BMO Field expansion plans moved a step closer to reality late Wednesday night when MLSE and city officials revealed renderings of what Toronto FC’s stadium could become if given the green light.
Along with community members, a small group of Toronto FC supporters met with MLSE top brass, including CEO Tim Leiweke, as they unveilled BMO Field renderings showing an expanded stadium to 30,000 seats.
An MLSE spokesman stressed to the Toronto Sun that Wednesday’s meeting was an “early, early step in the city’s process.”
Although it’s yet to be confirmed, the CFL’s Toronto Argos could be poised to move into the MLS venue following Phase 2 of the construction, which according to one meeting attendee is set to kick off with Phase 1 shortly after Labour Day.
It was announced last year that the Argos would no longer be playing at the Rogers Center once the Blue Jays install a grass field before 2017.
Heavy construction likely wouldn’t begin until after the 2014 MLS season wraps up, provided the plans are given the go ahead.
Early renderings that trickled out from the event showcased a new BMO Field equipped with roofing on all four sides and an additional upper deck.
It’s thought that officials are looking at utilizing a hybrid playing surface — a field composed of natural grass combined with artificial fibres.
It’s also possible that Toronto FC will be forced to play at another venue — at least temporarily — amid heavy construction.
Estimated construction costs weren’t immediately available at time of publication.
Constructed ahead of the 2007 MLS season, BMO Field currently seats close to 22,000 spectators and was built for just over $60 million.