The Rogers Centre's interior has been torn to shreds just like the dreams of Blue Jays fans
It hasn't even been six weeks since Toronto Blue Jays fans had their hearts ripped clean out of their chests in a historic collapse of a postseason showing, and now, the Rogers Centre is also having its guts torn out.
The seventh oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball is now undergoing a $300 million patchwork upgrade that will breathe just enough new life into the aging facility to keep it going for another decade or so.
Work entails a massive overhaul for the 1989-built domed behemoth's fan experience, introducing new patio-style seating on the 500 level, and elevated seats next to foul poles with a protruding section that will bring fans closer to the game.
Crews got to work pretty much immediately after the Jays blew an 8-1 lead — falling to the Seattle Mariners in their best-of-three AL Wild Card series — starting with the removal of seats from the rowdy upper deck.
In the weeks since, the entire 500 level's seating has been torn away, and excavators have bitten off large sections of concrete to open up 500 outfield concourse areas. Seating was also removed in the 100 and 200 levels' outfield areas to accommodate a reshaping for sightline improvements.
The most recent set of images from within the former SkyDome shows even more progress on the renovations, though, in the process of removing seats and even sections of the structure itself, the organization has, for no clear reason, decided to leave its 2022 postseason banners in place.
Field surfaces have been removed, showing the exposed concrete floor of the stadium, while the now seatless 500 level looks reminiscent of the centuries-weathered seating in Rome's Coliseum.
Stadium lights cutting through construction dust add a strange cinematic quality to the scene.
Whether part of the fan experience improvement or just a casualty of construction, it seems even the venerable bathroom appliances are also undergoing some upgrades.
Mark, a friend sent me a picture of the renovated bathrooms at the Rogers Centre. I’m curious, what made you decide to update the toilets to one’s with no bowl? pic.twitter.com/beoyEwdaEA— quinn (@LFGBlueJays) November 15, 2022
Fans can expect big changes in time for the start of the 2023 season in April. However, the full upgrade is expected to be carried out over the course of the next two to three off-seasons, and might not be fully complete until 2025.
The latest renovations come hot on the heels of another stadium upgrade during the previous off-season, which added a new 8,000-square-foot screen and scoreboard combination to the ballpark.
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