Blue Jays unveil 4 brand-new outfield neighbourhoods opening for 2023

January 17th, 2023

TORONTO -- Through the hum of machinery and the beehive of construction workers inside Rogers Centre, you can finally start to see the Blue Jays’ vision for their new stadium emerging.

Toronto’s multi-year, $300 million renovation to Rogers Centre began early this offseason with a long demolition phase, focused mostly on the upper levels of seating, outfield walls and bullpen areas. With demolition finished several weeks ago, though, the Blue Jays have shifted their focus to redesigning those areas to be ready for Opening Day.

Tuesday, media got their first look inside the stadium since early October, with executive vice presidents of business operations Anuk Karunaratne and Marnie Starkman detailing the three main focuses of the project:

• To bring the city of Toronto into the ballpark through food, drink and experiences

• Bring the fans closer to the action

• Diversify the types of viewing experiences each fan can have

When it comes to the daily fan experience, the most noticeable change will be the addition of four new outfield “neighborhoods,” with two on the 500 Level and two on the 100 Level surrounding a newly redesigned WestJet Flight Deck.

500 Level Neighborhoods: In left field, you’ll find Park Social, a “park inside a park.” This is where fans can enjoy an open-air space with food offerings styled after Toronto’s food trucks. In right field, the Corona Rooftop Patio borrows from Toronto’s many rooftop bars, including frozen cocktails and modern takes on ballpark classics.

100 Level Neighborhoods: The area behind the batter’s eye in center field was originally designed to be a transit stop, so that’s where you’ll find The Stop. This bar will option quick drinks and handheld food options, like Jamaican beef patties or banh mi sandwiches. In the right-field corner, looking over the visiting bullpen, you’ll find The Catch, serving “classic cocktails and trendy bites” with a new view of the game.

The WestJet Fight Deck in centre will be getting a “brewery-style refresh” to bring new food and drink options, while the 200 Level terrace and 100 Level mezzanine -- both in the right-field corner -- will offer other viewing spots with bar access.

These expansions and additions will scale back the overall seating capacity, bringing it to approximately 41,500, which does not include standing areas and private boxes.

“We are committed to building a sustainable championship organization for years to come, and this renovation to Rogers Centre will give new and lifelong Blue Jays fans a ballpark where they can proudly cheer on their team,” said Mark Shapiro, president & CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays. “This project would not be possible without the support of Edward Rogers, Tony Staffieri and our Rogers ownership group, who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Blue Jays, both in fielding the best team to win championships, as well as in the infrastructure needed to create a modern ballpark for our fans and players.”

Of course, not all of the work being done will be obvious the first time you walk through the doors.

This phase will also include a new, 5,000-square-foot weight room, along with facilities for players’ families and the club staff. Rogers Centre’s part-time event staff will also have new facilities.

Next offseason, the Blue Jays plan to complete the second phase of this renovation by overhauling the lower bowl, then renovating the player clubhouse and facilities. Field level suites and social spaces will also be renovated through the second phase.

Toronto opens its season on the road in 2023 with Opening Day scheduled for March 30 in St. Louis. After stops in Kansas City and Los Angeles, they’ll return home to unveil the new-look Rogers Centre at their home opener on April 11.