Rogers Centre Renovations | ?m | ?s | Toronto Blue Jays | Populous

Fervid Corona

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I wonder if they could buy the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Oxford and build a new stadium there. They could probably even have part of it above the train tracks. It would fix the problem of being downtown while still having the SkyDome to play in as it gets built.


Here is a quick paint drawing I threw together to demonstrate a rough location:
UrbanToronto-Rogers-Centre.png
 

Pow Wow

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Are you mixing up Maple Leaf Stadium with Harlan’s Point? The maps show it as pretty clearly on the islands with the Western Gap cutting it off from the mainland:

https://maps.library.utoronto.ca/da...icTOmaps/1902Sankey.G_3524_T61_1902_fullf.jpg
Yes, I was mistaken. I meant Maple Leaf Stadium.

I wonder if they could buy the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Oxford and build a new stadium there. They could probably even have part of it above the train tracks. It would fix the problem of being downtown while still having the SkyDome to play in as it gets built.

That would feel way too hemmed in, and the backdrop would be far too imposing, especially with the adjacent office towers that are proposed and under construction.
 

3Dementia

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I wonder if they could buy the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Oxford and build a new stadium there. They could probably even have part of it above the train tracks. It would fix the problem of being downtown while still having the SkyDome to play in as it gets built.


Here is a quick paint drawing I threw together to demonstrate a rough location:
View attachment 286003

This is a solid idea and I don't see many negative impacts mega projects like Union Park would have (certainly no game day sun issues). The biggest challenges would obviously be bridge/deck engineering and perhaps construction staging given the competing activity that might be underway nearby.

This is a perfect chance to add in a large contribution to decking the rail corridor possibly connecting to the Union Park deck (include parks/amenities on east and west sides of the stadium) ... and some kind of innovative design for a pedestrian/cycle tunnel under the stadium assuming the rail deck dreams continue east and west of this location.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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For those wishing to see a new stadium built in the Port Lands, for the views that such a location would offer with respect to the skyline, such an option is not viable. Why? MLB stadiums tend to have their fields oriented either in a northerly or northeasterly direction, in order to diminish glare from the sun. Were a stadium to be built here, with the objective of having the City skyline as the backdrop, it would have to be built in a westerly or north westerly direction, which isn't feasible, as that would face into the afternoon and evening sun, making it too difficult for the batters to see, not to mention adversely affecting the comfort of the fans. With that known, the Port Lands should be off the table, as an option. If a stadium was to go in here, it wouldn't have the dramatic views that some are envisioning, rather, the field would face somewhere out over the City, east of the Don River. This would be unremarkable as a backdrop, with virtually nothing of interest being visible, thereby greatly diminishing the atmosphere. Even if a prospective stadium in the Port Lands could face toward downtown, the views of the skyline from east of the Financial District, aren't the most flattering vantage points of the City. From downtown, the most dramatic and aesthetically pleasing direction from which to view the skyline is looking northeast from the Islands/lake; which brings to me to my next point.

Unfortunately, this is more of a 'pie in the sky' fantasy, but the most ideal location for a new stadium for the Blue Jays would be on the site of Billy Bishop Airport, facing northeast, either where the airport structures are located, or southeast of that, toward (not on) the edge of the runway that juts out into the inner harbour. This would more or less offer the same kind of views that were historically used in many Toronto postcards, prior to CityPlace, when the CN Tower, SkyDome, and Financial District could be viewed from this sort of vantage, mostly uninterrupted by condos. Below are some examples of what I mean:

\
Source

Abutting the portion of the runway, in the foreground, is where I would love to see a new stadium built. This, more or less, offers a slightly elevated view of what the stadium would have looked onto circa the 1990s.

Source

(Refer to the satellite image, below) The further to the right of this area of Centre Island (as close as possible to the inner harbour), the more unobstructed the views would be toward the CN Tower and the CBD (Central Business District). CityPlace's lacklustre skyline would most only be seen in one's peripheral vision (unless one was sitting on the right side of home plate). Views of the Mirvish/Gehry towers would also supplement what would be one of the greatest, if not the preeminent, backdrop for a stadium in Major League Baseball. Obviously, even if the prospect of building a stadium on the Islands was viable, getting to and from the mainland, and the stadium, would require at least a bridge, in addition to the extant tunnel, to accommodate that many people.

My preferred site for the stadium would be north of the tree line, where the runways join in a point, adjacent to the harbour. Those views (refer to the ensuing images) toward the CN Tower and the City's main cluster of office towers would remain relatively unhindered by future development.

To be honest though. Field orientation is not that much of a big deal as some make it out to be. Sure in the early days of baseball where there was no lighting and games HAD to be played in the daytime there would be consideration of orientation but with the advent of lighting and the ability to play games in the evening the issue has be mostly dealt with, and many stadiums simply deal with odd shadows. The blue Jays for example play virtually all of their games at 1pm when the sun is high in the sky or 7pm when the setting sun has already dipped behind the surrounding towers. To build a stadium in the port lands sight with outfield views of the downtown skyline would require an orientation from NW (certainly difficult as the sun would be directly in the batters eye) to W-SW. The Rogers Centre's orientation is currently very nearly N and that would still work in the Port Lands with the view port being in Left Field


Source


Michael Muraz

Potential ground level views. These photos were taken closer to the channel, however. The location I have in mind would be further south:

Source

Though, evening glare from the South Core towers might pose an issue.

Source

Imagine the views of the lake that one could have from the concourse of a hypothetical stadium, at this location. One could also get incredible views of the inside of the stadium from the CN Tower's main observation deck (where this photo was taken from). The runway portion that juts out into the lake could be removed, thereby expanding the harbour, or that land could be turned into a massive pier or some other park use, tying in with other revitalization plans for the vast amount of open green space at this end of the island.

Source

I'm just curious: What alternative sites could Billy Bishop relocate to? Demolishing the current airport wouldn't be too expensive, given its small scale. Have there ever been serious talks about moving it elsewhere? Its such a waste of prime land. The only building project that I would support here would be a new MLB stadium (perhaps with a few restaurants), with additional tree planting, and a revitalization of the surrounding park land to accommodate fans, before and after games, as well as other visitors to the Islands.

Lastly, I echo the sentiments of those who wish to see the SkyDome preserved and repurposed (what for, I don't know). It is an integral piece of our central skyline, and an engineering marvel of its time. With respect to whatever ends up getting built ― wherever that may be ― an international design competition, bringing together the world's foremost architects, should be strongly considered.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Minor League baseball team used to play in a stadium at the foot of Bathurst St. (Maple Leaf stadium). The Jays could go the historical route and try to return to this site. Though it would involve the loss of Little Norway park, and likely a significant portion of the surrounding waterfront community and Billy Bishop parking lots.
 
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Translude15

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The Toronto Maple Leafs Minor League baseball team used to play in a stadium at the foot of Bathurst St. (Maple Leaf stadium). The Jays could go the historical route and try to return to this site. Though it would involve the loss of Little Norway park, and likely a significant portion of the surrounding waterfront community and Billy Bishop parking lots.

That's not a bad idea. In exchange for Little Norway, the city receives the SkyDome land and can do as it pleases with that and Rail Deck Park. Any agreement is dependent on Rogers and Brookfield footing the bill for redeveloping the Dome land and adding community amenities of course. A ballpark at the foot of Bathurst could also incorporate the Canada Malting silos into the outfield design in some capacity, pending a proper retrofit and refurbishment.
 

ChesterCopperpot

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Isn't the contract for Billy Bishop supposed to run out soon and the city is supposed to reclaim that land? I remember reading something about that. I like the idea of a new stadium there and a new park and entertainment district. They should just hold out at Skydome until then.

2033
 

thefreak

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My location for a stadium would be the eastern half of Ontario place from Lake Shore Blvd down to Echo Beach. I.e. fill in Brigantine Cove. The proximity to Exhibition GO and TTC and not too far from downtown would be a plus IMO.
https://goo.gl/maps/Tdkk5RrnY2x9nJf76
I dont think the public transit connection is good enough. TFC games are a nightmare and have half the attendance. Say what you will about the skydome but it is insanely convenient - 10 minute indoor walk from union station. Something walking distance from union is the most ideal IMO. I don't see whats wrong with keeping it in the current spot. Its location is the envy or sports franchises around the world - I remember reading that something like 50,000 people live within walking distance to the skydome.
 

Neil

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I dont think the public transit connection is good enough. TFC games are a nightmare and have half the attendance. Say what you will about the skydome but it is insanely convenient - 10 minute indoor walk from union station. Something walking distance from union is the most ideal IMO. I don't see whats wrong with keeping it in the current spot. Its location is the envy or sports franchises around the world - I remember reading that something like 50,000 people live within walking distance to the skydome.
Points taken but I don't see how the current location would work if it needs to be out of service for 3 seasons. Yes TFC games are a nightmare but transit choke points can be addressed. What is a really a nightmare is when there are events at both Rogers centre and the Scotiabank arena that let out at the same time. Also, all those people that live near the Rogers centre aren't universally large event venue patrons and may not see its proximity as a positive.
 
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Alex L

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I wonder if they could buy the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Oxford and build a new stadium there. They could probably even have part of it above the train tracks. It would fix the problem of being downtown while still having the SkyDome to play in as it gets built.


Here is a quick paint drawing I threw together to demonstrate a rough location:
View attachment 286003

The problem here is that there would be no convention centre available for all of the activities that go on there.
 

Alex L

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Toronto has a basic innate problem - the weather. The dome stays closed a lot because of it. To replace RC with an open-air custom baseball stadium would lead to crappy weather conditions at both ends of the schedule. As nice as it could be designed, it would still have this problem. The Blue Jays first game was played in a snowstorm. Do you really want to go back to that? The open-air baseball stadium in Ottawa has a lovely grass field, but the spectator conditions are often bad. In the spring, cold and damp, in the summer, you bake; in the fall, cold and damp again. After the excitement died down after winning the minor league championship, they could not draw fans at anywhere the previous numbers. Ottawa gets more snow but temperature-wise and climate-wise, it's not that different, i.e. cold and damp in the fall and winter and hot and humid in July and August. You would face basically the same conditions here. I think some sort of retractable roof is mandatory for a pro team in Toronto. It also makes the building usable for events in the off-season.

I think they should investigate if they can rebuild the RC. First, take the existing roof off. Rebuild the stands inside most or all of the exterior, and put a new roof on. You could re-orient the diamond, modify the foul areas, build new boxes and concourses, etc. The rebuild could possibly be done over several seasons. The building is basically super-strong, so as to support the roof, so I think it's doable. The location probably cannot be beat, either.

If the club wants to build in condos as part of the new complex, I have a problem with that. That's public land it sits on. It should be put to public use, not a subsidy for the club and a developer.
 
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Bogtrotter

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It looks like they probably could get a good start on a new park to the south if they secure the land abutting lakeshore. Fenway is to scale on the right. Note this is a small open air park however. But if that is what they are aiming for it doesn't seem unfeasible. If they did the exterior in brick it might even play well with the historic roundhouse and revamped transformer station. Perhaps a new modern convention centre could be incorporated into north end of the site.

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