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Here’s How Toronto’s SkyDome (Now: Rogers Centre) Opened 25 Years Ago Today
June 3, 2014
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Here's a bit of a time capsule for you: the opening of Toronto's SkyDome, 25 years ago — what host Brian Williams called "the world's first multi-purpose, state-of-the-art dome stadium." Some highlights of the ceremony: a helicopter for Williams, a pair of TV star presenters in Alan Thicke and Andrea Martin, musical performances by Glass Tiger and the Toronto Symphony and an appearance by the Golden Helmets (the Ontario Provincial Police's motorcycle precision team). Oh, and all the silver lamé-clad dancers money could buy.

SkyDome took two years to build, and ultimately cost governments and corporate investors $570 million (well over the projected $150 million). It took over football and baseball duties from Exhibition Stadium, which was home to a notoriously rainy 1982 Grey Cup. The Ontario government eventually sold the stadium to a private consortium for $151 million, and in 2004, Rogers bought the building for $25 million, and switched the official name to Rogers Centre — although many fans still refer to it by its original moniker, which derived from a fan naming contest.

For good measure, here are a couple more videos of notable Canadian stadiums:

In 1976, Montreal's Olympic Stadium — still the country's largest by capacity — welcomed the world for the Summer Olympics. And while the games and stadium were plagued by cost-overruns and delays,  the Opening Ceremony featured everything from a Snowbirds air show to a trumpet fanfare welcoming Queen Elizabeth II. Here are some highlights:

Seven years later, on the north side of False Creek, Vancouver, BC Place hosted its grand opening gala. This video shows the construction of the stadium, including the first inflation of its famous air-supported roof (now replaced by a cable-pull retractable roof):

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