45,000 spectators were soaked during the SkyDome's opening ceremonies

·4 min read
45,000 spectators were soaked during the SkyDome's opening ceremonies
45,000 spectators were soaked during the SkyDome's opening ceremonies

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Saturday, June 3, 1989, Toronto's SkyDome opened, but it did not go according to plan.

The SkyDome, now the Rogers Centre, was named after its most notable feature; the retractable roof. The Dome is the first stadium to have a fully retractable motorized roof. It's home to the Toronto Blue Jays and has been home to the Toronto Argonauts and the Toronto Raptors.

After two years of construction, and $570 million (soaring well past the $150 million projection), the SkyDome was ready to show off its fancy feature. The opening ceremonies were aptly themed around the retractable roof, but Mother Nature had something else in mind.

Alan Thicke and Andrea Martin hosted the opening gala along with other guests. The gala included 90-minutes worth of programming, 30,000 balloons, fireworks, and 45,000 spectators.

Thicke and Martin hosted a song and dance that touted the incredible retractable dome, which had to be closed because of threatening thunderstorms.

The duo tried to make the most of the situation until the Dome finally opened. But then rain soaked the thousands of spectators, entertainers, and reporters.

The SkyDome's opening ceremonies were almost a parody of itself; "come to the world's first fully automated retractable dome where you can enjoy the sun on sunny days and stay dry on rainy ones. Just give us some time to work out the kinks."

Chris Mei, the host of "This Day In Weather History", was one of the performers at the opening ceremonies. Listen to today's episode to hear all about his experience.

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Thumbnail: Postcard from 1990. Courtesy of SkyDome

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