Pro Sports Stadium Review: Rodgers Centre

The Toronto Blue Jays, Major League Baseball’s only Canadian-based team, appear to be poised to make a serious run at this year’s playoffs.

The Blue Jays find themselves in second place in the American League Eastern Division, five-and-one-half games behind the first place New York Yankees with about fifty-four games remaining to be played.

The squad from Toronto acquired an ace pitcher during the just-ended July trading period, David Price. He has the skills to lead this team of sluggers to baseball’s promised land, the postseason.

It won’t be easy because the Yankees are an offensive juggernaut, as well. At least that has been the case for the past few weeks. But as any baseball fan knows hitting comes and goes, often in the space of a single game.

Toronto’s lineup features hitters with high batting averages and good slugging stats. Plus, they play their games in Rodgers Centre, a ball field that tends to be hitter-friendly.

Consider the following. In Rodgers Centre, which opened in 1989, the left field and right field foul poles are just three hundred twenty-eight feet from home plate. The power alleys in left center-field and right center-field can be reached by any batter who drives the ball three hundred seventy-five feet.  Center field is four hundred feet from home plate.

Most major League batters can hit the ball far enough to have it travel over the outfield fences in this ballpark. That is more than true for the home team Blue Jays. They have legitimate sluggers.

Interestingly, Rodgers Centre, which bears the name of Rodgers Communications, the owner of the park and the team, is a multi-purpose venue. The Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts call this ballpark home.

At one time, American basketball and football games were played in this north-of-the-border stadium. Currently, only the Blue Jays and Argonauts perform in this downtown park.

Graphic via ellisdon

Of course, this popular destination has hosted many concerts. The field can be configured two ways for live music shows. One is called the Theatre and it holds five thousand fans. The second configuration is designed to turn the field into a “Concert Hall.” In this format, there is room for ten thousand to twenty-five thousand customers.

Rodgers Centre has a seating capacity of 49,282 for baseball, up to 52,370 for Canadian football. Record attendance, however, was achieved when World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held Wrestle Mania X8 at the ballpark. The attendance for that fun-filled and exciting event was 68,237.

Numerous restaurants and food stands help keep fans well-fed and content. And this ballpark has a hotel just beyond the outfield walls. It has two hundred forty-eight rooms, seventy of which face the playing field.

Those rooms may have the best seats in all of sports, professional and amateur.

Graphic via andrewstoeten

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