The end of the Rogers Centre is nigh, according to a report in the Toronto Globe and Mail as Rogers Communications is in negotiations to demolish the 31-year-old stadium and build a new one.
The stadium, which opened in 1989, was built as a modern update to the multi-purpose, AstroTurf stadiums of the 1970s. It soon seemed antiquated as the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992 led to a wave of retro, natural grass stadiums being built. SkyDome was the first park to have a fully functional retractable roof (Montreal’s Olympic Stadium also was built with a retractable roof, but, umm, it had ... issues), and Mike Lupica once derisively referred to the place as “Disneyland.”
Skydome also featured a Hard Rock hotel in the stadium, which led to it being the only baseball stadium where fans and players could simultaneously circle the bases.
SkyDome featured one of baseball’s most dramatic home runs – Joe Carter’s series-winning blast in 1993 off Mitch Williams. But before that, two fans were seen doing the nasty.
From a 1990 UPI report:
Some baseball fans think the Toronto Blue Jays’ retractable roof SkyDome home should be renamed SexDome after fans watched a couple make love in a hotel suite that overlooks the playing field.Tuesday night, during the team’s 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, those with binoculars could see an older man and a buxom, blond woman having sex in their suite. Although the lights in the suite were off, the couple’s room was illuminated by a bank of television lights in the SkyDome.
The incident Tuesday follows one several weeks ago where a male guest in the hotel, built into the SkyDome itself, masturbated in the window of his suite in front of thousands of Blue Jays fans.
That was not the end of the live sex shows at the SkyDome, renamed the Rogers Centre in 2005. In 1996, during a Blue Jays-Red Sox game, 31,000 fans were treated to what was described as a 30-minute sex show.
“It’s a good thing they finished before the game ended or I don’t think anyone would have seen the game,” Blue Jays first base coach Alfredo Griffin said.