After a two-year renovation project at BMO Field, the stadium officially reopened ahead of Toronto FC’s home opener last week. The two-phase, US$150m project aimed to transform the venue into a world-class, multipurpose stadium that will be home to Toronto FC, the Toronto Argonauts CFL team, and premier outdoor events like the 2016 Grey Cup and the inaugural NHL Centennial Classic.
The second phase of the renovation project, which began in September 2015, saw the construction of a canopy to cover the east, west and south grandstands, new football locker rooms, changes to accommodate a CFL field, and the addition of a new sound and lighting system.
“The two-year renovation of BMO Field is an important investment in our teams, our fans and the entire city of Toronto,” said Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of sports and real estate company MLSE.
“This project not only gives Toronto FC one of the best stadia in Major League Soccer (MLS) but it also provides a world-class home for one of our city’s sports treasures, the Toronto Argonauts. This facility will continue to boost Toronto’s reputation as one of the premier sports and entertainment markets in the world and will play an important role in our championship aspirations.”
The first phase of renovations to BMO Field took place from September 2014 to May 2015 and saw the stadium expanded to a seating capacity of 30,000 with a new second deck added to the east grandstands, new suites, private clubs, concession stands and a new HD video board in the north end.
“BMO Field is an important gathering place for sports fans in Toronto, and the new renovations have turned this great venue on the Exhibition Place grounds into a truly world-class facility,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “The renovation project is a great example of what we can accomplish together as community partners. I’m confident the stadium will be home to many memorable moments in our city’s history.”
Originally opened in April, 2007, BMO Field is home to the Canadian Soccer Association – and the national soccer stadium – and played host to the 2008 MLS All-Star Game. In 2010, BMO Field became the first venue outside of the USA to host the MLS Cup.
Last February, with the raising of the south canopy, BMO announced a 10-year renewal of the bank’s naming rights sponsorship of the stadium.
“BMO’s sports sponsorships bring communities together and celebrate teamwork and perseverance,” said Connie Stefankiewicz, chief marketing officer, BMO Financial Group. “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with TFC and look forward to joining with fans and our customers to cheer on the team as they come home to the newly renovated BMO Field.”
On October 1, 2015, the Canadian Football League (CFL) announced that the 104th Grey Cup, to be played November 27, 2016, would be played in Toronto at BMO Field.
In March, the National Hockey League announced that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will face-off in an outdoor regular-season game at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday, January 1, 2017, in the first-ever NHL Centennial Classic.
May 13, 2016