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Rogers Centre

Toronto, ON

Home of the Toronto Blue Jays

3.9

3.5

Rogers Centre (map it)
1 Blue Jays Way
Toronto, ON M5V 1J3
Canada


Toronto Blue Jays website

Rogers Centre website

Year Opened: 1989

Capacity: 49,282

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Okay Blue Jays

Everything changed in Toronto on July 28, 2015. It was on this day that Alex Anthopolous, then General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, made the first of two massive trades. On the 28th the Jays acquired Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies. Just two days later, Anthopolous did it again making a huge trade for David Price. These trades did a couple of things. First, the Jays would be sparked to a massive August and September busting through all competition to win their first American League East pennant since 1993. Second, the moves woke up the significantly apathetic Toronto fan base, bringing sellout crowds to the Rogers Centre. With a front office shift in the off-season, former Cleveland Indians executive Mark Shapiro would become the new president of the Blue Jays, replacing original Blue Jay and Level of Excellence member Paul Beeston. To the shock of the newly excited Jays fans across the country, GM Alex Anthopolous would make his exit, once again creating an uneasy feeling in Toronto.

The 2016 season has seen continued success for Canada's team. The turnstiles are smoking with activity at the Rogers Centre as the Blue Jays make another run at the playoffs. However, much criticism remains for Rogers Centre, now one of the oldest stadiums in the majors. The former SkyDome, built in 1989, remains one of the pioneering stadium presence in MLB. It provided the map on how to successfully create a retractable roof and maximize amenities that were previously not at the forefront of the ballpark experience including sit-down restaurants, luxury boxes and the giant video board. New for 2016, the first season without Toronto Argonauts football at the dome, is a traditional, dirt infield. There is still some talk that a natural grass surface may make its way to the Rogers Centre, but most are not hopeful of this development. Both the Blue Jays and Rogers Centre are owned by media giant, Rogers Communications. There definitely are some areas in which the Jays can make improvements to the baseball experience at the Rogers Centre. Unfortunately, they are in a position where the increased number of patrons may just redefine what "Okay Blue Jays" means in Toronto.

3.9

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

Rogers Centre continues to provide a top notch culinary experience for Blue Jay fans. Among the wide variety of concession stands, fans will find many food options. All of the items you would expect to find are front and centre for fans. Hot dogs ($6), nachos with cheese, caramel corn, chocolate bars, popcorn ($7.50), ice cream, corn dogs, fish and chips, sausage, chicken fingers and pretzels are all easily available. Pizza Nova provides pizza slices ($6.75). There are also a number of items that are pretty unique. Some items that you may want to try include some of the unique poutine flavours including brisket poutine, sausage poutine or Buffalo cauliflower poutine. The T.O. Sandwich Co. offers some interesting sandwich options including peameal bacon sausage and the Italian club. The Muddy York Market in the first level concourse might be the best place to stop. Jerk chicken nachos, meatloaf burgers or the porchetta sandwich are all great options. The cantina box gives fans the opportunity to create their own nachos style selection.

Soft drinks in the Rogers Centre are Coca-Cola products and can be found in the bottle ($5.75) or fountain pour ($5.75/$8.75). The Tim Hortons stand provides Canada's massively popular hot beverages. The variety of alcoholic beverages is also pretty huge. The Bacardi stands provide a variety of rum based drinks and mixed cocktails. The beer selection at Rogers Centre is absolutely massive. Import and premium cans are available as well as tall boy cans ($10.75-$14). It may take a while to choose from the massive menu which includes Budweiser, Bud Light, Mill Street Organic, Corona, Rolling Rock, Sleeman's Original, Mill Street 100th Meridian, Stella Artois, Michelob Ultra, Alexander Keith's IPA, Goose Island IPA, Mill Street West Coast IPA, Labatt 50, Goose Island Honkers Ale, Boddigtons, Lowenbrau, Beck's, Hockley Dark and Shock Top. It is fair to say that pricing for both food and beverage are on the high side.

Atmosphere    3

Rogers Centre is often forgotten as the stadium that pushed the envelope for the fan experience in Major League Baseball. However, the significant increase in fan support for the 2016 season has done a lot to shine a light on the shortcomings of the stadium. Although there are some clamoring for a replacement for Rogers Centre, an investment in the stadium infrastructure will do the trick.

The exterior of the Rogers Centre is nothing special. The Front Street side, or north side, of the stadium features the Renaissance Hotel, which is built right into the stadium and has a ton of glass. However, the rest of the exterior is rightfully panned for an over abundance of exposed concrete. The northeast and northwest corners of the stadium feature large bronze statues built into the upper part of the stadium. "The Audience" and "The Fans" offer a more aesthetically pleasing feature to the otherwise drab looking structure. On the south side of Rogers Centre fans can find a bronze statue of former Blue Jays owner and Rogers Communications owner Ted Rogers.

Inside the stadium, fans are greeted with the concourses which are also pretty drab. There is a distinct lack of natural light inside the concourses, especially if the retractable roof is closed. The Jays have made attempts to improve the concourse situation and have done a decent job of attempting to open it up a bit. Where the Jays are lacking is in displaying their now 40 year history. The Blue Jays would benefit from creating some sort of team specific museum similar to what one would find in St. Louis or Cincinnati. All of those huge moments in Blue Jays history should be on display in a more prominent way, especially the two World Series trophies that the Jays won in 1992 and 1993.

Upon entering the seating bowl, fans will be awed by the sheer size of Rogers Centre. In years past, Rogers Centre has been described as cavernous and huge, but the influx of new fans has done a ton to take that feeling away. The seating bowl is divided into five decks, with the third and fourth decks housing the press boxes and luxury boxes. Behind the plate, in the second deck sits the club section, which features a few stand up bars and comfortable seating. One of the items that needs to be addressed at the Rogers Centre is the seats themselves. The vast majority of seats in the Rogers Centre are long past overdue for replacement and are of insufficient quality. As compared to other Major League Baseball stadiums, seats at the Roger s Centre are significantly smaller and comfort can be an issue.

The view inside the Rogers Centre is dominated by the pioneering, three story video board. It has been replaced over the years, but Rogers Centre remains the first stadium to feature a video board of this style. Surrounding the videoboard are windows from the rooms of the Renaissance. Fans can purchase rooms and watch the game from their hotel room if they wish. Above the video board hangs nine banners. These banners honour the 1985, 1989, 1991 and 2015 American League East championships, 1992 and 1993 World Series championships, the 1991 All-Star Game and Pat Gillick and Roberto Alomar who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and entered as Blue Jays. Alomar's number 12 is also retired. On the fourth deck fascia, fans will find the Jays' Level of Excellence which honours distinguished members of the Toronto Blue Jays over the years. Members include Roberto Alomar, Dave Steib, Joe Carter, George Bell, Carlos Delgado, Tony Fernandez, Pat Gillick, Paul Beeston and broadcaster Tom Cheek, who worked the radio for the first 4,306 games of their existence.

A new feature on the field for the Jays as of 2016 is the traditional dirt infield, which was installed and ready for the beginning of the season. Above the Blue Jays' left field bullpen is where Rogers Sportsnet broadcasts their pre and postgame show. One of the changes for the 2016 season has seen the area draped off and away from the Jays fans. This is an example of how the Blue Jays are disconnecting with their fans and making the Rogers Centre feel more stale.

The in-game production for the Jays is decent, with the team making good use of the video board. At times the Jays go overboard with the music and sound effects between pitches. The highlight of the production is during the seventh inning stretch, when before playing the league mandated "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," the Blue Jays play their own, unique song "Okay Blue Jays," which has been a revered staple at Jays games for years. The mascot, Ace, does his thing and the "J-Crew" cheer/promo team make the promos happen.

Although there are many areas of Rogers Centre where required improvements would be significant and expensive, one area that is not, and where the Blue Jays really drop the ball is their Rogers Centre employees. As compared to most ballparks, the Blue Jays employ many more students. Although employees are not rude, or discourteous, they often present an indifferent attitude. Fans entering the stadium are never greeted with a "Welcome to Rogers Centre." Employees, specifically ushers, act more like security than the real connection between the fans and the team. With a massive number of new Blue Jay fans entering the Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays need to do a better job of making their fans feel like they have participated in the experience of a lifetime rather than offering all of the courtesy and warmth of an airport.

Neighborhood    5

As some fans and media clamour for a new baseball stadium, the fact remains that Rogers Centre is not going anywhere. The reason is simple. There is not a better location in the city for the Blue Jays to be. Downtown Toronto is a fantastic spot to make an afternoon, a weekend or an entire vacation. There are a huge number of locations where one can eat before or after the game. If you are looking for a true culinary experience, then you may want to make your way up to the top of the CN Tower to the 360 Restaurant. If you are looking for a more traditional pre-game experience then The Loose Moose, Fionn MacCool's, Horizons, or The Over Draught Irish Pub. Front Street and Bremner Blvd have a plethora of dining options. If you want to head down to 99 Blue Jays Way, then you will find Wayne Gretzky's, which is one of the best spots to hit. Great food and a ton of hockey memorabilia from the Great One are right there.

You can make an entire vacation in downtown Toronto. The CN Tower and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada are right there by the Rogers Centre. The Rogers Centre does offer tours, however they are not nearly as good as they should be. The Theatre District may be second only to Broadway in New York City as far as stage entertainment is concerned. The Eaton Centre is a fantastic place to shop. Right across the road from the Rogers Centre is Toronto Railway Museum. You may also want to take the Steam Whistle Brewery Tour, which is also across the road. However, no trip to Toronto is complete without a trip to see the Hockey Hall of Fame.

If you are looking for other sports, Toronto FC, Toronto Argonauts, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Rock and Toronto Maple Leafs all play within minutes of the Rogers Centre. The University of Toronto is just north of the Rogers Centre and the Varsity Blues field football, basketball and hockey teams among others. A truly unique experience may be to check out Ryerson University Rams hockey or basketball at the former Maple Leaf Gardens.

Of course there are a ton of places that you could stay in downtown Toronto. A unique experience would be to stay right in the stadium at the Renaissance. Another unique experience would be to stay at one of the most significant historical hotels in all of Canada, the Royal York. A little more affordable hotel would be the Delta and Strathcona, however you are going to pay to stay downtown no matter what you choose.

Fans    4

Traditionally, Blue Jay fans have been run of the mill, Southern Ontario sports fans. With the big trade in 2015, attendance at Jays games has skyrocketed. In 2014 Toronto averaged just over 29,000 fans per game. This put them in the bottom half of MLB. The 2015 season saw them jump to over 34,000 fans per game and 8th place league-wide. The 2016 season has the Jays drawing over 41,000 fans, pushing them to an impressive 4th place in MLB. If the Jays fall back to earth in 2017, which is a distinct possibility with some significant free agency at the end of the season, it will be curious to see where the Jays attendance will end up. Until Toronto fans can show a little more consistency, they are just below a perfect score.

Ontario fans are traditionally pretty quiet. With the increased support, the Rogers Centre has definitely found increased noise. However, Toronto fans are not as ingrained in every pitch as some fan bases in MLB are.

Access    4

The Rogers Centre can be challenging to get to as downtown Toronto traffic can be difficult. Rogers Centre is located right by the Lakeshore in downtown Toronto. Driving to the stadium will be difficult as motorists must take either the Gardiner Expressway or Lakeshore Blvd. Hitting the road earlier as opposed to later is always the best idea.

The bad traffic downtown is mitigated by the fantastic public transit options. Rogers Centre is just a couple of blocks from Union Station. The TTC subway, GO Transit and Via Rail all have a major presence in Union Station. Along Spadina you will find the TTC street car. Any public transit info can be found at www.ttc.ca and www.gotransit.ca.

Decent parking can be found downtown, however depending on the day it can greatly fluctuate. Most days you can find parking within walking distance of the Rogers Centre for around $15. On one of those special days, the same parking space can go for $40.

The ticketing windows are outside Gate 9 along Bremner Blvd. There are a huge number of windows, but the sidewalks are not massive and can get crowded very quickly. Increased security combined with the significant increase in fan attendance have made entry a challenge at times. If there is a promotional giveaway, fans will line up for entry more than 2 hours before the first pitch. Having tickets in hand, as opposed to purchasing at the Rogers Centre or picking up at will call, may be a better bet and entering a gate like 14 will probably be easier.

The concourses in Rogers Centre are pretty wide and getting around is not too difficult. The stadium would have benefited from escalators. The majority of fans will travel up and down with long trips around traditional stadium ramps. The washroom facilities are plentiful and on most days more than adequate.

Return on Investment    3

A trip to see the Toronto Blue Jays is becoming more expensive all the time. According to the MLB Fan Cost Index, the Blue Jays are above the MLB average and have seen a significant 11% increase since 2015. Ticket prices range from $15 to well over $100. All of the seats in the first level are above $50. Concession prices are pretty high and getting to the game can be expensive. All of this is not out of the ordinary for Toronto, however the customer service at the Rogers Centre is far below par and the Rogers Centre is in need of improvements. All of this makes for a rather average return on a pretty significant investment.

Extras    3

An extra mark for the scrolling season ticket list on the 100 level. A nice touch for those supporters that are true blue.

An extra mark for a little celebrity love. On many nights right behind home plate you will find Geddy Lee, the lead singer of Rush.

An extra mark for the return of the ORIGINAL Ok Blue Jays. The early 2000s saw the Jays' anthem "modernized" with a horrible backbeat. There is no doubt the original is better.

Final Thoughts

The renewed interest in the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016 is truly remarkable. That being said it is imperative that ownership re-invest in the game day experience so that they can keep as many of these new fans as possible, regardless of the outcome on the field. Unfortunately, if upgrades and improvements to customer service are not made, then "Okay Blue Jays" will take on a whole other meaning.

Follow all of Dave's sporting adventures on Twitter @profan9 and on Instagram.

Sushi at a stadium...wonder if that would be really cool or really scary??

Sushi at a stadium...wonder if that would be really cool or really scary??

by jbrady | Apr 08, 2010 03:00 PM

The issue I have with ballpark sushi is that it\'s in Toronto. Maybe in Seattle I would feel better

The issue I have with ballpark sushi is that it's in Toronto. Maybe in Seattle I would feel better about some raw fish served up at the stadium, but not Toronto.

by paul | Apr 09, 2010 04:07 PM

It\'s probably Lake Ontario sunfish sushi :)

It's probably Lake Ontario sunfish sushi :)

by dan | Apr 12, 2010 06:11 AM

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Crowd Reviews

The Wonder of This Wonder

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

In 1989, Toronto opened the SkyDome. It was state of the art in every sense of the word and was casually referred to as the next wonder of the world (right after Andre the Giant). It helped put Toronto in the centre of the sporting universe and made the Blue Jays the envy of the league. The SkyDome put the Jays at the top of the attendance heap in Major League Baseball and gave the team the needed revenue to help them build World Series Championship teams in 1992 and 1993. SkyDome has also hosted some significant events, including major concerts, two WrestleManias, Grey Cups, NCAA Bowl Games and public showings of the final episodes of Cheers and Star Trek: The Next Generation, and recently the biggest UFC event in history.

The city of Toronto eventually sold the SkyDome to media giant Rogers Communications and it was immediately renamed. Rogers also purchased the Blue Jays, who had fallen on hard times. Original owner, Labatt's brewery had been purchased by Belgian beer conglomerate Interbrew and the exodus of key executives, including Paul Beeston and Pat Gillick, began. Interbrew was not interested in running a professional sports franchise, and began cutting costs.

Much has changed in the twenty plus year lifespan of what is now known as the Rogers Centre and there are rumblings from local fans that maybe it's time for something new. What remains certain is that this wonder is at the very least a revolutionary stadium that led to many of the amenities and features that are now commonplace among newer stadiums. There's a funny thing that's happening in the MLB. The quest to create new and original stadiums has left the league with numerous stadiums that are very similar. This has left the Rogers Centre as a rather unique alternative.

Toronto's Rogers Centre

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 2
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Back in 1989, the Rogers Centre (previously the Skydome) emerged as a modern marvel of architecture. Thanks to its retractable roof, after 20 years it still stands as one of the most unique ballparks in the majors.

What it was, What it is

Total Score: 2.71

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 2
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

I remember my first visit to Skydome back in 1990. My Tigers were in town, and the place was electric. The Jays were on their rise to prominence, and the dome was seeing the highest attendance is the Majors.

Flash forward to today, or my most recent trip which was two years ago, and it just doesn't have the same pizzaz. For one thing, I don't know that the upkeep has been appropriate. There is lettering along the facades that have fallen down, and the place in general feels older than its 20 years.

The lack of enthusiasm from the fans certainly contributes, as does the personality free turf. While I like Major League Baseball in Canada (and I love Toronto), I wonder sometimes if there is a city that would be more in love with baseball than folks in Toronto seem to be.

Losing builds that apathy. Maybe that's all the venue needs- a little attention and a little winning.

Toronto

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Such a great city to visit, but the Skydome just leave so much to be desired. That turf just looks awful.

Seen Better Days and Jays

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 2
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

Once a revolutionary development with the retractable roof, the Skydome has suffered over the years, falling behind other new stadiums much as the team has fallen behind their competitors. Prices are high, especially for food and drinks. Fans are too spread out and are obnoxious without being funny.

I'll always have a soft spot for the place where the Jays 93 team won the World Series, but think the team needs to be more creative to get fans into the stadium and into the game.

Loved it!

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

I took in a game on 9/13/12 vs. the Seattle Mariners. This was the first MLB game I've been to in at least 15 years (Baltimore Orioles). It was also only my second time to Canada (I came up from Buffalo just for the game).

Food & Beverage:
Selection seemed very good...and yes, there was poutine :). Just a tad expensive. The $8.50 Commemorative Coke Zero was still refreshing though.

Atmosphere/Fans: Awesome! The stadium is a marvel, although it took me a second to adjust to the look of AstroTurf. Watching the game was definitely the #1 priority of most people attending!

There was excitement in the air, despite what looked to be pretty poor attendance. To be fair, it was the last game in the series, it was a weeknight, and the Red Sox were rolling into town the next night. Canadians are wonderful, polite, and love their Blue Jays! Now I do too!

Neighborhood/Access: Rogers Centre is located in a pretty swanky downtown area. Parking was pretty expensive, but there were plenty of garages to accommodate.

If you're going to a 7pm game on a weeknight, I would recommend planning ahead, as you will most likely get stuck in some traffic. Another thing to note is that parking prices takes a dive in many garages at 6pm. If I had parked at 5:45, this particular garage would have cost me $21. Since I waited, it only cost me $9. I parked a ways away from the stadium though.

Return on Investment: I think the ticket prices for some of the 100 and 200 level seats are a little high based on the demand. It seemed like you could get a really good deal on anything in the 500 level. Why the 500 level patrons didn't all sneak down to better seats is beyond me... All that said, I would totally go again...but I would go much more frequently if the prices dropped a bit.

Extras: Caught a foul ball! Doesn't get any better than that! Ace (the mascot) came around a bunch and was happy to take photos. We were also treated to a rendition of both the Star Spangled Banner and O Canada!

Conclusion: Loved it. I would definitely go again. If you want to see some no-nonsense baseball, this is the place.





The Skydome

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

I've been to the Skydome for 3 games now and I really enjoy being there. It looks like a dank basement on TV but it's actually very open and clean in person. The area around is exactly what you'd expect from the downtown of a major North American city; fountains, lakeshore, skyscrapers. Toronto is like a clean Chicago. I've seen two games with the dome open and the CN Tower looming over the field adds to the scope of the Skydome as a multipurpose facility. The hotel in centerfield is also a classy touch. The street musicians playing bucket drums on the way in and out of the stadium was very fun. Overall, it was much better than I expected.

A Trip Opening Day 2013

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

I really enjoyed the stadium. I imagined it to be bigger than it really is, but it's plenty spacious. The food selection on the first level was very nice, but its quite thin as you go up the levels. The fans arrived in force the day I was there in anticipation for the 2013 season. It was great to see a packed house, even in a loss. The seats were adequate up in the 500 level - what I expected from a 20+ year old stadium. The surrounding area is nice with a brewery, some good restaurants, and the CN Tower directly next door.

Back in Blue

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Rogers Centre has been called everything from "wonder of the world" to "concrete toilet bowl," not to mention SkyDome. Jays fans sometimes tend to complain about the sheer size and symmetrical blandness of the stadium but when the park opened in 1989 it was seen as one of the greatest venues in all of sport. Combined with back-to-back Blue Jays' World Series victories in 1992 and 1993, and a 1991 Argonauts Grey Cup win, the stadium was positively hopping.

Rogers Centre's history can be traced back to the 1982 CFL Grey Cup. Held outdoors at Exhibition Stadium, the game was marred by November's freezing rain and wind. The next day, people began calling for a domed stadium. In June of 1983 then-Ontario Premier Bill Davis announced that a domed stadium would be considered for Toronto.

Canadian 'starchitect' Rod Robbie drew up plans for the new stadium and won an international design competition. The site chosen was next to the CN Tower, and right in the heart of an upcoming neighbourhood built on a former rail yard. The stadium was to be the most expensive ever built in baseball and it would feature dozens of futuristic amenities including an enormous Jumbotron screen, a hotel towering over the outfield, and the 31-story retractable dome. Under the still-new CN Tower, the dome was to become the envy of the sporting world. Construction lasted three years and the opening of the stadium was met with great fanfare.

The lavish grand opening ceremony of Skydome began with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra playing an original composition, then an entrance ceremony for the construction crews reminiscent of the Olympic opening ceremonies. After this, a troupe from the popular musical Cats sang about the old Exhibition Stadium followed by big football players from the Argos who performed a lighthearted musical number of their own to the tune of 'Singing in the Rain.' Videos now on YouTube reveal that it wasn't half bad! Following this performance was the "We are Toronto' act, which showcased the city's multiculturalism. Finally, the climax was reached and the dome was ceremoniously opened for the first time. People applauded despite being exposed to a torrential downpour outside. Skydivers dropped in through the thick cloud and a final musical piece concluded the ceremonies.

The pomp and circumstance eventually wore off. In 2005, oft derided telecom giant Rogers angered fans when they purchased the SkyDome and renamed it to the corporate Rogers Centre. Many fans still purposely still refer to the stadium as SkyDome. The building also started to show its age. In an era of retro-inspired ballparks, the once futuristic Rogers Centre had become ironically outdated. The team did not play well on the field and fan apathy grew. Attendance fell and the future of the stadium looked quite bleak.

Then in late 2012, the Blue Jays made a series of trades and free agent signings that were punctuated by the Toronto Argonauts winning the 100th Grey Cup at home. Stadium owner Rogers announced a long-term plan to renovate the Rogers Centre and improve the fan experience. For the 2013 season, an open porch was added to center field, and more interesting food and drink options were added. Over the coming seasons, renovations will continue until a grass field is eventually installed. At the same time the Argonauts are expected to move into a new football-exclusive outdoor stadium elsewhere in the city.

The buzz surrounding the Jays has reached a fever pitch across Canada and the Rogers Centre, or SkyDome if you like, has become the place to be once again.

North of the Border

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

I recently had a weekend trip to Toronto with my wife and son, and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Rogers Centre, although I wish the fans around us would have drank less, and found more creative vocabulary than dropping the f-bomb every fifth word near my 5 year-old son. That said, Toronto is a wonderful (although expensive) city to visit.

The stadium food is good, and the hot dogs were above average in quality. Beer cost $11, which is outrageous. Overall, the quality is good, but the price is tough to swallow.

The neighborhood is in a great location, within an easy walk from public transportation. We stopped in to the Loose Moose, and I highly recommend eating there before or after the game, rather than shelling out at Rogers Centre. Stops at the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Royal Ontario Museum are both recommended as well. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Lombard, near the famous St Lawrence Market, and the location was walkable to the stadium, at a reasonable price.

Overall, it's expensive, but Rogers Centre does have some new life, even if the team as not lived up to expectations in 2013.

Great ballpark in a central location

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

I enjoyed visiting this ballpark with my family. Rogers Centre is located in the heart of Toronto with easy access to nearby attractions and restaurants.

Toronto Deserves Better

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 2
  • Extras: 3

Every year me and a few of my buddies purchase a 15 game flex pack to see the Blue Jays. Every time we go down to the Rogers Centre I feel like us Blue Jays fans have been cheated. The Rogers Centre has to be one of the worst baseball stadiums in the whole league. From the over priced, bland hot dogs (your best bet would to get one outside the gates) to the disgusting washrooms that lack hot water, Toronto baseball fans deserve better. With that being said when the Rogers Centre is rocking with a crowd of 45,000+ people it is simply awesome. The stadium is easy to access and it is right in the heart of downtown Toronto which can make for a cool day for a tourist. In conclusion the Rogers Centre may not be a world class facility in my mind but if you get the chance to catch a marquee game (Home Opener, Canada Day, Yankees games, etc.) it can make for an awesome experience.

Blue Horizon

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

Twenty-five years ago the stadium revolution, which led to the stadium arms race, began in Toronto, Ontario. Although many today would consider the Rogers Centre, formerly SkyDome, a cookie-cutter stadium. The truth is that the Rogers Centre is anything but a cookie-cutter. If your definition of cookie-cutter is solely based on the round shape of the stadium, then your definition is too shallow. Stadia that were considered cookie-cutters were nearly exact replicas of each other, whether Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or St. Louis. SkyDome actually broke the mold in 1989.

The opening of SkyDome showed all of Major League Baseball what was possible in a stadium. What eventually became the Rogers Centre brought a whole new focus on the fan experience. Luxury boxes became a league-wide catch-phrase. Having a giant video board became a must after the original Jumbotron. In stadium restaurants became common. A retractable roof became a reality. All of these innovations seemed to be pioneered in Toronto.

The Blue Jays and Rogers Centre are owned by Canadian media giant Rogers Communications. After the 2013 blockbuster deal with the Miami Marlins, and subsequent return to the "blue" period in the Jays unis, expectations were high for the team, including some picking the Jays to win the 2013 World Series. After a colossal failure of a 2013 season, the Blue Jays are flying under the radar. A terrific start to the 2014 season has Jays fans hoping this is the breakout year. Attendance is up and hopes are high. There may be a Blue Horizon in Toronto in 2014.

Blue Jays v Cubs Sept 8 2014

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Very thin crowd due to a weeknight after the team had fallen out of contention. I like the setting with CN Tower when the roof is open which I finally got to see after it being closed on prior trips. Great downtown location with mass transit access. Subway and train facilities seemed to be under construction but were operational. Also much street and building construction around Union Station.

Nice Stadium

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Great location in downtown Toronto. You get a great view of the CN tower from inside the stadium. Especially when it's lit up at night. Good prices and the staff was very friendly and let us move all the way down to the third baseline. Atmosphere is lacking a little bit but isn't to bad. Overall a pretty nice place to see a game

Surly fans, not customer service and expensive beer

Total Score: 2.00

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 1
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 0
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 1
  • Extras: 3

The experience at its worst is unbelievably bad. I won't go to opening day anymore.

Canada's Team

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

Most people view Canada as a hockey hotbed. The NHL is king and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens battle for the attention of the nation, and there may be some other teams that play also. Truth be told, if there is one professional team that is capturing the attention of the entire nation, it is the Toronto Blue Jays. With the exit of the Montreal Expos to Washington now over a decade old, the country is increasingly embracing the Blue Jays as Canada’s team.

The second Major League Baseball team to call the True North home, it seems that everyone in town was at that very first game in 1977 at snow-covered Exhibition Stadium. After moving away from the horrendous stadium on the lake, the Jays moved into what was known as the 8th Wonder of the World, SkyDome. An equal number of people around Toronto also claim to have been there to see Joe Carter hit his epic home run to win the 1993 World Series.

SkyDome was not trend-setting as much as it was pioneering. Oriole Park deviated from the multi-purpose design and ushered in a new era of retro style ballparks. SkyDome had numerous aspects that have been taken as part of new stadiums all over North America. From restaurants to the prominence of luxury boxes; from massive video boards to retractable roofs; all of these amenities gained prominence with the 1989 opening of SkyDome.

In 2000, Rogers Communications purchased the Blue Jays from Interbrew and the SkyDome from Sportco in 2004. With that came the renaming of the stadium to Rogers Centre. Another new era for the Rogers Centre is right around the corner. With the recent sale of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts and pending move to BMO Field for the 2016 season, the Rogers Centre is free and clear to focus on baseball. It had already been announced that the 2018 season will see natural grass in the Rogers Centre, a major investment. Also, there are rumours that for the 2016 season the Rogers Centre will feature a more traditional dirt infield.

The Blue Jays currently hold the longest current playoff drought, which is at 21 years at the beginning of the 2015 season. However, hope for the future remains, both for the product on the field and the stadium that Canada’s team calls home.

Let's Go Blue Jays!

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

I will try to be unbiased in my rankings and review. The Rogers Centre usually has a great atmosphere on weekends and now that the Jays are in playoff contention will start to have one night in and night out. The stadium itself looks a bit boring (not as nice-looking as some other ones) especially when the dome's closed but that's the price you pay to not have any rained out games and to be able to reconfigure the seats for other sports/events. It is nice on a sunny day when the CN Tower is standing tall in the background. The stadium is right in downtown which is nice but it makes it hard to get to (especially for people from outside of the city) and hard to find parking (unless you take the subway).

So this may be a little biased...

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

The Rogers Centre (Skydome) is a pretty great venue.

The crowds are great, easy to access, fantastic seating.

Food is pretty good, but expensive. there are some food items that are well worth the price.

Getting into the stadium can be a pain. closer to game time, lines are heavy to get in.

the concourses are fairly large and never too crowded (except on sellouts).

Share your thoughts about Rogers Centre

Local Food & Drink

Steamwhistle Brewery  (map it!)

255 Bremner Boulevard

Toronto, ON M5V 3M9

(416) 362-2337

http://www.steamwhistle.ca/

The Loose Moose  (map it!)

146 Front Street West

Toronto, ON M5J 1G2

(416) 977-8840

http://www.theloosemoose.ca/

Fionn MacCool's  (map it!)

310 Front Street W

Toronto, ON M5V 3B6

(416) 340-1917

http://www.fionnmaccools.com/

The Overdraught Irish Pub  (map it!)

156 Front St W

Toronto, ON M5J 2L6

(416) 408-3925

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Mi-Ne Sushi  (map it!)

325 Bremner Blvd

Toronto, ON M5V 3S2

(416) 623-1975

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Wayne Gretzky's  (map it!)

99 Blue Jays Way

Toronto, ON M5V 9G9

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360 Restaurant  (map it!)

301 Front St. W.

Toronto, ON M5V 2T6

(416) 362-5411

http://www.cntower.ca/en-ca/360-restaurant/reservations-and-menus.html

Local Entertainment

Hockey Hall of Fame  (map it!)

30 Yonge Street

Toronto, ON M5E 1X8

(416) 360-7735

http://www.hhof.com/

CN Tower  (map it!)

301 Front Street W

Toronto, ON M5V 2T6

(416) 868-6937

http://www.cntower.ca/en-CA/Home.html

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada  (map it!)

288 Bremner Blvd

Toronton, ON M5J 3A6

(647) 351-3474

http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/

Toronto Railway Museum  (map it!)

255 Bremner Blvd.

Toronto, ON M5V 3M9

(416) 214-9229

http://www.trha.ca

Toronto Eaton Centre  (map it!)

220 Yonge St.

Toronto, ON M5B 2H1

(416) 598-8560

http://www.torontoeatoncentre.com/home.html

Lodging

Renaissance Toronto Downtown  (map it!)

One Blue Jays Way

Toronto, ON M5V 1J4

(416) 341 7100

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/yyzbr-renaissance-toronto-downtown-hotel/

Delta Toronto  (map it!)

75 Lower Simcoe St.

Toronto, ON M5J 3A6

(416) 849-1200

https://www.deltahotels.com/Hotels/Delta-Toronto

Strathcona Hotel  (map it!)

60 York St.

Toronto, ON M5J 1S8

(416) 363-3321

http://www.thestrathconahotel.com

Fairmont Royal York  (map it!)

100 Front St W.

Toronto, ON M5J 1E3

(866) 540-4489

http://www.fairmont.com/royal-york-toronto/

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