air facility. Since opening to the public, over 2,000 events have been staged with more than 60 million people visiting Rogers Centre - famous the world over for its fully retractable roof. From 1996-1998, the facility received the prestigious "Prime Site of the Year Award" from Facilities Magazine and recently won the Toronto Tourism Award for "Employer of the Year." For four consecutive years, the facility received the "Stadium of the Year Award" voted by Billboard, Amusement Business and Performance Magazine.
Rogers Centre is the home of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club™, World Series Champions in 1992 and 1993, and the Toronto Argonauts Football Team™ who won the Grey Cup in 1991, 1996, 1997 and 2004. From 2008 to 2012, the venue will also host a total of 8 Buffalo Bills football games (NFL).
Rogers Centre's capacity ranges from a few thousand to upwards of 50,000 seated guests for sport events, concerts, family shows, trade shows and conventions. In 1997, the facility hosted a record 302 event days with announced attendance for events and tours of 4,500,000, making it one of the busiest venues in the world. Since 2006, Rogers Centre has opened its doors to over 3.5 million guests on a yearly basis; not including private functions.
Rogers Centre is home to impressive technology including video and ribbon boards located in the north end and around the circumference of the 200 Level. Measuring 110 feet wide by 33 feet high, complete with LED displays – the video board is capable of projecting 4.3 trillion colours.
In February 2005, Rogers Communications Inc. purchased the venue in order to keep the iconic Canadian stadium in Canadian hands. Since that time, undergoing a name change from SkyDome to Rogers Centre, the venue has undergone many renovation and upgrade projects designed to meet the expectations of guests and promoters alike. Guests to Rogers Centre now enjoy an expanded 100 Level concourse area that has been brightened and is more fan-friendly with expanded wheelchair seating and three new eateries reflecting the culture and feel of the city.
In 2007, Rogers Centre unveiled Jays Shop-Stadium Edition; an 8,000 square foot retail space that is a must-see for fans and visitors alike. The new space, located near Gate 5, has an open concept feel with MAJESTIC, NEW ERA and NIKE specific areas. In addition there is a one-of-a-kind hat wall displaying 150 Blue Jays caps. In total, the store has 400+ different caps for sale making it one of the largest selection of caps in one location anywhere in Canada. In addition to team specific merchandise, guests can also purchase Toronto Argonaut, Buffalo Bills and traditional tourist items.
Other features of the venue include luxury suite space perfect for entertaining or corporate meetings, the Rogers Centre Tour Experience, state-of-the-art broadcast facilities, the Renaissance Hotel, Premier Fitness and the world famous Hard Rock Café.
One of the unique signatures of Rogers Centre is the $5 million in artwork commissioned and on display both outside and inside the facility. Canadian artists whose work can be found around Rogers Centre include:
- Michael Snow, who created The Audience; the portrayal of fans which greets guests at the northeast and northwest entrances;
- Lutz Haufschild, who created A Tribute to Baseball depicting great moments in the long, event-filled history of the sport which appears above the southeast and southwest entrances at Gate 5;
- Mimi Gellman’s The Art of the Possible, a sculpture of glass and steel located at the north end of the 100 Level concourse which is a tribute to all of the men and women who built the venue. This sculpture incorporates more than 2,000 signatures of these unsung heroes. Mimi Gellman also decided to commemorate the history of the site and included in the mural are images of some of the artefacts found during excavation, such as musket balls, pottery and bottles from the turn of the century;
- Two other sculptures displayed outside of the facility are Salmon Run by Susan Schelle and Spiral Fountain by Judith Schwarz.
The venue was a breathtaking technological achievement when completed in 1989. It continues to be one of Toronto's top three tourist attractions and a model for architects of domed stadiums currently being built around the world. Rogers Centre has been asked to share information about its architecture, events and business plans with numerous city planners, architects and government officials from the U.S., Netherlands, England, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China and Germany.
Rock stars, entertainers, athletes, religious figures and inspirational leaders have all delighted audiences under the dome. History has been made within these walls with more waiting to be written and experienced. Families and friends have created memories at Rogers Centre lasting a lifetime. Rogers Centre is committed to making sure that not only can you EXPECT MORE, you also GET MORE!
Rogers Centre continues to get better with age and in 2009, the venue celebrates its 20th Anniversary and looks forward to hosting a variety of events as part of a dynamic future.