Renovations officially underway at BMO Field

Toronto FC players Michael Bradley (left to right), captain Steven Caldwell, Jonathan Osorio, MLSE chief facilities and live entertainment officer Bob Hunter, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, BMO Bank of Montreal senior vice-president Andrew Auerbach, Councillor and Exhibition Place board of governors Mark Grimes, MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Toronto FC players Doneil Henry and Dwayne De Rosario attend a ceremony to kick off BMO Field's renovations in Toronto. (Neil Davidson/CP)

TORONTO — With Toronto FC star midfielder Michael Bradley manning a bulldozer, BMO Field’s $105-million renovation officially kicked off Tuesday.

Construction actually started last week but Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is on a tight deadline.

Phase 1 will increase seating capacity to 30,000 with 8,400 new seats in the east stand as well as new suites and other premium areas. It is scheduled to be completed in May 2015, in time for the Pan American Games.

Phase 2, to take place September 2015 to May 2016, will see a canopy covering all seats with the exception of the north stand, plus a new sound and lighting system.

Phase 3, which is dependent on the federal and provincial government kicking in $10 million apiece, would reconfigure the field to accommodate CFL football and the Toronto Argonauts.

As it stands now, MLSE is kicking in $95 million with the city adding another $10 million.

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