Rogers Communications, which owns the Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball team, has revealed that plans to redevelop the Rogers Centre ballpark have been temporarily put on hold amid reports that the franchise is considering building a new venue on the site of its current home.
Local newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that Rogers has engaged Brookfield Asset Management on a plan that would result in the demolition of the 49,000-seat stadium, which has been the home of the Blue Jays since 1989.
According to the report, Rogers and Brookfield Asset Management have been working with government officials on the plan, which would see a new stadium form part of a wide-ranging development that includes residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space.
Any plans for a new stadium appear to be at an early stage, however, with Rogers confirming that the project is not an immediate priority.
“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 keeping our employees safe, so there is no update on the Rogers Centre to share at this time,” Rogers spokesperson Andrew Garas told The Canadian Press.
The Rogers Centre plan would reportedly be privately funded, although it would require government approval. The Globe and Mail’s report added that Rogers would consider building a new stadium on a lakefront site if plans to demolish Rogers Centre do not come to fruition.
The Blue Jays have played at Rogers Centre since 1989 but the team was forced to play the majority of its home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York amid COVID-19 restrictions relating to travel between Canada and the US.
Rogers Centre opened as the SkyDome before rebranding in 2005 after Rogers purchased the stadium.