Rogers Centre and Blue Jays celebrate anniversary

    Contests, giveaways and alumni appearances all part of weekend

    TORONTO, June 5 /CNW/ - After a spectacular opening ceremony on June 3,
1989, the Toronto Blue Jays christened their new downtown ballpark as the team
faced the Milwaukee Brewers in the first of a three game series. Today,
Friday, June 5, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of that remarkable day and the
Blue Jays and Rogers Centre will celebrate this rich history over the course
of the weekend.
    Starting with tonight's Flashback Friday festivities where alumni from
the 1989 American League East Division Championship Team will be on hand
signing autographs from 5:45 - 6:30 p.m. on the 100L concourse to tonight's
first pitch, thrown by venue architect Rod Robbie and engineer Michael Allen
to the Every Kilowatt Counts replica Rogers Centre model giveaway(*) on Sunday,
the weekend will be filled with magical memories and historical highlights.
    Built to create an all-purpose, all-weather stadium in the heart of
downtown Toronto, Rogers Centre has welcomed over 60 millions guests under its
iconic domed roof. Averaging 3.5 million guests per year over 200 event days
since 2006, Rogers Centre continues to be one of the busiest multi-purpose
venues in North America.
    With its versatile design, Rogers Centre can accommodate events suited
for an arena, a domed stadium or an open-air facility. Concerts, family shows,
sporting events, and trade shows have all called Rogers Centre home over the
years. Thanks to the motorized retractable roof, the first of its kind, guests
can enjoy a baseball or football game under the sun and stars weather
    Home to the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club(TM), World Series Champions
in 1992 and 1993, and the Toronto Argonauts Football Team(TM) who won the Grey
Cup in 1991, 1996, 1997 and 2004, the venue was also the original home of the
Toronto Raptors and has welcomed such internationally recognized talent as the
Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Cher, Frank Sinatra and Liza Minelli, the Three Tenors,
Nelson Mandela, and Maya Angelou to name a few.
    In 2009, Rogers Centre continues its all-star line-up of entertainment as
seven-time Grammy Award winners Coldplay, teen music sensations The Jonas
Brothers and international superstars U2, who are returning, all take to the
    Since purchasing the building in 2005, Rogers Communication Inc. has
invested over $75 million in upgrades to the venue. Some of the upgrades
include expanding the 100L concourse, redesigning several premium suites
spaces and upgrading the broadcast infrastructure and video display
capabilities ensure that Rogers Centre remains a leader in the sport and
entertainment field.
    In recognition of this milestone celebration, has
launched an online contest, running today until July 3 at 3:00 p.m., where
guests can tell us about their favourite memories while attending an event at
Rogers Centre. Two grand prize winners will each receive a private
behind-the-scenes tour of Rogers Centre for four people, two night's stay at
the Residence Inn by Marriott in a Studio Suite and a $250.00 gift certificate
for Jays Shop at Rogers Centre. Each prize is valued at $1,000 with the
winners selected in early July.

    When were the first events held at the venue?
    -  Opening Ceremonies were held on June 3, 1989.
    -  First baseball game was played June 5, 1989 against the Milwaukee
       Brewers. Milwaukee won the game 5-3. 48,378 guests attended and the
       roof was open.
    -  First regular season football game was played on July 12, 1989 between
       the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Hamilton won the
       game 24-15. 32,527 guests attended the game and the roof was open.
    -  First non-sporting event was a Rod Stewart concert on June 8, 1989.
       33,000 guests attended and the roof was closed.

    Additional Interesting Facts:

    -  Oscar Peterson was the first musical guest to perform at the stadium.
       He was part of the opening ceremonies and performed his composition
       "Prelude to Forever" with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
    -  Rogers Centre is featured in Madonna's Truth or Dare documentary. She
       performed at the venue during her Blonde Ambition Tour
    -  During excavation the following items were discovered: 1,500 bottles,
       a nine-foot cannon and a gold handle from a walking stick.
    -  Wrestlemania X8 drew 68,237 fans; the largest single event attendance
       in the history of the venue

    (*) Every Kilowatt Counts replica Rogers Centre model giveaway is
        available to the first 10,000 fans

For further information:

For further information: Rogers Centre Communications Department, (416)

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