A bronze statue of media titan Ted Rogers was unveiled Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto.
The telecommunications pioneer passed away at the age of 75 on Dec. 2, 2008, but not before acquiring the iconic downtown Toronto landmark formerly known as the SkyDome.
During his tenure as head of Rogers Communications Inc., Rogers amassed a media and sports empire, including the Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Centre, City, Omni, 680News, Maclean’s and Chatelaine.
Jays players and executives – including Paul Beeston, Alex Anthopoulos, City Gaston, Jose Bautista and Mark Buehrle – joined his family for the unveiling.
Rogers’ widow Loretta Rogers, now a company director at Rogers Communications, said Ted would be surprised and very flattered that he’s immortalized in bronze.
She said the idea for the statue first came from Rogers Media president Keith Pelley a year ago. Seven months later, the statue is now standing outside Rogers Centre, facing Bremner Boulevard near Gates 5 and 6.
“He was very passionate about everything he did,” Loretta said during the unveiling. “He loved a good joke, a good party and I’m sure he’s looking down on this event today.”
Family, friends and former colleagues attended the 5:30 p.m. unveiling, including Loretta and their children, Lisa, Edward, Melinda and Martha.
The statute is approximately 800 pounds and four-metres tall, including the base. It was created by German-Canadian sculptor Siegfried “Siggy” Puchta, 80, a longtime friend of Rogers.
“Keith said, ‘We need a sculpture.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry, I know one,’” Loretta Rogers said Tuesday.
The city gave its own tribute to Ted Rogers a year after his death, renaming a stretch of Jarvis Street between Bloor and Charles streets Ted Rogers Way.
Rogers is the parent of City, CityNews and CityNews.ca.