Happy 20th!

When it opened 20 years ago, the SkyDome was quite a hit. It was an architectural wonder in some respects – the world’s first retractable-roofed stadium, in fact.

Millions of fans piled through the turnstiles through the first few years after it opened, and the Blue Jays set league attendance records in the process – thanks to both the intrigue of a brand new stadium and a winning ballclub.

No, the Skydome-turned-Rogers Centre has never been an ideal place to watch baseball. The lack of natural grass and a dirt infield are proof alone. It’ll never win any ‘most beautiful ballpark’ awards in the majors.

Still, it has its own charm. And it’s still a great place to be on a sunny summer afternoon with the roof open. Today, the building celebrates its 20th anniversary. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with a win – the Blue Jays dropped an 8-1 decision to the Angels Wednesday night. Here’s a look at some up-to-date stats and notable facts about the Rogers Centre …

$600 – Cost (in millions) for the construction of the SkyDome.

$25 – Selling price (in millions) of SkyDome in 2004 to Rogers Communications. Since then, there have been 351 games played at newly-named Rogers Centre. 

877-728 – Blue Jays overall record through 1,605 games at the stadium — good for a .546 winning percentage. They’re 445-393 (.531) with the roof open, 385-295 (.566) with it closed, and 46-40 (.535) in other situations (ie. roof closed during the game).

5-3 – Score of first ever baseball game at Rogers Centre (a Blue Jays loss to the visiting Milwaukee Brewers). The Brewers’ Paul Molitor recorded the first hit, a leadoff double off Jays left-hander Jimmy Key in the first inning. 

48,378 – Paid attendance at SkyDome for that first Jays contest.

50,560 – Largest home crowd in Rogers Centre history (Opening Day, April 8, 2005 vs. Boston Red Sox).

12,571 – Smallest home crowd in Rogers Centre history (April 30, 2002 vs. Texas Rangers).

4,057,947 – Attendance totals for 1993 at SkyDome, a Blue Jays franchise record.

60 – Consecutive sellouts at SkyDome from May 18, 1990 to April 8, 1991 – that marks a franchise record.

52,822,666 – Recorded overall attendance at Rogers Centre (from that opening game back on June 5, 1989 to today).

April 12, 2001 – Date of first postponement in SkyDome history. Not rain, of course. A malfunction during a routine test of the roof caused two of the three panels to collide, sending debris falling onto the outfield. Thankfully, no one was injured.

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