Before the Toronto Blue Jays moved into the Rogers Center in 1989, an old crammed and uninviting facility by the name of Exhibition Stadium served as their home for 12-years.
As a kid and having the opportunity to take in a few baseball games in the old Exhibition grounds of the CNE, the first thing that comes to my mind, is how uncomfortable and small those seats were.
There's no question moving to Rogers Center was an upgrade, but when I look around major league baseball today and see the new modern concept of designed baseball only venues, I get the consensus the era of big bulky baseball stadiums is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
How long can the Blue Jays survive playing in an old massive stadium like Rogers Center, which looks fairly empty even with 30,000 people in attendance. There's no question Baseball can survive in this huge market and certainly a winning product can help facilitate that, but an adequate building is needed and vital in the moving forward process, where it can solidify a fan base already in place and more importantly establish a connection with the next generation of fans.
A new home friendly baseball stadium comparable to Fenway Park, Oriole Park in Baltimore, or even Target Field in Minnesota, would be a step in the right direction in cementing the overall baseball stability in this city .
As always, finding the money certainly is a challenge, but there are enough investors here in Toronto who have the deep pockets to help fulfill this type of project. Whether or not anyone is willing to step up and open up their wallet to this type commitment is a clear uncertainty. Yes, Rogers are on top of that list amongst those with funds in hand, but it's unlikely they would be interested in putting money into building a new facility when they already own Rogers center.
Although the prospect of building a baseball only facility is unlikely to transpire in the immediate future, the idea should be open for discussion. No I'm not an engineer, but one day if and when serious consideration will be put on the table to build a new stadium, the architecture, design and characteristics of a new facility should be similar to other stadium landmarks such as Wrigley field or a Fenway Park.
Is there any whispering or minor talk about such a project right now? No, but there will need to be if baseball is going to stick around on this side of the border for a long time and that's a fact.....
small comment...they were at the Ex for 12 years...not 22.
as far as plans for a new stadium...there won't be...not for a long time...and when there is, its going to have to be at the very least a retractable roof...so that said, why leave one dome for another?
I think they should invest in upgrading the Rogers Centre (as they've already done). With some upgrades it could be a lot better.
I whole heartedly agree with this blog. I have travelled to some of the great new parks in MLB and we can and should do a whole lot better. I have great memories from both Exhibition Stadium and the Dome, however it is time to move on and build a new home for the Jays. About 30,000 seats in a baseball only venue would be amazing.
In todays world?.....You want a new stadium because the old one is too big? Shame on you.
Unless you somehow turn the old one into social housing.
Then maybe you would get my vote.
I cannot see the owners moving to a smaller stadium, yes it could be a better atmosphere for fans but they still draw 48k ish on opening day.
If you move to a 30k stadium that is a guaranteed revenue loss of 18k. People generally don't stay in business too long when losing that kind of money. They would likely raise ticket prices to offset their losses and we'd just have more complaints about the cost of going to a game.
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