Reports out of Canada this week suggest that one of the most iconic WrestleMania venues in history is due to be demolished within the next two years.
Canadian newspaper The Globe And Mail ran a report on Friday to suggest that Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is soon to be demolished and replaced by a new stadium that would incorporate residential towers and commercial space.
The venue, then known as The SkyDome. has played host to two WrestleManias. In 1990, the sixth edition of ‘The GrandDaddy of ‘em all’ saw Hulk Hogan clash with The Ultimate Warrior in a title vs. title spectacular and certainly the most prominent all-babyface main event in history.
Twelve years later, in 2002, WrestleMania X-8 took place in the stadium. Whilst the main event between Triple H and Chris Jericho is extremely forgettable, fans will remember this event for one of the most beloved wrestling matches of all time. When The Rock beat Hulk Hogan in something of a passing of the torch, few would have expected fans to be so vocally passionate about the match, transforming it into one of the most emotional and exciting WrestleMania matches of all time.
The venue is owned by Canadian media conglomerate Rogers Communications and was built in 1989, just months before it hosted its first WrestleMania.
It is primarily a baseball stadium and serves as the home field for the Toronto Blue Jays MLB team, also owned by Rogers.
Whilst the structure, with its retractable roof, was one of the most advanced stadiums in the world in terms of design when it opened, it was quickly rendered old hat. In 1992, Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, opened and ushered in an era of purpose built, retro feeling baseball stadiums that remain popular to this day. Concrete and steel, multi-purpose venues like the Rogers Centre were deemed obsolete overnight in the face of this new movement.
The Globe and Mail report that Rogers plan to open a new stadium on the site in 2024, whilst also looking at other sites in the Toronto area.
The stadium’s other claim to fame in wrestling history is that it holds the attendance record for Monday Night Raw. 41,432 attended the show that was broadcast on 13th February 1999. This was actually a Saturday due to Raw being pre-empted for the Westminster Dog Show. The show was headlined by ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin succumbing to Mr McMahon in the final leg of a ‘Corporate Gauntlet’.