With 8,400 new seats in the east stand, seating capacity has increased to 30,000. There are new washrooms and concession stands, a larger HD videoboard and 12 executive suites. The field will be 90 per cent complete by Sunday, when Toronto FC plays its home opener against the Houston Dynamo.
Mayor John Tory says he hopes the renovated field will help bring the 2017 Winter Classic to the city. Toronto is considered a likely site for the game, and perhaps the all-star game as well, given the Toronto Maple Leafs' 100-year anniversary.
"Renovating BMO Field to provide a world-class stadium experience for Toronto FC and its fans has been a top priority for MLSE over the past year and we're very happy to see it officially underway today," MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum said.
The second phase of the expansion, expected to begin in September, will see a canopy covering all seats with the exception of the north stand, plus a new sound and lighting system.
Phase three, which is dependent on the federal and provincial government kicking in $10 million apiece, would reconfigure the field to accommodate the CFL and the Toronto Argonauts.
BMO Field, which opened in April 2007, is also home to Canada men's national soccer team.