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Capacity: 50,516
SkyDome

 

 

Area of fair territory: 108,000 sq. ft.

Area of foul territory: Average

 

Fences: 10 ft

 

Elevation: 300 feet

 

TICKETING
Field Level Infield $39
Club Level Baselines $37
Field Level Bases $33.50
Field Level Baselines $30.75
SkyClub Outfield $30.75
SkyDeck Infield $23
100 Level Outfield $23
SkyClub Bleachers $23
SkyDeck Bases $16
SkyDeck Baselines $7
General Information

Address:
One Blue Jays Way
Suite 3200
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1J1
Tickets: 416-341-1177

Tenants: Toronto Blue Jays (AL); Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
Opened: June 5, 1989
Style: Retractable Dome
Surface: Astroturf
Capacity: 50,516 (baseball); 53,000 (football)

Architect: Rod Robbie (Toronto) and Michael Allen (Ottawa)
Builder: Ellis-Don Construction
Owners: Interbrew SA (49%), Penfund (39%), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (10%)

Cost: Approximately $500 million (1989)

The Jumbotron: 



History

   The SkyDome is truly one of baseball's technological marvels.  Completed in 1989, its retractable roof is the first of its kind - Montreal's Olympic Stadium was originally conceived as a retractable dome stadium, but the roof wasn't finished until 1987, and it didn't become retractable until 1989.  (Now, structural problems prevent the O's roof from retracting.)  When the roof is fully retracted, 91% of the seats and the complete playing field is uncovered.

   The carpeted, symmetrical stadium pre-dated the era of classic, "old is new" ballparks, like Camden Yards and Pac Bell, but its success has inspired new ballparks with retractable rooftops, like Miller Park, Bank One Ballpark and Safeco Field in the more modern vein.  Some of the stadium's more famous, commercial features include the numerous McDonald's SkySnacks locations (where I once worked as a youth); the Hard Rock Cafe, with a view that overlooks the field; Windows on SkyDome, a 650-seat restaurant that rises above the center-field fence; Sightlines, a 300-foot-long bar, which sits atop the luxury boxes; and SkyDome Hotel, a 348-room hotel which has 70 rooms overlooking the playing field, and where several couples have been caught on film in their rooms ... er, "sliding into home."

   The SkyDome also features baseball's largest video display board in North America, and second largest in the world.  The dimensions are 110 feet wide and 33 feet high.

   In addition to baseball, SkyDome hosts the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, concerts, and a plethora of other sporting events. Because the movable lower stands are on rollers, and the Astroturf field rolls up, conversion from baseball to football takes only 10-12 hours. Opening or closing the roof takes only 20 minutes. The roof was closed during a game twice in the Blue Jays’ first year in the dome, and four or five times a year since then.

   SkyDome cost $500 million to build, financed by government and private industry. The Ontario provincial and Toronto city governments contributed $30 million each and 30 Canadian corporations payed $5 million each. Canada’s three major breweries also contributed $5 million each. The contributing corporations each received one of the stadium’s 161 skyboxes, which normally cost between $150,000 and $225,000 a year. They occupy the third and fourth levels of the five-level stadium.

   The ownership of SkyDome filed for bankruptcy protection in November 1998, the same month in which the Blue Jays signed a new ten-year lease to play in the stadium.

   

SkyDome Firsts:
Batter - Paul Molitor
Hit - Paul Molitor (Double)
Home run - Fred McGriff
RBI - Gary Sheffield
Stolen base - Fred McGriff
Victory - Don August
Save - Dan Plesac

 

Analysis

 

   When the park first opened, many thought it would play as a pitcher's park, because the ball didn't seem to carry very well.  In fact, when the roof is open, the closed end of the stadium serves as a wind scoop which causes a downdraft in the outfield that tends to prevent home runs.

   As it turns out, is has been very close to neutral - this quintessential cookie-cutter stadium, with its symmetrical dimensions and clean, artificial turf, favors no one in particular.  The walls are padded, allowing outfielders to leap against them.

 

Defense: The SkyDome places a premium on speed in center field because of its long alleys. The infield is artificial turf, so naturally the ball will scoot through the infield faster than it would on natural grass.  Teams with below-average range infielders or a center fielder with little range can have trouble with the big alleys and the slick artificial turf on the infield.

 

 

1998-2000

2000

Error Index: 95 102
Infield-error Index: 96 105

 

 

Who benefits: Although the park plays neutral in terms of runs and home runs, the longish alleys help create a high percentage of doubles, so speed can play a big offensive role in this park.  In general, high-speed, high-contact teams with aggressive baserunning tendencies and line drive gap hitters will profit from the speed of the infield turf.  Liners and grounders skitter to the wall extremely quickly, which can add up to lots of extra-base hits.

 

Who gets hurt: Slower teams struggle defensively because they can't stop speedy teams from manufacturing runs.  Players with limited range, both in the infield and the outfield, get hurt.  The even artificial turf is kind to baserunners and base thieves, giving catchers a hard time.

 

 

Park Factors

 

 

  Run HR Avg L-Avg R-Avg L-HR R-HR H 2B 3B
1992 98 97 98 99 97 65 112 95 111 136
1993 109 138 103 98 107 92 182 105 114 201
1994 93 109 95 99 93 162 88 92 90 81
1995 100 112 95 91 101 77 146 98 102 112
1996 102 105 102 107 99 133 90 105 117 117
1997 93 79 97 98 97 70 85 96 103 142
1998 97 90 94 89 98 79 101 94 109 61
1999 102 91 101 107 96 100 79 100 122 64
2000 105 104 101 102 99 102 105 101 120 71

 

 

1998-2000

2000

Walks: 100 96
Strikeouts: 100 98

 

 

 

Location

Toronto, Ontario. The center field wall (N) borders on Front Street West; the third base (W), looks over Spadina Avenue; the home plate (S) edges on the Gardiner Expressway; and first base (E) borders on John Street underneath the CN Tower, the world’s tallest freestanding structure.

Seating Chart

SkyDome seating diagram

 

Dimensions

Left field and right field foul posts: 328 ft.

Left-center and right-center power alleys: 375 ft.

Center field: 400 ft.

Backstop: 60 ft.

 

Foul territory: Average

 

 

Fun Facts

  • This was the first ballpark to break the 4 million attendance mark: it did it in 1991, though in the late 1990s attendance has fallen off by 50%. 
  • In 1992, SkyDome set the World Record for the greatest number of Hot air Balloons in an enclosed area - 46 inflated Hot air Balloons on the field.
  • SkyDome's 99¢ hot dogs ($0.70 U.S.) are the lowest price at any Major League stadium.
  • SkyDome's Hard Rock Café is the home of the largest electric guitar in North America
  • The Jumbotron is a 33-feet by 110-feet scoreboard, with 420,000 light bulbs.
  • The apex of the retracted dome is 310 feet high, making it the tallest in Major League baseball.
  • The bullpens are located just behind the outfield fence, so each dugout includes a television monitor, allowing the manager to see who’s warming up on each side.
  • The roof panels are made out of a single polyvinylchloride membrane over an insultated acoustic steel sheet metal.
  • There are no bleachers.

 


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