Toronto’s iconic SkyDome, currently known as Rogers Centre, may be slated for demolition, according to unnamed sources speaking to The Globe and Mail:
Rogers Communications Inc. and the real estate arm of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. are working with city, provincial and federal government officials on a plan that would effectively cut the Rogers Centre in half.
The partners would build a new, baseball-focused stadium on the foundations of the southern end of the current facility and adjacent parking lots. The northern portion of the 12.7-acre site would be turned into residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space.
If these plans fall through, Rogers is also looking into building a stadium at a lakefront site, cites unnamed sources.
Rogers acquired the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000 for $137 million USD.
Rogers chief communications officer Sevaun Palvetzian, responded to the story to say “prior to the pandemic, we were exploring options for the stadium but through this year our primary focus has been keeping our customers connected and employees safe, so there is no update on the Rogers Centre to share at this time.”
The SkyDome opened in the summer of 1989 and cost $570 million, with most of the tab picked up by Ontario taxpayers. The government sold the stadium to Rogers in 2004 for $25 million. It was renamed the next year to Rogers Centre.
While Rogers owns the stadium, the land belongs to the federal government. The move would see the new stadium have real grass instead of Rogers Centre’s current artificial turf, while also redevelop the 12-acre site beyond just a stadium.
Sources note government officials, Rogers and Brookfield plan to announce new Rogers Centre plans in 2021.
This is just a hunch–but it sounds like this deal is ready to go through given the deep ties the Blue Jays have in the city and Rogers as well. It was nice knowing you, SkyDome.