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A quick look at the history of the Toronto Blue Jays and their home stadium

TORONTO — A look at the ownership history of the Toronto Blue Jays and the domed stadium the team calls home.

Origins: The Blue Jays were created in 1976 for a 1977 expansion of the American League. Original owners included Labatt Breweries — then an independent Canadian beer company — and CIBC. The bank owned 10 per cent until 2000.

First game: April 7, 1977, against the Chicago White Sox, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.

Second home: The Blue Jays played their last game at Exhibition Stadium on May 28, 1989, and first game at SkyDome on June 5 of same year. SkyDome cost an estimated $570 million to build, between October 1986 and May 1989.

Beyond beer: Rogers Communications bought an 80 per cent stake in Blue Jays in 1995 for US$112 million. Interbrew retained a 20 per cent stake until 2004, when Rogers bought the rest to become full owner of the team.

Rogers Centre: Rogers bought the SkyDome in 2004 for about $25 million, excluding an attached hotel that was sold separately to another buyer. The stadium was renamed Rogers Centre in 2005.

Recent estimates: According to a 2017 estimate by Forbes, the Blue Jays franchise is worth about $1.65 billion. Canaccord Genuity estimates Rogers Centre is worth between $200 milion and $400 million.

The Canadian Press

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