PCL looks to knock Blue Jays project out of the park

PCL Construction is working on the first phase of the Rogers Centre Renovation Projects.

PCL is on its way to hit a home run in Toronto with this renovation project. 

While the Toronto Blue Jays rest during the off season, PCL Constructors Canada is hard at work on the multi-year Rogers Centre renovation. The contractor was awarded the first phase renovation contract by Rogers Stadium Limited Partnership in October. 

The work is part of a $300 million multi-year renovation that aims to transform the 33-year-old multi-purpose stadium into a ballpark through a series of projects focused on modernizing the fan experience and building world-class player facilities.

Rogers Centre was conceptualized as a multi-purpose stadium when it opened in 1989 and has not undergone a large-scale renovation in its 33-year history. 

“PCL and our partners are passionate about bringing the Toronto Blue Jays’ reimagined vision for Rogers Centre to life,” said Monique Buckberger, vice president and district manager, PCL Toronto. “Following months of preconstruction planning, our team hit the ground running on the first phase of renovations to give the home of Canada’s Major League Baseball team a new look for the 2023 Home Opener.”

To meet the fast-track schedule, PCL’s work is being sequenced in two shifts over a six-day work week. Officials say demolition to bring portions of the stadium back to base is already nearing completion, enabling next steps, which opens to fans on the 2023 season Blue Jays home opener on April 11, including:

Field level:

  • Players’ family room.
  • 5,000 sq. ft. weight room.
  • Staff locker rooms.

100 level and 200 level outfield:

  • Creation of multiple new social spaces with patios, drink rails, bars, and viewing platforms
  • Raised bullpens surrounded by traditional and new bleacher seats, as well as social viewing areas that look into the bullpens to increase fan and player interaction.
  • 100 level seats brought forward to the new outfield walls to brings fans closer to the game.

500 level:

  • Two new social decks in right and left field.
  • Replacing every 500-level seat from the originals when the building opened.

The demolition work began Oct. 14 with 500 level seat removal (all to be replaced for the 2023 season), followed by structural demolition of the outfield beginning on October 20. Demolition work was completed Nov. 18, culminating in 35 days of work and approximately 21,000 worker hours. An average of about 110 workers have been on site daily, six days per week, including about 50 workers dedicated to demolition.

The demolition work has resulted in 2.2 million pounds of materials getting recycled, including 1.3 million pounds of concrete. 900,000 pounds of steel and metal. 

Crews used a 200-tonne crane for heavy structural removal, while small machinery was utilized to break up concrete.

The outfield turf has been protected or removed in certain areas to facilitate construction, while the infield remains accessible to the Blue Jays Field Operations team to continue offseason work.

PCL says it took approximately one month to remove the 500 level seats (around 17,000 of them) and railings. Two mobile cranes (90 tonne and 50 tonne) were used to bring the seats down from. New seats will be delivered in January.

PCL noted that the size of the stadium allows for multiple projects to progress at the same time, so while demolition was being completed, building began the second week of November with concrete poured in the 500 level and new structural steel installation.

PHOTOS: PCL crews working at Rogers Centre


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