First phase of Rogers Centre renovations well underway. Here’s what the progress looks like

CityNews’ Sports Reporter Lindsay Dunn gives fans a look into the multi-million dollar renovations happening inside the Rogers Centre, and how it will change the Blue Jays fans’ experience.

By Lucas Casaletto

The first phase of extensive renovations at Rogers Centre in Toronto is underway, as the tear-down has resulted in many impressive changes, including a new bar space, outfield seating and a “park within the park.”

In July, the Toronto Blue Jays unveiled the full-scale, $300-million renovation at the Rogers Centre designed to transform the 33-year-old stadium into a ballpark.

The new projects are going to be phased over the coming two-to-three offseasons and focus solely on the interior of the dome, including the 100-level and 200-level outfield, 500-level and 100-level infield, and field level. The upgrades do not include the exterior, turf field or retractable roof.

On Tuesday, the Blue Jays provided yet another sneak peek into the upgrades, announcing that “the outfield neighbourhoods” are complete. This includes a new section called “The Catch Bar” and “The Spot,” where fans can grab a quick drink before or during the game. The West-Jet Flight Deck has also been fully renovated, fresh with a “Corona Rooftop Patio” with impressive views of the neighbouring CN Tower.

Finally, there is another updated section of the stadium called “Park Social,” which the organization called “a park within the park” for a comfortable hangout.

Among the biggest changes by the Blue Jays is higher walls in left and right field. The visitors’ bullpen in right field will be elevated, similar to the Blue Jays’ home bullpen, with deck areas in the stands above. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi notes that there will also be a “batting eye” in centre field with the newly-installed bar in stands behind it.

All of the seats in the 500 Level are gone, with only one section of new seats partially installed. Stadium seats are also being upgraded along with the stadium seating capacity, which is being reduced by roughly 7 per cent. There will be bigger seating in the 500 Level, which will be dark blue instead of the previously lighter-coloured blue seats. And for anyone interested in baseball history, the old seats are not for sale.

What’s new for the 2023 season at Rogers Centre

The Blue Jays say these enhancements are expected to be ready in time for Opening Day 2023.

The project intends to buy the Blue Jays for 10-15 years to envision a longer-term solution for the aging, ancient building.

100-level and 200-level outfield

  • Creation of multiple new social spaces with patios, drink rails, bars, and viewing platforms.
  • Raised bullpens surrounded by traditional and new bleacher seats, as well as social viewing areas that look into the bullpens to increase fan and player interaction.
  • 100L seats were brought forward to the new outfield walls to bring fans closer to the game.

500 level

  • Two new social decks in right and left field
  • Replacing every 500L seat from the originals when the building opened

Field Level

  • Players’ family room
  • 5,000 square foot weight room
  • Staff locker rooms

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