In what seems to be the hottest trend in soccer, Toronto FC has broken ground for new stadium renovations.
BMO Field, which holds just under 22,000 fans, will increase capacity to nearly 30,000 during phase one of the project. Phase two would add a roof over the seats while installing new light and audio fixtures. Both phases have a combined budget of $120 million.
Club captain Steven Caldwell was on-hand at the groundbreaking ceremony, and was excited about the direction the club and the league are moving in.
“When you spend that amount of money on renovations, it’s definitely going to improve. The capacity is getting more in tune with the Premier League, so that’s very exciting. I think it just shows the growth of MLS and where it’s heading that everybody wants to improve their stadium.”
After joining the MLS as an expansion team in 2007, Toronto enjoyed a passionate fan base for its first few seasons. However, the team’s poor play over the past few years have disappointed the Toronto faithful. A renovated stadium and improved game day experience could help restore the city’s passion for their club.
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The stadium also serves as the home field for the Canadian men’s national soccer team and the Canadian national rugby team. There is a proposed third phase that would bring the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts to BMO Field as well. To accommodate a Canadian football team, the stadium would have to add another extension to expand. This phase has not yet been approved.