With just a few weeks left until the May 10th home opener at BMO Field, the race is on to finish the first phase of Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment's renovations on the sporting facility, being led by PCL and San Francisco-based architecture and planning firm Gensler. The most notable aspect of the first phase is the addition of 8,400 new seats in an enlarged east grandstand featuring new washrooms and concession stands. In the past few months, we have watched this expansion take shape, and now installation of finishing touches including seating is well under way on the expanded east side.

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoNortheast facing view of the new east grandstand at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

With just 500 seats left to install, the grandstand expansion is one of the many elements of the $65 million expansion currently nearing completion, and set to open in time for Toronto FC versus Houston Dynamo.

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoSeating installation on the east grandstand at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

Just below the east grandstand, work continues on new suites and executive boxes. Private boxes and lounges are among the most important revenue tools for any sporting facility, and the addition of 12 new standard suites, 1 large suite, 2 large party suites and 1 large loge suite will be an important part of securing the stadium's financial longevity.  

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoNew suites and private boxes above the existing eastern seating, image by Jack Landau

A new, much larger video board, capable of displaying full HD video, is replacing the video board that previously stood at the north end of the stadium. About a fifth of the screen has been installed as of today.

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoNew video display being installed at the north end of BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

Several other upgrades to the stadium are to be completed over the next three weeks, including work on the new second level concourse around the south end of stadium, creating a single contiguous concourse level. Expansion of the Rogers Club will increase that area's seating capacity by 250, for a total capacity of 750. Guests attending BMO Field in 2015 can expect improved food and beverage and washroom facilities, as well as new standing room areas and two new private clubs. The most important element, the field itself, is in pristine condition, and groundskeepers were in the process of preparing the surface for Major League Soccer's Toronto FC.

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoField level view at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

While much of the project will be complete in time for the upcoming TFC home opener, there are still some elements that won't be ready in time, including a new elevator serving the existing western grandstand.

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoElevator shaft under construction on the west side of the stadium, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor drum118

Mayor John Tory was joined by Tim Leiweke, President & CEO of MLSE, and Bob Hunter, Chief Project Development Officer of MLSE to tour the facility this morning for a look at progress on the expansion.

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoBob Hunter (L), John Tory and Tim Leiwicke (R) at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

The completion of the first phase of construction will bring the stadium's permanent capacity up to 30,000, with temporary seating able to accommodate an additional 10,000 people. Once the Toronto FC's 2015 season concludes, work will begin on the $40 million second phase of the expansion, which will include the addition of a full size canopy covering all seats in the eastern, western and southern grandstands. The second phase will also feature a new lighting and sound system, with completion slated for May 1st, 2016.

BMO Field Renovations, MLSE, TorontoSoutheast facing view of the new east grandstand at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

Renderings of the BMO Field Expansion can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.