I haven’t heard any mention of it but tonight’s Bombers v Argos tilt is likely the last ever football game that will be played at SkyDome (I’ll never accept Rogers Centre).
The Argos will finish third, meaning no home playoff game. Next year’s Grey Cup (and all the ones after that in TO) will be played at BMO Field. Rogers is also looking to install real grass for the Jays which probably precludes reconfiguring the stands for football in any event.
So that’s that.
Yes, the boatmen are probably better off in BMO but I am not looking forward to another cold weather Grey Cup venue.
The main impetus for building an enclosed sports venue came following the Grey Cup game in November 1982, held at the outdoor Exhibition Stadium. The game was played in a driving rainstorm that left most of the crowd drenched, leading the media to call it “the Rain Bowl”. As many of the seats were completely exposed to the elements, thousands watched the game from the concession section. To make a bad experience even worse, the washrooms overflowed. In attendance that day was Bill Davis, the Premier of Ontario, and the poor conditions were seen by the largest TV audience ever in Canada (over 7,862,000 viewers) to that point. The following day, at a rally at Toronto City Hall, tens of thousands of people who attended the game began to chant, “We want a dome! We want a dome!”
Seven months later, in June 1983, Premier Davis formally announced that a three-person committee would look into the feasibility of building a domed stadium at Exhibition Place. The committee consisted of Paul Godfrey, Larry Grossman and former Ontario Hydro chairman Hugh Macaulay.
The committee examined various projects, including a large indoor stadium at Exhibition Place with an air-supported dome, similar to BC Place in Vancouver. In 1985, an international design competition was launched to design a new stadium, along with selection of a site. Some of the proposed sites included Exhibition Place, Downsview Airport, and York University. The final site was located at the base of the CN Tower not far from Union Station, a major railway and transit hub. The Railway Lands were a major Canadian National Railway rail switching yard encompassing the CNR Spadina Roundhouse (the desolate downtown lands were part of a master plan for revitalizing the area, which includes CityPlace). Ultimately the Robbie/Allen concept won because it provided the largest roof opening of all the finalists, and it was the most technically sound.
Anyhow, I’ll be one of the few people there tonight watching the second exhibition game of the season between these two as it signals end of an era.
I wonder how many of 416 squadron will be there for roll call?