Report: Rogers Centre could be demolished for new downtown Toronto stadium

Shi Davidi joined Lead Off to talk about reports surrounding the Rogers Centre, and what replacing it would mean to the Blue Jays and ownership.

The possibility of a new home stadium is emerging for the Toronto Blue Jays, though nothing’s final at this stage with discussions still ongoing.

According to the Globe and Mail, Rogers Communications Inc., the parent company of the Blue Jays as well as Sportsnet, and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. are working with city, provincial and federal officials on a plan to demolish the Rogers Centre, effectively turning half of the downtown Toronto property into a new, baseball-first stadium at the south end and the other portion into residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space.

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“Prior to the pandemic, we were exploring options for the stadium but through this year our primary focus has been keeping our customers connected and employees safe, so there is no update on the Rogers Centre to share at this time,” said Andrew Garas, director of communications at Rogers.

Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro has previously expressed the need to take a wide-scale refurbishment of Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays’ home since 1989. If plans for a new downtown stadium fall through, per the Globe, Rogers is also said to be considering building a new stadium on a lakefront site, potentially the 12-acre Quayside property where Google’s Sidewalk Labs had planned to house its now-abandoned smart-city project.

The multibillion-dollar plan would be funded by Rogers and Brookfield, but needs government approvals to move forward. While Rogers owns the stadium, the federal government owns the land.

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