May 2016 is when BMO Field is set to fully take on the lavish appearance that has been trotted out in so much promotional content since it was announced that the stadium would be undergoing major renovations. But today the club released what will likely be the best glimpse of the finished product before the full construction is completed. All of the features have already been outlined in past news stories and releases, but actually seeing them all together and in depth is far more impressive.
A lot of the features are based towards those who are usually the focus of MLSE: the wealthy. Be it the tunnel club or the number of new luxury suites of varying names, there will be no shortage of accommodation for Toronto's upper class. But one thing that MLSE seems to have learned, thankfully, is to not have them take up too much of the field. BMO Field will not turn in the Air Canada Centre, provided the team on the field gets results it will remain an exciting atmosphere.
For next season, however, none of these will be completed. Starting in October, the grounds will be host to Phase One of construction. This includes 8,400 new seats which will increase the stadiums capacity to approximately the 30,000 seats that have been publicized. The scoreboard will be upgraded, one would assume becoming bigger and likely better quality. There will be a concourse over the South Stands. Finally, and most importantly, there will be more washrooms, apparently as much as 50% more.
These renovations are set to be completed in May. This might mean the possibility of Toronto playing a couple of games at the Rogers Centre, or away from home, to start the season. Neither of those things have been confirmed, however, and are both just speculation based on construction dates. It might be that the latter part of construction will only involve superficial things like the luxury suites.
The new BMO Field is about to get more in line with other MLSE venues, the images of the luxury suites confirm that quite visually. But it doesn't seem like it will come at the expense of the overall atmosphere, which is all that can be asked by supporters.