Renovations may already be underway at the Rogers Centre, but with much left to do, Blue Jays President and CEO Mark Shapiro has opened a lobbying file with the City of Toronto to discuss the improvements.
Shapiro, along with Blue Jays Senior Vice President of Finance Ben Colabrese and Blue Jays Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations Anuk Kurunaratne, registered the lobbying period beginning June 1 and running until the end of the year.
Although details on what exactly the renovations will entail are still a bit unclear, the team at the Rogers Centre has said they have a slew of upgrades in mind that are set to modernize the stadium for the next 10 to 15 years.
It was initially reported that Rogers was interested in demolishing the stadium altogether in favour of building a new facility, but with no other viable spaces downtown to build a stadium, the company has now opted to carry out a series of renovations instead.
An exact final cost has not yet been revealed, but trade publication VenuesNow previously reported that sources had estimated the cost to be between $200M and $250M.
The first upgrades to the 33-year-old Rogers Centre were rolled out in April of this year ahead of the Jay's season opened to the tune of $13.7M. This included an AV tech overhaul with a revamped LED display system for the screens and scoreboard, as well as an improved sound system.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. In March of this year when Shapiro announced the official plans to renovate, he said that "every part of the interior of the stadium" will get a face lift. At the time, designs were not yet finalized, but the major areas of focus were said to be the lower bowl -- which will be completely replaced -- and the concourses.
The players' facilities will also be undergoing upgrades so that they're on par with the complex in Dunedin, Florida that the Blue Jays players spent considerable time at during that last two seasons due to border restrictions.
Parts of the upper level were recently renovated, with an upgrade of all 300-level suites taking place just three years ago. And the retractable roof has undergone major work in recent years as well, seeing upgrades that cut its opening and closing time in half.
The stadium's iconic exterior isn't expected to undergo any major changes as a result of the upcoming renovations.
All of the work is set to be carried out during the team's off-seasons, and will be complete by the start of the season in 2024. It was reported in December that PCI Construction Group and architecture firm Populous had won a bid to design and build the project.