For some people, home is a freshly cut lawn that leads up a walkway to a house where one eats, sleeps & lives. To some people, home is two rows up from first, sandwiched between family booing the opposition.
Happy 25th Birthday to the Skydome!
Thanks to 680 News for these facts that take us back to June 3rd, 1989 when the world debuted its first domed stadium with a fully retractable roof (my Dad was very excited, moving from Exhibition Stadium to the new spot where his father’s season seats would keep us going on the emotional roller coaster that we call Blue Jays Way):
- The woman who won the contest to name the stadium, Kellie Watson, is still enjoying her prize of free lifetime entry to the stadium, despite the name change. Over the years, she’s had front-row seats to the Rolling Stones, Backstreet Boys, Elton John and Justin Bieber, and for the Blue Jays World Series victory.
- Skydome was officially opened with a lavish televised celebration hosted by Alan Thicke and Andrea Martin.
- In an effort to showcase the technological marvel, the retractable roof was opened briefly, but it was raining in Toronto that night and thousands in the sold-out crowd got wet.
- The Blue Jays played their first game in the Skydome two days later and lost to the Milwaukee Brewers. The price of a ticket back then in the 224A level was $18 compared to today’s $81.25. A seat in the 527 level in 1989 cost $12 and today it’s $17.25.
- The 2014 Jays will celebrate the 25th anniversary of that first game on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Former Jays pitcher Jimmy Key will throw out the first pitch to former catcher Ernie Whitt.
- Architect: Rod Robbie
- Builder: EllisDon Construction Co. of London, Ont., and Dominion Bridge Co. of Lachine, Que.
- Construction start and finish date: October 1986 and May 1989
- Stadium seats: 50,000 seats for baseball; 52,000 for football and 8,000 to 60,000 for concerts (using the SkyTent)
- Skydome includes: 350-room hotel, health club and broadcasting centre
- Retractable roof: Skydome was the first stadium to have a retractable roof crafted by structural engineer Michael Allen
- Building construction cost: $243.7 million budget but final construction cost estimated at $650 million including interest charges.
- Blue Jays first Skydome game: June 5, 1989
- 1989 vs. 2014 Jays ticket prices: for 224A level: $18 vs. $81.25
- 1989 vs. 2014 price of a beer: $3.50/$10.50
- 1989 vs. 2014 price of a hot dog: $6.50/$10-12.50