1969-75: Various proposals are floated to build a publicly financed domed stadium to attract a major-league baseball team to Toronto; all meet significant public opposition, and none are seriously pursued.
1975: City spends $18 million to renovate then-26-year-old Exhibition Stadium. April 1977: The Blue Jays begin play at the Ex.
January 1985: At the urging of Toronto Sun publisher Paul Godfrey, Ontario Premier William Davis, with the power of a parliamentary majority, establishes the Stadium Corporation of Ontario (Stadco) to build and run a domed stadium in Toronto. The $150 million project is planned as a private-public partnership: the city and province will donate $30 million each, while 14 private companies will kick in $5 million apiece. The remaining $20 million in debt is to be paid off from operating revenues.
October 1985: SkyDome construction begins, under the government of Premier David Peterson. Total cost is now estimated at $225 million.
May 1987: Stadco decides to add a hotel and health club. Pricetag now at $328 million.
May-July 1988: Construction strike halts work on SkyDome for two months. Cost now projected at $383 million.
June 1989: SkyDome opens to the public.
October 1990: Ontario Treasurer Floyd Laughren announces that SkyDome’s debt load is out of control, and will continue to grow unless more money is pumped into it.
March 1991: Ontario Premier Bob Rae appoints a team led by union leader Bob White to investigate selling SkyDome.
1992-93: Blue Jays win back-to-back World Series.
March 1994: Province sells SkyDome to a private consortium for $151 million, plus $23 million in interest charges due to lengthy delays in closing the deal.
1994: Jays fall to bottom of their division, then see a players’ strike wipe out the final third of the season. SkyDome attendance drops below 3 million for the first time, and never recovers its pre-strike levels.
1998: Jays use threat to move out of SkyDome to gain $72 million in lease concessions. The dome files for bankruptcy.
– Neil deMause, http://demause.net/skydome.html