With the clock ticking down for the Toronto FC's home opener versus FC Dallas at BMO Field tomorrow evening, the finishing touches are being installed for the second phase of renovations at the outdoor sporting venue in Exhibition Place.

BMO Field, MLSE, Gensler, PCL, TorontoBMO Field, image by Jack Landau

Led by tenant Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment, and featuring a design by architects Gensler and construction by PCL Constructors, the expansion's second phase included the addition of three canopies covering the east, south, and west stands, as well as a modular field expansion to support future tenant the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL.

BMO Field, MLSE, Gensler, PCL, TorontoBMO Field viewed from the west stands, image by Jack Landau

13 months after we were provided a preview of the expansion's first phase, we were given the opportunity to visit the sporting facility to see the second phase of work, as construction wraps up on the expanded facility.

In order to accommodate CFL Football, extensive modifications to the south and north grandstands were undertaken, and a 10,000 square foot locker room and training area for the Toronto Argonauts was constructed. The front five rows were removed from the south grandstand, and have been replaced by portable risers for use during TFC matches. The entire north stands were removed and also have been replaced by risers. To convert the stadium to CFL configuration, the temporary risers are removed using a forklift, and the interlocking flooring panels below are removed to reveal football end zones finished in artificial turf.

BMO Field, MLSE, Gensler, PCL, TorontoTemporary risers at the north end of BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

A close up view of the transition between the hybrid playing surface and the artificial turf end zones can be seen below, with the hybrid surface occupying the top half of the photo, and the artificial turf occupying the lower half.

BMO Field, MLSE, Gensler, PCL, TorontoTransition between main playing surface and end zones at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

While sheltering fans from inclement weather, the presence of the three new roof canopies also impacts the amount of natural light that hits the hybrid natural- and artificial turf playing surface. The images above show a high-tech stadium grow lighting system occupying the south half of the pitch, consisting of a series of mobile light rigs that can be moved around the field to create artificial sunlight and help keep the grass healthy. 

BMO Field, MLSE, Gensler, PCL, TorontoGrow lighting system at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

Though the stadium is now only one day away from opening, there are still some minor finishing touches being installed around the facility in advance of tomorrow's game.

BMO Field, MLSE, Gensler, PCL, TorontoCrews working on the finishing touches at BMO Field, image by Jack Landau

BMO Field will see its first action of the year tomorrow evening when the Toronto FC face FC Dallas at the home opener. The stadium is also scheduled to host its first-ever CFL game next month, when the Toronto Argonauts host the Hamilton Tiger Cats at their June 23rd home opener. Other major upcoming events include the 2016 CFL Grey Cup in November, and the Inaugural NHL Centennial Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings on New Years Day 2017.

BMO Field, MLSE, Gensler, PCL, TorontoBMO Field viewed from the northeast corner of field level, image by Jack Landau

Additional information and renderings of the BMO Field Renovations can be found in our dataBase file for the project, 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.