Toronto’s Rogers Centre uses VR technology to plan roof reno

VR technology - Toronto Skyline at night

The newest renovation proposals come from an engineering firm using virtual reality.

The latest Rogers Centre roof renovation proposals have come from an engineering firm that has used VR technology to examine some of the different roof types on the stadium famous for being the home of the MLB Toronto Blue Jays team.

The stadium was first built in 1989 and was called the SkyDome but changed to the current name in 2005.

The Rogers Centre drew the world’s attention as the first stadium in the world to have a fully retractable motorized roof. At the time, it was state of the art, though today it is the seventh-oldest Major League Baseball ballpark. Over the last few months, reports have been circulating that the Toronto team intends to invest between $200 million and $250 million into upgrading the stadium. That said, few details have been released regarding precisely what this would involve.

VR technology - Rogers Centre

The team has specified that there wouldn’t be any exterior changes to the Rogers Centre in the renovation, including the roof exterior and design for which it is recognized. That said, the Walter P. Moore engineering firm has used VR technology to conduct a study that would involve a light overlay overtop the stadium. It shared images of the designs on its website, apparently involving a translucent roof, said a recent Daily Hive report.

Though the iconic roof isn’t slated for change, the VR technology reveals new possibilities.

“A renovation project for the roofing on Rogers Centre provides an opportunity to leverage VR to effectively communicate to the client the impact of distinct design options involving ETFE roofing material,” said Walter P Moore in its study.


“Using the date, time of day, and GPS coordinates, we created a dynamic lighting tool that accurately positioned the sun relative to the structure and time of day. This feature enabled the client, owner, and design team to assess the lighting and shadow characteristics of different roofing panel design configurations.”

In this way, it made it possible for the firm to test the way the light would shine onto the stadium’s interior – including the field and the stands – throughout the game the roof was to be made of Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). That material is used for stadiums worldwide, including BC Place in Vancouver, Allianz Arena in Munich, the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, among others.

The current Rogers Centre roof has a PVC membrane on its exterior. Using VR technology makes it possible to have a look at the way a spectrum of different materials and designs would perform for a roof renovation.

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