50-years from now, in the year 2068, there will still be Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Rogers Centre (aka Skydome), and quite possibly Dodger Stadium.
Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Dodger Stadium continue to house their iconic ball clubs because they’ve become such a big part of their history and the fabric of the city. Baseball has become, at least for the people running the teams, about making money and making as much of it as possible. The problem with such a business driven approach is that important aspects (at least to some us) such as history, tradition, loyalties are often sacrificed in order to maximize profit.
Case in point what happened with Tiger Stadium and Old Yankee Stadium. Not even the house that Ruth built, and that DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Jackson, and Jeter kept filled was enough to convince the Yankees that a new stadium wasn’t necessary. For a far better and extensive explanation on why they never should have got rid of Old Yankee stadium though, please read the following article when you have the chance.
The Blue Jays don’t have the kind of extensive history that clubs like the Red Sox, Cubs, and Dodgers have. They also don’t have a ball park that’s anywhere near as old. But that still doesn’t mean it isn’t a special place worth holding onto. Oddly enough, Rogers Centre may someday have the rich history that exists today at Wrigley or Fenway, but the reasons why it’ll be around for years (decades) to come will be for attributes other than historic value. Which is what saved Wrigley and Fenway.
Here are my thoughts on why Rogers Centre will continue to play home to the Blue Jays for a long time yet and why they’d be crazy to even consider playing anywhere else.
You couldn’t pick a better location for Rogers Centre if you tried. Smack dab in the heart of the city, next to the Gardiner Expressway, a 5-minute walk from Union Station, and within walking distance of the throngs of workers, students, tourists and residents in the area. Since Skydome was built in 1989, Toronto has grown immensely. Not only does the skyline continue to grow higher and higher, but every last bit of suitable open space (at least the ones big enough to accommodate a ball park) have long since been developed.
Although there are many exceptional benefits for the Blue Jays to continue playing at Rogers Centre, there still remains some drawbacks that need addressing. No ball park can go on housing a big league team without needing considerable renovations sooner or later. The Red Sox have spent over $300-million since 2002 improving Fenway. While the Cubs are just wrapping up what’s been a 4-year long renovation of Wrigley that when completed will have cost approximately $575-million. Considering the huge sums of money spent to spruce up Fenway and Wrigley, it’s mind boggling to think what its likely to cost to renovate such a massive structure as Rogers Centre. Just not as mind boggling as it would be to build a completely new stadium and to find a reasonable place to put it.