If there are a couple of defining aspects of the city of Toronto, they would be the CN Tower, multiculturalism, Drake and of course construction delays. With just 29 days left until Toronto FC play their home opener at BMO Field, construction on the stadium is both behind the original May 1st deadline and over budget according to a report from Global News.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment are still confident, however, that BMO Field will be completed before Toronto FC play their first home game of the season on May 10. Videos of the construction showed that the majority of the 8,400 seats have been placed on the east side of the field.
The rest of this renovation includes a larger HD scoreboard, more washrooms and premium suites. These additions will help to build for a busy summer at BMO Field: including Toronto FC home games, the Pan Am games and the first ever Gold Cup game to be played in Canada.
There could be more on the way too, as the second stage of renovations set to take place in 2016 will not only add a new roof to the equation, but potentially a new team as well. The Toronto Argonauts of the CFL could be playing at BMO Field as early as next summer, which will be confirmed within the next month.
That is the time the negotiations between Argonaut's ownership and MLSE have been given, as specifications would have to be made to BMO Field in order to accommodate their new tenant. Time is of the essence, as the Argonaut's agreement to play at the Rogers Centre runs out in 2017.
The last development to come out of Toronto FC's renovation update was no surprise: the fact that they plan to host the NHL Winter Classic at BMO Field. The Toronto Maple Leafs played in the NHL's January marquee event two years ago in Michigan, meaning the NHL owes them an opportunity to host the event.
Based on how the NHL has distributed its past Winter Classic games, one can assume that the 2017 event will be played in New York, with Toronto being the next in line to host in 2018. That would give MLSE some time to make sure the stadium is up to specifications.
MLSE expects the stadium to be full when the Houston Dynamo come to town to christen the new BMO Field. Hopefully 29 days will be enough time for the stadium to accommodate all of those guests.