Friday, July 16, 2010

Rogers Centre / SkyDome, Toronto, Canada

"Rogers Centre"

"Rogers Centre, formerly known as SkyDome, is a multi-purpose stadium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower near the shores of Lake Ontario. Originally opened in 1989, it is home to the American League's Toronto Blue Jays, the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, the site of the annual International Bowl American college football bowl game...."

The name change happened when Rogers Communications bought the stadium in 2005: putting ownership where, in the Lemming's opinion, it belongs, in private hands.

The History Channel has an online video clip from their Modern Marvels series, showing a little of the dome's workings.

"Toronto Skydome"
The History Channel
video, 3:17

A more conventional bit of video journalism is on CBC. This video shows an engineer demonstrating how the SkyDome/Rogers Centre works, using a scale model. It also has a selection of comments about the stadium: apparently it's not universally loved.

"Raising the roof at SkyDome"
CBC Digital Archives (June 4, 1989)
video, length not given

Back to that Wikipedia article:

"...Rogers Centre was designed by Rod Robbie & Michael Allen and was constructed by the EllisDon Construction company of London, Ontario. The stadium's construction lasted about two and a half years, from October 1986 to May 1989. The approximate cost of construction was $600 million (CAD) which was paid for by the federal government, Ontario provincial government, the City of Toronto, and a large consortium of corporations...."

I don't know what percentage of that $600,000,000 CAD came from Canadian taxpayers, but I'm a bit sympathetic with the folks who didn't appreciate footing the bill.

We've got a parallel situation in Minnesota, with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, in Minneapolis. It's been compared to a giant bundt pan, and might have been more popular if the designers had realized that folks using it would need parking space - and that it snows during Minnesota winters.

Moving along.

"SkyDome / Rogers Centre Built In Two And A Half Minutes"

EllisDonConstruction, YouTube (April 09, 2009)
video, 2:36

"Timelapse of the world's first retractable roof sport's stadium. It was originally called the SkyDom, [!] now called Rogers Centre. The Rogers Centre hosts the Toronto Blue Jays."

It's got a fun, lively, music track: and does a decent job of showing how the stadium was built - and what the dome opening looks like.

Granted: that was a big bill to hand off to Canadian taxpayers. Still, Toronto's got a spectacular stadium that adapts to the city's sincerely non-tropical climate - and, unlike the Minneapolis analog, Toronto's Rogers Centre allows open-air use in the summer.

I'm also impressed by the engineering and architectural planning that went into designing the movable segmented dome.



Brigid said...

I think it's supposed to be conventional: "A more convention bit of video"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Yes. Better English use I should.

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