Located right next to the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre - known as the SkyDome until 2005 - is an iconic site for sports, music, and Torontonian culture. Throughout the years, over 50 million people have visited the stadium, which upon its opening in 1989, was the first North American stadium to have a fully retractable, motorized roof.
Because The Rogers Centre was designed to be reconfigured for different sports, it can also be formed into several different concert configurations, by adding or removing seating. For smaller shows, it becomes the “Theatre” and seats 5,000-7,000. In its “Concert Hall” configuration, it seats anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000. In its max capacity form, used for the largest touring acts, the Rogers Centre can hold 53,506 people. (It is worth noting that there are potential plans to permanently configure the stadium for baseball - and this of course will affect the Rogers Centre’s ability to have flexible concert setups).
Because the Rogers Centre primarily functions as a sports stadium, its design and building materials were not chosen for the purposes of facilitating a live musical act - many concert goers report that sound volume and quality can vary greatly depending on where you are in the stadium. As a result, the Scotiabank Arena is the preferred venue for large-scale musical performances for fans and artists alike. But with 100% of the field open to the sky with the roof open, and the addition of the “SkyTent” - a series of acoustics-facilitating curtains that deploy above the main floor - the Rogers Centre still serves as a perfectly respectable venue for arena shows. Plus, the venue is only a 10 minute walk from Union Station, so those who live in the downtown core, or are staying the night, can conveniently get to their hotels, Airbnb’s, or residences without needing to worry about parking.
Since Rod Stewart played the first concert ever to be held at the Rogers Centre in 1989 (five days after its official opening), the venue has hosted acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Metallica, Green Day. In 2011, U2’s massively popular 360° tour came to the Rogers Centre, and became one of the most-attended shows ever held at the venue, with fans filling every one of the 58,420 spaces that were available at the time.
Besides musicians, several notable figures have appeared at the Rogers Centre for public appearances: figures such as the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, J.K Rowling, and Margaret Atwood.