Toronto Blue Jays fans can expect new ways to experience a live baseball game this season, after the first phase of renovations at the Rogers Center were unveiled Thursday.

The new features were revealed following a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro, along with Rogers chairman Edward Rogers and CEO Tony Staffieri. The Blue Jays are currently on a 10-game road trip to start their season, due to the ballpark renovations.

“We’ll try to create experiences for every type of fan, not just one type of fan. We’re going to get our fans closer to our players, probably closer to the visiting players than they want, but that’s OK,” said Shapiro ahead of the ceremony.

“We’re going to allow them to connect with each other and with our fans in a way they’ve never had before … an opportunity to modernize the fan experience.”

Story continues below advertisement

All 500-level seats have been replaced in large part to make room for open social spaces, including the family-oriented Park Social over left field, a colorful and childlike area designed to replicate sitting in one of the city’s many parks. Another notable new feature in the 500s is the Corona Rooftop Patio, a spacious social area which will allow fans to take in Toronto’s impressive skyline and have a drink while watching a game.

Lower down, the stadium’s outfield walls and bullpens have been raised, meaning relief pitchers will be warming up within meters of fans. The Catch Bar in the 100 level hangs right above the visitor’s bullpen.

When asked if there were any security concerns surrounding the proximity and access of fans to players, senior manager of project management for the Blue Jays Sanj Perera said they had increased their security control.

Story continues below advertisement

“To say there won’t be heckling, that’s probably not the fair thing to say,” Perera said. “But we’re confident that we’ve got a good group of fans in Toronto and everyone’s going to comply with the rules.”

By closing the gap between the bullpen and stands, the outfield walls appear significantly higher. The lower outfield decks have also been removed, with new ones built lower to the field.

“The outfield was very symmetrical before. We’ve now raised most of the outfield,” said Perera. “We’ve done a lot of modeling. We believe that it’s going to stay net-neutral. We’re not expecting any major changes in terms of playability.”

Drastically changing the outfield seating has allowed the Blue Jays to create the new “Outfield District,” featuring five “neighborhoods” that encompass the rooftop patio, park and bars, as well as a 100 level bar area called The Stop in center field.

Story continues below advertisement

The Stop is an ode to Rogers Centre’s history, as it was first designed in the 1980s to hold a transit station in the stadium’s north end. Although those plans fell through, the name will persist as a bar that showcases the many different neighborhoods that Toronto’s transit system runs through.

LISTEN: Global’s Matt Carty joins The Kelly Cutrara Show on 640 Toronto

The new Outfield District also comes with the introduction of a variety of different foods, intended to reflect the diversity of Toronto’s fan base. They include cultural offerings like Banh Mi and tacos, as well as new twists on classic ball game fare, like the much-anticipated poutine hotdog. A new “Tap N’ Go” automated shop will let fans quickly grab a drink or snack, without having to wait in long lines and potentially missing gameplay.

The WestJet Flight Deck in the 200 levels has been refreshed with retro arcade games and a new brewery-style menu.

Story continues below advertisement

The Blue Jays have already introduced new $20 general admission tickets for the new Outfield District, though single game tickets provide fans with a reserved bowl seat in addition to access to the outfield areas.

This completed the first phase of renovations, which began in October 2022, focused on spectators and the second step — slated for the next off-season — is concerned with behind-the-scenes and players-only areas.

Perera said that Phase 1, while successful, was challenging because the major overhaul was done on a tight schedule.

“We will continue to work with our partners to get the best schedule, best sequencing, best phasing, and move that into Phase 2,” he said. “There’s a lot of work on Phase 2.”

Story continues below advertisement

The entire multi-year renovation project comes with a price tag of approximately $300 million, according to a media handout.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 slot zeus nolimit city sv388 slot jepang scatter hitam slot thailand link slot thailand 777 slot powergaming88 slot luar negeri slot gacor maxwin slot gacor hari ini slot gacor terbaru mahjong ways 2 slot thailand jp slot slot bni slot bri slot bsi slot danamon slot gopay slot server korea slot malaysia slot amerika slot rusia fan tan monopoly live lightning roulette mega ball sweet bonanza candyland mega sic bo mega baccarat andar bahar sbobet88 ktm303 slot dubai slot qris powergaming88 Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Pg Soft Starlight Princess Slot Gacor Maxwin Joker123 Sv388 Slot Thailand Slot Thailand Slot Qris slot thailand joker123 mahjong ways 2 888slot sweet bonanza slot jepang slot thailand slot mahjong ways slot qris slot deposit dana slot dana nolimit city slot thailand sv388 slot888 slot kamboja Slot Thailand Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Maxwin slot thailand akun pro kamboja slot filipina joker123 slot zeus slot88 slot thailand slot mahjong slot megaways NEW SLOT POLA GACOR Slot Server Luar jp slot slot ganas crazy time live slot qris slot akurat slot bca slot bni qris slot zeus server thailand server hongkong slot ovo slot gopay slot linkaja joker123 nolimit city sv388 starlight princess mahjong ways pg slot slot zeus sv388 idn slot slot server thailand slot thailand ladangtoto nolimit city koi gate sicbo online roulette online lice casino live22 baccarat online nolimit city slot ovo slot gopay pragmati play starlight princess slot pg soft slot mahjong slot zeus sv388 digmaan slot mania slot zeus slot thailand server thailand ying77 slot thailand judi bola live casino sv388 pg soft slot dana mahjong ways slot mania slot x500 ladangtoto slot server kamboja digmaan digmaan slot88 scv388 sabung ayam online slot live casino sicbo online live casino online slot thailand ladangtoto sv388 ladangtoto powergaming88 66kbet powergaming88 slot thailand ladangtoto slot thailand server thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot gacor ladangtoto2 ying77 bet server thailand slot thailand ying77 slot88 ladangtoto ladangtoto slot maxwin sv388 sv388 slot gacor 66k bet slot dana sabung ayam inline slot mahjong slot toto slot server thailand slot gacor slot server thailand slot gacor slot thailand situs slot wwg slot slot daftar judi slot online indonesia slot gacor slot mawin slot gacor slot thailand slot gacor slot gacor demo slot pragmatic sv388 slot88 pgsoft Daftar Judi Slot Online Indonesia Paling Gacor di Indonesia Daftar Situs Judi Slot Online SLOT88 lucky neko slot gacor slot88 slot kakek slot maxwin slot thailand Slot Mahjong Ways 2 Mudah Jackpot Paus di PG Soft Hari ini 2023 Lucky Neko Situs Slot Gacor Pgsoft Hari Ini SITUS SABUNG AYAM SV388 ONLINE DAFTAR LINK LOGIN APK AGEN SV388