Rogers Centre has become the first Canadian professional sports venue to introduce a sensory room, through a partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Toronto Blue Jays and non-profit organisation KultureCity.
Available for use at all Rogers Centre events, the room is located at Section 212 of the stadium, behind the Fan Services office.
The sensory room has been designed to cater to fans’ sensory processing needs, such as autism, Down syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and other conditions that can benefit from a safe and soothing atmosphere.
Offerings in the room include: bean bag chairs, ottomans, bubble walls, texture wall, nanoleafs, sensory panel, activity panels, weighted lap pads, headphones, colouring sheets and crayons, and a television, which is muted in the room. In addition to the room, sensory bags are being provided to visitors.
The room has been installed as part of the ongoing renovations taking place at Rogers Centre. In April, the Blue Jays shed further light on the next phase of renovations by revealing three new premium clubs for the stadium.
The new premium clubs, set to open during the 2024 season, will be located beneath a completely reimagined lower bowl, connected to the best seats in the ballpark, with entertainment experiences. Each club is designed to offer a differentiated experience to satisfy fan interests, with personalised levels of service including private members entrance and in-seat dining.
In July, the Blue Jays announced a more than C$300m (£178.3m/€207.5m/$223.4m) privately funded renovation, to be completed between 2024 and 2025, that will transform Rogers Centre from a stadium into a ballpark through a series of projects focused on modernising the fan experience and building world-class player facilities.
The ribbon was cut on the first phase of work on April 6, unveiling a new Outfield District, featuring five distinct neighbourhoods and many additional new social spaces. The Outfield District first opened to fans at the Blue Jays 2023 season home opener on April 11.
Rogers Centre was conceptualised as a multi-purpose stadium when it opened in 1989 and had not previously undergone a large-scale renovation in its history.