Toronto Ice Storm Punctures Rogers Centre Roof, Indoor Baseball Game Postponed

Rogers Centre Roof
Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images
– Rogers Centre Roof
Rogers Centre’s roof in Toronto damaged by ice storm, causing the rare weather-related postponement of an indoor baseball game.

Even a dome wasn’t enough to prevent the recent northeastern spring blizzard from postponing a major league baseball game at Rogers Centre in Toronto between the Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, which saw ice and insulation crash onto the field.

Ice chunks punctured a hole in the roof of the domed stadium, forcing the game to be postponed. Andrew Miller, the Blue Jays’ executive vice president of business operations, was standing in the infield with two colleagues around 10:00 a.m. Monday, examining existing damage, when a falling piece of ice tore a hole about three feet by five feet in the PVC roof over right field, sending ice and pieces of insulation crashing onto the turf.

“We saw it happen,” Miller said. “It was pretty frightening. It was really loud. It sounded like fireworks or some kind of explosion going off.” It’s the first postponement at Rogers Centre since a game against the Royals was called off following a collision between two panels of the stadium’s moving roof on April 12, 2001. The teams will play a doubleheader on Tuesday.

“If you come to a dome and get banged, something ain’t right,” Royals manager Ned Yost said about an hour before the game was called.

The Minnesota Vikings, who dealt with multiple roof collapses at their former home, the Metrodome, later tweeted a message to the Blue Jays saying “Been there, done that @BlueJays. We’re here if you need any support.”

While the postponement was the first venue-related damage known to Pollstar, major concerts were canceled in recent weeks thanks to freak springtime storms, including separate New York and New Jersey concerts by Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake in late March.

Rogers Centre wasn’t the only Toronto venue affected by the weather. Water was leaking into the seating area at nearby Air Canada Centre about an hour before Monday’s NHL playoff game between the Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.

That game began on time.

Rogers Centre Ice Dome
Fred Thornhill / The Canadian Press via AP
– Rogers Centre Ice Dome
Players practice before being snowed-out despite playing in a dome April 16 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The Blue Jays baseball game against the Kansas City Royals was cancelled over safety concerns when ice falling from the CN Tower punched a hole in the roof.

Saturday’s NBA playoff game at the same arena between the Raptors and Washington Wizards was delayed by a leak along the baseline.

The weekend ice storm resulted in power outages, canceled flights and road collisions across Ontario. More than 120,000 customers remain without power. Rogers Centre is a major concert venue and has shows coming up including Luke Bryan, Def Leppard/Journey, Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, and two nights each by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

Lower Level Entertainment’s Ryan Howes recently told Pollstar that Toronto’s concert market sees so many major shows at the Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre that the festival market has taken a little while to develop.

“Since there’s such a healthy amphitheater, stadium and arena touring business in Toronto, it just makes things a little harder for multi-day major festivals,” he said. “Toronto’s always been a difficult market to get a concertgoer to commit to camping as well as to a multi-day ticket, so that’s why some of the more urban-based festivals like Veld Music Festival or Field Trip Music and Arts have sustained their growth year over year, because it’s a lot more accessible to the fans.”

Those events this year have DJ Snake, Marshmllow and Martin Garrix (Veld, Aug. 4-5 in Toronto) and Metric, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley (Field Trip, June 2-3).