Toronto Blue Jays' executive Andrew Miller was standing with some colleagues by the Rogers Centre infield yesterday morning when he heard a series of unexpected bangs.
Several pieces of ice fell on the domed stadium from the nearby CN Tower, with one chunk creating a hole the size of a desk in the roof on the east side of the building.
“It's hard to describe, it was really loud,” Miller recalled.
“It sounded like fireworks or some sort of explosion going off.”
The evening game between the Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals was postponed about 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch at 7:07 p.m. (ET).
The teams were to play a double-header today.
Miller, who was at field level to inspect damage from a weekend ice storm that hammered the southern Ontario region, said he was startled by a series of “different, loud collisions.”
“We saw it happen, it was pretty frightening at the time,” noted Miller, the team's executive vice-president of business operations.
“We knew that [if] there was a game going on at the time, it would have been a risk to players and the fans.”
A hole still was visible in the roof yesterday afternoon. Work crews eventually repaired the tear although tarps and buckets remained on the turf in right field, along the left-field line, and on the edge of the infield to catch drips.
“If you come to a dome and get banged, something ain't right,” said Royals' manager Ned Yost.
Miller said pieces of ice crashed to the turf in right field along with some insulation from the roof.
“From talking to people who have been here a long time, since the building opened in 1989, no one had ever seen anything like this,” he remarked.
“It was something we took very seriously right away.”
Team officials consulted with engineering staff, CN Tower representatives, and the Toronto Police before making the decision to reschedule the game.
If the double-header against the Royals is played, the second game will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first one, which is set to begin at 3:07 p.m. (ET).
Toronto was coming off back-to-back postponements in Cleveland over the weekend due to rain.
Even though yesterday's game was rescheduled, the Jays are calling it a cancellation as they'll lose a home gate.
Fans with tickets to today's game will be able to attend both games of the double-header, the team said.
Tickets from yesterday's game also can be exchanged for one of nine future games (including entry today).
It was the first time a game has been postponed at Rogers Centre since a Jays-Royals contest on April 12, 2001.
That game was called off after two panels collided while the retractable roof was in motion.