Rogers Centre is here to stay

I know that there are many complaints about Rogers Centre for footall which is understandable but for baseball the only thing that is missing would be a natural Grass field.
From a baseball side the Blue Jays are not alone in playing still in a multi purpose stadium and these stadiums do not have a retractable roof.
The Angels and the A's both play in originally built multi purpose.

From the NFL side we still have the Raiders and even with all of there success the 49ers have still played at the old Camdlstick park a beaseball first stadium in which the baseball Giants has gotten a new baseball specific stadium and the 49er will finally be getting one soon.

Going into a second tier sport DC United continues to play at the Old JFK stadium.
The Montreal Alouettes still play playoff games at Olympic stadium for playoff games.

Although the Argos and its football fans would like to have a CFL specific stadium they are lucky to have the Rogers Centre there for a home field at all and a retractable roof to boot. I am sure that the players do not mind playing for the Argos for this reason as well as having modern Locker rooms to use. Could it be that the Tiger Cats have had trouble having sucess with players who may be choosing not to play in the much outdated stadium over the past decade.

Rogers Centre is still a quality facility especially for baseball and the poor atmosphere has to do more with the lack of fans than the venue itself.
For the Argos I get it as the CFL has evolved into a more MLS model with smaller Canadian specific football stadiums leaving a now oversized venue to play in but for games of any kind there is very little problems with atmosphere when the venue is packed.
So the Argos will ride it out do to the lack of funding for a CFL specific stadium not there. When the Jays go to grass and put a winner on the fieled there will be those who will complain but with a full house it will be just fine. Also with a retractable roof I am quite sure that the players and the fans will be very grateful should the Jays enter post season and possibly the World Series.

site lines or no site site lines be grateful for such a venue that still many cities in all kinds of sports would be more than happy to have as their home venue.

Even when the day comes for the Argos to need to move due to grass at Rogers Centre the CFL will still be able to use Rogers Centre for Grey Cups with baseball season over by that point with the ability to move seating into place for a single football game. I mean Yankee Stadium hosts the Pinstripe Bowl as part of the NCAA bowl games.

Finally, the fact the Rogers was able to purchase the venue from the City of Toronto for a bag of beans is a big reason why the Jays have been able to survive in Toronto or they may have gone the way of the Expos.


I read (in Popular Science or Pop Mech) around 1988 that Skydome was intended to have a natural grass field (some specially bred strain) but that the idea was dropped due to maintenance costs so I don't see why it would necessarily preclude the Argos playing there. Oakland has a grass field and football is played there, and the Marlins played at Joe Robbie stadium for years. And most if not all of the NFL teams once played on baseball fields. Wish I could say which issue it was but it's too long ago. Capacity was also supposed to be 56,000 for b?b and 58,000 for f/b. If it could be conceivably done then, why not now? Yes, I know that football tears up grass fields, but seriously, there are some pretty smart people out there, can't a solution be found?

I do not think the issue is the football game itself that is the worry about the grass as the Argos really only use it for games and not practice but the configuring of the seats to football is which the issue and the grass come in having to do it several times a season. Once for a Bills game and once for a grey cup game every few years though would not be the issue.

But apparently that was what was planned originally anyway. So I don't see why it was ok then but not now.

On a slightly different note, wouldn't the grass field preclude ANY other events taking place? And doesn't skydome presently host a lot of other events or is it just b/b and f/b now?


IIRC concerts caused more damage to the grass at Commonwealth Stadium than football ever did.

And yes Rogers Centre still hosts events other than sports.

When someone figures out out how to grow grass in the winter when the temperature is below zero and without sunlight!!
That's why artificial turf was invented for domes. When the World Cup was held in the US they trucked in real grass and laid it down in the domes for the couple of weeks but then it was removed after Cup.
I'm sure that they would do that at the Rogers Centre too. They probably would keep the roof open most of the time from April to October and they probably could remove the grass and put down turf for special events like NFL games but it would be a long process to remove grass and install the turf.

That is probably what the hold up is in putting in the grass. There are probably ways to do it one such way being one you mentioned but nothing that would be cost efficient. With Rogers buying the building for so little ad making revenue on it for other events such as Argo games, concerts etc. They would still need to have concert events and such during baseball season meaning they would have to pay for covering the grass as not to get ruined. So who knows how long the Argos may have Rogers for use of a home venue. I would imagine that with all the additions they made to the baseball roster that they will actually be looking to sell a lot more seats for the 81 home games and playoffs and maybe actually come at least close to the Jays to make money to pay for the cost of the grass.

Kieth Pelly was on Prime Time Sports and stated that Rogers is a multi purpose venue and it would not make sense to put grass in, the cost is one and limiting the venue to just one sport does not make financial sense.

:thdn: Go Jays Go!

Rogers is only "contemplating" installing grass at Skydome. They said it would be at least 5 years off and is no certainty. Installing grass could cost $30 million or more...and millions more in upkeep and storage, etc. Grass would also preclude using Skydome for the Argos, concerts and many trade shows, resulting in additional financial losses.

Rogers investigated installing grass several years ago but that idea was rejected as unworkable and too expensive for Skydome. I believe the current "grass" speculation, which was resurrected by Rogers' PrimeTime Sports show during Grey Cup week, was only a diversion tactic by Rogers to draw attention away from the Grey Cup and throw some cold water on the festivities. Sure enough, the national media was enthralled with the "Argos are orphans and will have no place to play" storyline in the days leading up to the GC. :roll:

Why doesn't rogers use what BC Place has, the best in the World turf !?

Developed and manufactured fully in-house by German-based manufacturer Polytan, the world leader in successful FIFA 2-Star fieldtested and FIFA 2-Star Re-tested fields, this new breed of artificial turf will feature advancements in safety, performance and durability that will truly provide a home field advantage for both the Vancouver Whitecaps and the BC Lions. The field has been designed to meet FIFA 2-Star certification which is FIFA's highest standard for an artificial turf field and signifies the field is capable of hosting FIFA final round

[url=] ... -vancouver[/url]

The Polytan turf is currently being rolled out at B.C. Place. It’s almost identical to the surface used by a pair of French Ligue 1 sides, Nancy and Lorient, and the one used at Stade de Suisse where Young Boys play.

It’s also used as practice fields by Bayern Munich, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, as well as English Premier League side Liverpool.

Locally, UBC went with Polytan for the Thunderbird Stadium makeover. That particular field is also approved by the IRB for international rugby.

MLS head office has made its preference for natural grass clear — as have many players — but it’s not possible in B.C. Place, which is also home to the CFL’s B.C. Lions and has a retractable roof the size of the field.

[url=] ... b-c-place/[/url]

I could not agree more as I stated before if Rogers was not able to Purchase Skydome from the city for small % of what it cost to build and enable them to use the multi purpose venue to generate revenue to make up for loses the Blue Jays have experienced at the gate the Jays may well have been long gone from Toronto.
They may be only one of two teams in MLB to have artificial turf but it may stay that way. The difference between the old style original Astro Turf and the new style field turfs that are now out there are like night and day. Even FIFA has left the all grass policy for FIFA soccer events and have OK'd certain kind of field turf as acceptable.
So the Argos for better or worse may have much more time at Rogers Centre than many may think.
The City or Province will not be planning to build anymore outdoor venues with the recent building of BMO, the combined effort for Pan Am stadium in Hamilton, as well as a smaller venue on the York campus for multi purpose use for the University and other community teams in Football, Soccer, and track and field to name a few.
Unless pressed into it the Argos and the CFL will not attempt to expand the York Venue to CFL specifications due to the cost it would take..
The Argos may get limited dates in a multipurpose facility which is not the best place for football but it is very cost effecient for the Argos, a great place for the Grey cup being in the biggest Canadian City and being an enclosed venue with 50,000 plus seats as well as top amenities as modern locker rooms and 1st class private suites. TSN will remain happy as it will enable the Argos to easily stay in Toronto.

If Toronto at some point was to drop out of Mls and go to Nasl then maybe then you could say its time to share Bmo with the other teams.

I will say any communications from Rogers and their staff about their stadium being changed for grass or whatever should be taken with a grain of salt, hidden agendas going on here big time with concern to the Argos, how soccer is played in there and when as well as the Bills thing. Complicated and it seems a lot of mixed messages coming out and will continue as Rogers really doesn't know how to deal with this aspect of not having a clue what to do about natural grass and if they can do it. They are totally confused about it all and I can appreciate that, it would be a huge experiment and they can't afford to screw up with all the money they are pumping into the Jays. And where does that leave the concerts and other events there? What do they try and do? They don't even know. Not as simple as simply trying to kick the Argos out, not that simple.

Sort of funny though come to think of it, a big company like Rogers spinning their communications wheels, and they are in the communications business afterall. :stuck_out_tongue:

Rogers change at the top will provide very quickly the new direction of the corporation , if there is going to be one , but earl you are exactly correct , there is a constant flow of mixed messages coming from the Rogers house , whatever sounds popular they are living with.

Would make more sense for Hamilton and Ottawa to use it, with Hamilton hosting the Pan Am Soccer and Ottawa hosting the FIFA Womens plus their NASL team. Looks like it's designed for your balls as well as running on it.

The issue in the Rogers Centre is "Baseball" and this turf is probably not suited for baseball. A small baseball rolling on field turf loses momentum fast compared to real grass and the balls don't bounce the same way on field turf.

If it's $30 million for the real grass, I'm sure that's not a issue considering what they are going to pay these new players they just signed. Let's not forget that the Jays play over 80 Games a year!! and the Argos 9, so it's going to be whatever the Jays ask for.
Have the Argos looked at to playing home games at the new Pan Am stadium in Hamilton? it's not that far of a drive for their fans. Hamilton could use another tennant in there if they are not getting an NASL team.

To call it lucky is to miss the really point of fan complaints. It's not a "CFL specific stadium" Argo fans want, but a football friendly stadium. Skydome is, and always has been, a horrible place to watch a football game. The lower bowl seats are too far from the field to start with then add the gentle slope of the seating and the so called best seats in the house are 4 city blocks from the field. It is a lousy facility for football and the lack of fans exacerbates the problem. It is still a lousy facility for football when packed. Have you been to an Argos game at Skydome?

No, the Argos will "ride it out" because they are stuck. They went with Skydome over the soccer/football stadium with Soccer Canada because they got a sweetheart deal from Skydome. It was purely financial. Now they have no one to partner with as BMO is too small and has no room for expansion. You mentioned the Als playing in the big O, but what you fail to mention is they only play one regular season game and a playoff game there. Had they not listened to fans and moved to McGill as their primary home they wouldn't have a fan base and be in the same trouble Toronto is in. Als fans accept those big O games as the price they pay for having a football "friendly" (not CFL specific) stadium for 8 of 9 regular season home games.

The Skydome is the worst venue I've ever been to for football and it is killing the Argos. From site lines to atmosphere it is horrible. The only thing it has going for it is location, but how important is location and public transportation is no one wants to go inside.

[b]Mikem wrote: Have the Argos looked at to playing home games at the new Pan Am stadium in Hamilton? it's not that far of a drive for their fans.[/b]
IMO, it is highly unlikely that 20,000 - 24,000 Argo fans would regularly make the trek from Toronto to Hamilton every second week for a "home" game.

The club has enough difficulty attracting locals for home games.