MLB commissioner says Rogers Centre 'out of date'

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that Rogers Centre is in need of an update.

Rob Manfred urges renovations to make 29-year-old stadium 'economically viable'

The Blue Jays were forced to postpone a game last week after falling ice from the CN Tower damaged the roof of the Rogers Centre. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press)

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that Rogers Centre is in need of an update.

The downtown stadium has been the Toronto Blue Jays' home since June 1989.

"The stadium when it was built was a great building, one of our best," Manfred said. "I think given the passage of time, the building is probably out of date in terms of the amenities that are available in many of our ballparks. The physical design of the stadium — so many of our stadiums have millennial areas, things like that, that have been built and become more popular more recently.

"So while the building is fundamentally sound, I think it needs an update to make it as economically viable as possible."

Manfred, who held a media availability before the Jays' game against the Boston Red Sox, said the stadium issue was a talking point during his meeting with team president Mark Shapiro earlier in the day.

'Limited premium seating'

The commissioner planned to meet later Tuesday with chairman Edwards Rogers and representatives from team owner Rogers Communications Inc.

"It's really a local matter," Manfred said. "It's something that ownership and Mark have to work through in terms of the size of the investment. I do know that there's limited premium seating in this facility.

"I think in a market as robust as Toronto, if it were my club I'd probably want a lot more than you have."

There have been a few changes around the ballpark in recent years, including the addition of a standing-room viewing area above the centre-field wall and the installation of a traditional dirt infield.

There is no timeline in place for when the team might unveil potential renovation plans for the 49,286-seat venue.


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