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View Full Version : Rogers Center (Skydome) 20th Anniversary


Hitmen77
06-02-2009, 09:20 AM
http://www.sportsnet.ca/more/2009/06/01/skydome_twenty/?utm_source=Home%20Page%20RSS&utm_medium=feed&utm_content=SkyDome%20set%20to%20celebrate%2020%20 years

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the first Blue Jays game at the Skydome (since renamed the Rogers Centre). When it opened in 1989, it was hailed as a modern marvel and one of the great ballparks in baseball. The Blue Jays drew an incredible 4 million fans per season in their first few years in the Skydome. This included the back-to-back World Series championship teams of 1992-93.

But it didn't take long for Skydome to lose its luster. Once retro parks began opening across the league beginning in the 90s, Skydome's multipurpose design and artificial surface no longer looked so attractive. As of next year, the Rogers Centre will be one of only 2 remaining artificial turf holdouts in baseball.

Has anyone ever been to the Rogers Centre? How was the experience there?

Is there any talk of them adding natural grass? I'm guessing the answer is no since they host more than just the Blue Jays. Would the Jays ever consider leaving the Rogers Centre for a baseball-only park?

WisSoxFan
06-02-2009, 09:53 AM
I was at the first game at Skydome. They played the Brewers. I don't recall who won. A friend of mine and I drove to Toronto on a whim to see the game just to be able to say we saw the first game at Skydome. I don't recall it being anything special other than having the retractable roof - a marvel at the time.

amsteel
06-02-2009, 10:30 AM
I've been to around 10 baseball games and one CFL game there. I'd say your description is accurate, the first time I went there in 1991 I was blown away, but going back around 2004 it definitely has lost some of its sparkle. I actually went on a tour of it a month or so ago. The luxury boxes are very nice and the concessions are good, but its a bit of an eyesore inside and out compared to the mid-late 90s throwback parks. Because of the retractable roof, and multiple other uses of the stadium (conventions, bike/truck rallies, concerts), natural grass cannot happen. In fact they cant even have field turf since they need to be able to remove the playing surface with ease to accomodate other events.

I get the feeling that its part of the Torontonian (is that a word) culture, a monolith of civic pride, sort of, so I doubt the Jays will be leaving any time soon.

areilly
06-02-2009, 11:25 AM
I saw a Jays-Angels game there in 2003. Not a bad place by any means, but as stated before it definitely felt like a relic from an earlier time. I remember it being very loud though, even though it was only two-thirds full that night.

DSpivack
06-02-2009, 11:35 AM
Saw a couple games there in 2000? 2001? The exchange rate was great at the time, we got club level seats for something like $13 US. The concourse was carpeted and the seats padded, which I thought cool. I also liked that on the concourse every now and then there was a bar you could sit at and overlook the field. Not the prettiest, but a very unique park in a great city.

Huisj
06-02-2009, 11:43 AM
In fact they cant even have field turf since they need to be able to remove the playing surface with ease to accomodate other events.



I'm pretty sure it does actually have some version of fieldturf now.

MeteorsSox4367
06-02-2009, 12:05 PM
Saw the Jays and Mariners there a few years ago. The beer was cold, the people were very nice and the Jays won. It was also pretty cool to stay in the Skydome hotel and have breakfast while watching the ground crew prepare the field for the game that night.

As for atmosphere, however, there wasn't much. The tour was OK, but the seats in the upper deck were kinda snug for a big and tall guy.

Toronto is a beautiful city and I would love to go back someday.

amsteel
06-02-2009, 12:13 PM
I'm pretty sure it does actually have some version of fieldturf now.


I was on the field during the tour I went on. Its not the old rug-burn astroturf stuff, but its definitely not the the field turf with the individual blades of artificial grass. I don't really know how to describe it, its like a matted carpet, does that even make sense?

downstairs
06-02-2009, 12:15 PM
I was there as a teenager. Got to see the roof closed in the middle of the game, which was really cool.

Huisj
06-02-2009, 12:23 PM
I was on the field during the tour I went on. Its not the old rug-burn astroturf stuff, but its definitely not the the field turf with the individual blades of artificial grass. I don't really know how to describe it, its like a matted carpet, does that even make sense?

So it's like something between astroturf and shag carpet? haha

palehozenychicty
06-02-2009, 12:46 PM
That is so hard to believe it's twenty years old. In fact, Comiskular will be 20 in 2011. :o:

I've never been to the Rogers Centre, but would like to check out a game soon. Maybe I'll go next year and help the Sox break that streak. :D:

PaleHoser
06-02-2009, 01:02 PM
I spent the week before it opened in Toronto on my honeymoon. In fact, the Sox played the last game in Exhibition Stadium the day we drove up there.

If the roof is open you can see straight into the Rogers Centre from the CN Tower observation deck, which is right next door. We watched them lay the turf during their final preparations for Opening Night.

ktssox
06-02-2009, 01:44 PM
I was just there for the most recent series vs. the Sox (yuck). Unfortunately, the roof was closed the day I was there. In my opinion, the outside of the building is extremely unattractive, but I'm sure I would have liked the interior much better if I had a view of the sky and the CN Tower. I also found the food options to be lacking. The sightlines were good, though, and I felt close to the action.

The one thing that really surprised me was the indifferent attitude of the fans. Hardly anyone wears any Jays gear (perhaps 10-20%). I wasn't obnoxious or anything, but not a single person made a comment to me about cheering for the Sox. It was strange. It just seems like they don't care about baseball as much up there. On the other hand, I was at the Chicago Fire/Toronto FC game the day before, and the fans were rabid. Everyone had FC gear on, and they sang and jumped around the whole time - completely different atmosphere.

Red Barchetta
06-02-2009, 02:05 PM
Saw the Jays and Mariners there a few years ago. The beer was cold, the people were very nice and the Jays won. It was also pretty cool to stay in the Skydome hotel and have breakfast while watching the ground crew prepare the field for the game that night.

As for atmosphere, however, there wasn't much. The tour was OK, but the seats in the upper deck were kinda snug for a big and tall guy.

Toronto is a beautiful city and I would love to go back someday.

I agree about Toronto. I used to go there on a regular basis and watch hockey, especially before the Leafs moved out of Maple Leafs Garden.

I have been in Skydome, but not for a Blue Jays game. I actually saw the Raptors play the Lakers during one of the hockey weekends. It was a very bad venue for basketball! Our seats were in the second deck and we were so far back from the court is looked like a deck of playing cards with ants on it. The dimensions and sight lines were all wrong. They hung some large curtains on one side to break up the vastness of the dome.

Again, great international city, but IMO a dome's a dome. Me no likey for baseball.

chisoxfanatic
06-02-2009, 06:38 PM
Has anyone ever been to the Rogers Centre? How was the experience there?
One of the few stadiums that TV does justice. It's definitely one of the worst stadiums in sports. It's quite an eyesore. I felt like heading down the street to the Air Canada Centre to see a hockey game instead; but, it wasn't hockey season at that time.
I get the feeling that its part of the Torontonian (is that a word) culture, a monolith of civic pride, sort of, so I doubt the Jays will be leaving any time soon.
The whole "We are Toronto!" thing they have around the 8th inning is just incredibly dumb.

Fenway
06-02-2009, 06:56 PM
It is The Vet in Philadelphia with a roof....

PKalltheway
06-02-2009, 07:06 PM
Haven't been yet, but I will be seeing the Jays play the Rays up there on July 25th. It'll be just my second AL ballpark I have been to.

palehozenychicty
06-02-2009, 09:26 PM
It is The Vet in Philadelphia with a roof....


That's a bold statement. The Vet had a jail cell! :redneck