Dave McCormick, the engineering manager of Toronto’s Rogers Centre, had a significant issue in 2009. He was in charge of making sure the iconic retractable roof opened and shut on time for Toronto Blue Jays baseball games played within. The almost 30-year-old, three-panel roof, which spans over 600 feet, was praised for its novel system of movable roof bogies when it debuted in 1989, but it has grown more shaky over time.
Dave hired us to assist him with writing an RFP for a mechanized controls consultant because he knew Walter P Moore from our founding engagement in a professional association for retractable roof operators and was concerned that the cause of his roof difficulties was an outdated control system. Instead, we used our knowledge gained from designing and managing seven retractable-roof stadiums to advise Dave that his issues may be far more serious.
Dave hired Walter P Moore to evaluate his roof structure completely from a physical and analytical standpoint. We came to the conclusion that the roof was sticking as a result of serious structural issues caused by rail pinch spots and the creep-deflection of the supporting concrete superstructure. The roof was then assessed, analyzed, and overhauled over a multi-year period in order to repair the roof system and its supporting framework. We increased the roof’s operational dependability, gave it a 20-year life extension, and enhanced the roof control system’s redundancy and diagnostics capabilities.
In North America, this project was the first comprehensive upgrade of a mechanized roof. The instrumentation of the moving roof trusses so we could compare their real-world behavior to our finite element calculations was one of the many project chores that needed creative thinking. To further increase the accuracy of our analytical models, we made use of the digital workflow capabilities to integrate the results of our surveys directly into them.
We meticulously planned every aspect of the seven-year project to avoid interfering with any of the 230 various events, including 82 Blue Jays games. The owner also insisted on as cost-effective a design and modernisation as feasible. Randy Braun, the project manager at Walter P Moore, oversaw a multidisciplinary team that comprised experts in structural and diagnostics as well as many outside specialty companies. By rigorously adhering to our precise activity calendar and line item project budget for each step of the project, we were able to maintain cost and schedule control.
The renovation of the roof at the Rogers Centre was a spectacular success. It generated a lot more dependable — and quieter! — roof control system, eradicating the prior system’s operational noise, vibrations, and headaches. It was finished on time and within budget. We rebuilt the roof track structure, completely documented it, and created the stadium’s first comprehensive roof maintenance program and timetable. The Rogers Centre crew views us as a reliable advisor, and we frequently offer guidance on stadium issues that go well beyond the roof structure. This is maybe most significant. By adding value for Rogers Centre, we strengthened our position as the industry leader in the sports sector and paved the way for next complex stadium renovation initiatives.