x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

An open and shut case in Toronto

Second home Affectionately called the Concrete Jungle, Toronto's Rogers Centre is something to behold.

Affectionately called the Concrete Jungle, Toronto's Rogers Centre is something to behold: a huge, white-topped dome with a retractable roof, the stadium is snuggled-up right beside one of North America's biggest tourist attractions, the CN Tower. Its construction 20 years ago this week was historic - the stadium was the first to have a fully retractable and motorised roof. At the time, it was considered an architectural and engineering masterpiece - a perfect blend of state of the art technology and a world class entertainment facility. It was named the SkyDome at birth, and was known as that until 2005.

It is the home of the Toronto Blue Jays for their 81 home games, which are played between April and September each year. Spanning June to November, the stadium also hosts the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts team for their nine home games. The Argos brought a thrilling string of championships to the city in the 1990s, reaching certain dynasty status. In November of 2005, the owner of the Blue Jays - Ted Rogers and his Rogers telecommunications company - purchased the stadium, changing its name.

The baseball experience can be hit and miss: a lot of fan enjoyment depends on whether the roof is open, and the Jays are notoriously picky about which weather conditions it can be opened under. While opening night is always a spectacle, with often close to 50,000 screaming fans, the team's games against their biggest rivals - Boston and New York - usually see a mob of fans from those cities travelling across the border to catch their teams, sometimes leaving Jays fans feeling like visitors in their own park.

This can, of course, be rectified - and has in the past - by a competitive Jays team who beat their rivals.