Blue Jays unveil first round of Rogers Center renovations

Blue Jays unveil first round of Rogers Center renovations

Today the Toronto Blue Jays unveiled the first round of Rogers Center renovationsfeaturing a new Outfield District intended to transform the fan experience at the 34-year-old ballpark, as well as behind-the-scenes improvements for players.

The event today for the press comes five days until the 2023 Home Openers on April 11. The Outfield District improvements, featuring five distinct neighborhoods and new social spaces, are available to all fans. The new Outfield District is part of a multi-year $300 million privately funded renovation that will be completed between 2024 and 2025.

The Blue Jays began the first phase of renovation construction on October 14, 2022, with PCL Construction. The structural demolition took 35 days and approximately 21,000 worker hours, with the new build beginning on November 14, 2022. The result is a dramatically different Rogers Center experience; a little less brutalist and a lot more colorful. Designed with Popular, the new Outfield District features social spaces to gather with friends and get closer to the action; live entertainment off the field; and food and beverage menus that reflect the city of Toronto.

“We have the unique privilege of representing a dynamic city and have reflected that energy in the reimagined ballpark,” said Mark Shapiro, Blue Jays President & CEO, via press release. “We are extremely excited to debut these spaces to both lifelong and new Blue Jays fans.”

“Rogers Center is home to Canada’s baseball team, and I’m delighted to see the first phase of this renovation project come to life for Blue Jays fans,” said Edward RogersChair of the Toronto Blue Jays and Chair of Rogers, via press release . “We’re proud of the team and we’re proud to invest in the ballpark, a landmark in the heart of downtown Toronto.”

“We’re deeply committed to supporting the team and to delivering the best fan experience both on and off the field,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO, Rogers, via press release. “These renovations will bring the heart of the city into the ballpark and create a sense of community for fans attending the game.”

Here’s a rundown of the five neighborhoods, courtesy of the Blue Jays. We’ll be out to visit later this season.

  1. Corona Rooftop Patio (500L right field; shown above and at the top of the page) – this rooftop patio oasis is the new place to be; nestled in Toronto’s iconic skyline, fans can gather with friends while enjoying live music beneath the CN Tower
    • Menu highlights: everything fans want in a summer patio menu, headlined by the full Corona family of products including Corona Sunbrew 0.0% and Corona Tropicaland a specialty Sunshine Corona cocktails
    • Plus, signature patio drinks such as Frozen Margaritas and Foul Pole Frostand modern takes on ballpark classics, such as Peameal on a Bun and Plant-Based Wurst
  1. Park Social (500L left field; below) – a park within the park for fans of all ages, featuring games and comfortable places to hang out while watching the game
    • Menu highlights: food truck-inspired eats that will leave fans feeling like a kid in a candy store – ACE’s Souvenir Milkshakes, Shaved Ice, Churrosa candy walland for the savory fans, Pepper Bacon or Three Cheese Grilled Cheese
  1. The Stop (100L center field behind the batter’s eye) – your neighborhood bar to grab a quick drink and bite with friends on the way to your next Outfield District destination; an ode to stadium history in a space originally planned as a transit stop
    • Menu highlights: inspired by diverse, easy-to-grab eats from across Toronto’s subway lines, including Jamaican Beef Patties, Bánh Mì Sandwichand Rice Bowls. Specialty cocktails include Ball Four Blood Orange Mule, Gold Glove Dark & ​​Stormy, Touch ‘Em All Joe Aperol Spritzand Cold Brew Martini.
  1. The Catch Bar (100L right field above the visitors’ bullpen) – the place to see and be seen; grab a cocktail and perch above the visitors’ bullpen with unprecedented views to catch all the action up close
    • Menu highlights: bespoke handcrafted cocktails, including 5-4-3 Lemonades, Walk-Up Music Watermelon Margaritaand Blue Jays Brambleplus three favorite cocktails fromThe Keg The Kegs Caesar, Gin Basil Lemonadeand the classic Mojitos. Trendy food bites to pair with cocktails, such as Cubano Paninis, Pressed Smoked Meat Sandwich, Mac&Cheeseand Pretzel Bites.
  1. WestJet Flight Deck (200L center field) – the place fans know (and love!) has a refresh with retro arcade games and the same great vibe
    • Group tickets available for the first two rows; remaining space is general admission
    • Menu highlights: a wide selection of domestic, international, premium, and craft beer, plus cocktails such as Dug Out Sangria and OK Blue Jays Rum Punch. Brewery-style menu to compliment with Applewood Smoked Brisket Nachos, 12-hour Smoked Brisket Sandwichand Jerk Chicken Nachos.

New Social Spaces

  1. Schneiders Porch (200L right field corner, shown above) – this open-air porch has epic views of the right field as well as one-of-a-kind hot dog culinary creations and direct bar access, so you don’t miss a minute of the action
    • Group tickets available for front row; remaining space is general admission
    • Menu highlights: one-of-a-kind Schneiders hot dog culinary creations, including Signature Poutine Hot Dogs and Canadian Caesar Hot Dogs
  1. Rogers Landing (right field corner beside the visitors’ bullpen) – bring your glove to this open-air home run landing pad, with uninterrupted front-row views of the outfield and visitors’ bullpen
    • Group tickets available for front row; remaining space is general admission
  1. Bleacher Seating (100L bowl behind the visitors’ bullpen) – calling all hardcore fans… watch opposing pitchers in these retro-style bleachers directly behind the visitors’ bullpen
  1. Left and Right Field Balconies (100L concourse outfield corners overlooking the home and visitors’ bullpens respectively) – prime bullpen views await to watch pitchers warm up while taking in the action over left and right field
  1. Drink Rails (throughout ballpark) – grab a drink and post-up at a new spot every inning, with countless options around the concourse

Additional Completed Projects

  1. Raised Bullpens (left and right field) – bringing fans closer to the action to cheer on their Blue Jays pitchers
  1. Player Weight Room (field level) – 5,000 square feet best-in-class facility to help players prepare, compete, and recover
  1. Players’ Family Spaces (field level) – dedicated kids’ room and spouses’ lounge to support the team behind the Blue Jays team
  1. Staff Spaces (100L) – overhauled game day staff facilities to support more than 1,000 staff who are essential to the Blue Jays fan experience

Additional New Concessions & Innovation

  1. Tap N Go (section 104) is a new automated market to speed up service, where fans tap payment on entry, select their food and beverage items, and are automatically charged on exit
  1. Walk Thru Bru (sections 125 and 519) are self-serve beverage-focused concessions so fans can spend more time enjoying the game
  1. Oppo Tacos (section 137) serving signature tacos and frozen margaritas
  1. Kofta Bowls & Wraps (section 134) with chicken or plant-based beef options
  1. Mary Brown’s Chicken is back with a new concession in section 511 (in addition to section 134), adding Taters Poutines to their menu of fresh-made Chicken Sandwiches and Tenders

Photo courtesy Toronto Blue Jays.

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About Kevin Reichard

Kevin Reichard is founder and publisher of Ballpark Digest.