- April 12, 2023
- Posted by: SportsV
- Categories: Case Studies, Features, Home News, Industry News, News, Press Releases
The Toronto Blue Jays have officially unveiled the completed first phase of Rogers Centre renovations, featuring a brand-new Outfield District set to transform the fan experience at the 34-year-old ballpark. During the 2023 Home Opener presented by TD, fans got their first taste of the five distinct neighbourhoods and new social spaces.
Mark Shapiro, President & CEO, Toronto Blue Jays, was joined by Edward Rogers, Chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and Chair of Rogers and Tony Staffieri, President and CEO, Rogers, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 6 to reveal the largest-scale infrastructure project since Rogers Centre opened in 1989. The new Outfield District is part of a multi-year $300 million privately funded renovation that will be completed between 2024 and 2025.
We have the unique privilege of representing a dynamic city and have reflected that energy in the reimagined ballpark. We are extremely excited to debut these spaces to both lifelong and new Blue Jays fans.
Rogers Centre is home to Canada’s baseball team, and I’m delighted to see the first phase of this renovation project come to life for Blue Jays fans. We’re proud of the team and we’re proud to invest in the ballpark, a landmark in the heart of downtown Toronto.
We’re deeply committed to supporting the team and to delivering the best fan experience both on and off the field. These renovations will bring the heart of the city into the ballpark and create a sense of community for fans attending the game.
The Blue Jays began the first phase of renovation construction on October 14, 2022, with PCL Construction. The structural demolition took 35 days and approximately 21,000 worker hours, with the new build beginning on November 14, 2022.
The result is a dramatically different Rogers Centre experience, immediately noticeable when fans enter the ballpark. Designed with Populous, the new Outfield District – available to every fan with a game ticket – features social spaces to gather with friends and get closer to the action; live entertainment off the field; and food and beverage menus that reflect the city of Toronto.
Ben Naudet, Populous project designer for the Rogers Centre Outfield District, said:
We’ve worked to completely transform the stadium into a ballpark that features the latest amenities for a wide range of fans and provides best-in-class facilities for players and their families. We couldn’t be more excited with the design and functional changes made to modernise the fan experience and build a great ballpark.
Derek Sommers, Populous associate principal, added:
The dynamics for how fans experience a game, and their expectations for different options, are evolving quickly. We designed everything in the Rogers Centre Outfield District with this in mind, fostering more of a social, dynamic atmosphere.
ALSD International 2023 is being hosted at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, October 9-10. Optimising revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions is the key focus of this industry-leading event, with architecture & design, fan experience, hospitality, premium seating sales & service, sustainability and technology taking centre stage. Populous was a main sponsor of ALSD International 2022, hosted at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
- Corona Rooftop Patio (500L right field) – this rooftop patio oasis is the new place to be; nestled in Toronto’s iconic skyline, fans can gather with friends while enjoying live music beneath the CN Tower
- Menu highlights: everything fans want in a summer patio menu, headlined by the full Corona family of products including Corona Sunbrew 0.0% and Corona Tropical, and a specialty Corona Sunshine cocktail
- Plus, signature patio drinks such as Frozen Margarita and Foul Pole Frosé, and modern takes on ballpark classics, such as Peameal on a Bun and Plant-Based Wurst
- Park Social (500L left field) – a park within the park for fans of all ages, featuring games and comfortable places to hang out while watching the game
- Menu highlights: food truck-inspired eats that will leave fans feeling like a kid in a candy store – ACE’s Souvenir Milkshake, Shaved Ice, Churros, a candy wall, and for the savory fans, Bacon Pepper or Three Cheese Grilled Cheese
- The Stop (100L center field behind the batter’s eye) – your neighbourhood bar to grab a quick drink and bite with friends on the way to your next Outfield District destination; an ode to stadium history in a space originally planned as a transit stop
- Menu highlights: inspired by diverse, easy-to-grab eats from across Toronto’s subway lines, including Jamaican Beef Patty, Bánh Mì Sandwich, and Rice Bowl. Specialty cocktails include Ball Four Blood Orange Mule, Gold Glove Dark & Stormy, Touch ‘Em All Joe Aperol Spritz, and Cold Brew Martini.
- The Catch Bar (100L right field above the visitors’ bullpen) – the place to see and be seen; grab a cocktail and perch above the visitors’ bullpen with unprecedented views to catch all the action up close
- Menu highlights: bespoke handcrafted cocktails, including 5-4-3 Lemonade, Walk-Up Music Watermelon Margarita, and Blue Jays Bramble, plus three favourite cocktails from The Keg – The Keg Caesar, Gin Basil Lemonade, and the classic Mojito. Trendy food bites to pair with cocktails, such as Cubano Panini, Pressed Smoked Meat Sandwich, Mac & Cheese, and Pretzel Bites.
- WestJet Flight Deck (200L center field) – the place fans know (and love!) has a refresh with retro arcade games and the same great vibe
- Group tickets available for first two rows; remaining space is general admission
- Menu highlights: a wide selection of domestic, international, premium, and craft beer, plus cocktails such as Dug Out Sangria and OK Blue Jays Rum Punch. Brewery-style menu to compliment with Applewood Smoked Brisket Nacho, 12-hour Smoked Brisket Sandwich, and Jerk Chicken Nachos.
New Social Spaces
- Schneiders Porch (200L right field corner) – this open-air porch has epic views of right field as well as one-of-a-kind hot dog culinary creations and direct bar access, so you don’t miss a minute of the action
- Group tickets available for front row; remaining space is general admission
- Menu highlights: one-of-a-kind Schneiders hot dog culinary creations, including Signature Poutine Hot Dog and Canadian Caesar Hot Dog
- Rogers Landing (right field corner beside the visitors’ bullpen) – bring your glove to this open-air home run landing pad, with uninterrupted front-row views of the outfield and visitors’ bullpen
- Group tickets available for front row; remaining space is general admission
- Bleacher Seating (100L bowl behind the visitors’ bullpen) – calling all hardcore fans… watch opposing pitchers in these retro-style bleachers directly behind the visitors’ bullpen
- Left and Right Field Balconies (100L concourse outfield corners overlooking the home and visitors’ bullpens respectively) – prime bullpen views await to watch pitchers warm up while taking in the action over left and right field
- Drink Rails (throughout ballpark) – grab a drink and post-up at a new spot every inning, with countless options around the concourse
Additional Completed Projects
- Raised Bullpens (left and right field) – bringing fans closer to the action to cheer on their Blue Jays pitchers
- Player Weight Room (field level) – 5,000 square foot best-in-class facility to help players prepare, compete, and recover
- Players’ Family Spaces (field level) – dedicated kids’ room and spouses’ lounge to support the team behind the Blue Jays team
- Staff Spaces (100L) – overhauled game day staff facilities to support more than 1,000 staff who are essential to the Blue Jays fan experience
Additional New Concessions & Innovation
- Tap N Go (section 104) is a new automated market to speed up service, where fans tap payment on entry, select their food and beverage items, and are automatically charged on exit
- Walk Thru Bru (sections 125 and 519) are self-serve beverage-focused concessions so fans can spend more time enjoying the game
- Oppo Taco (section 137) serving signature tacos and frozen margaritas
- Kofta Bowls & Wraps (section 134) with chicken or plant-based beef options
- Mary Brown’s Chicken is back with a new concession in section 511 (in addition to section 134), adding Tater Poutine to their menu of fresh-made Chicken Sandwiches and Tenders
Additional information on the Rogers Centre renovations can be found online at: bluejays.com/renovation.
Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event and 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).
ALSD International 2023 will take place at Etihad Stadium this October, with venue tours complimenting the high-level conference, exhibition and networking events. This year’s edition will also feature a 1-day Tech Symposium, and a 2-day Fan Experience breakout being delivered by IIFX.
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