Report: Blue Jays To Add All Dirt Infield For 2016
Is the all natural grass field next?
Saw an interesting tweet on Twitter where the Toronto Blue Jays vice-president of business operations, Stephen Brooks, responded to a question by a fan that the organization was planning on adding an all dirt infield to their stadium, the Rogers Centre, by the start of the 2016 season.
The project is reported to begin in February, with a scheduled completion date by April.
The Blue Jays have always played their games on an artificial field, with dirt cutouts around the bases and the pitcher’s mound, which would mimic Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Both clubs are the only teams left in the entire league to play on an artificial playing surface, but the Rays are the only team with a roof that does not open. In the entire league, there are six teams that have retractable roofs and all aside from the Blue Jays have natural grass.
Doesn’t seem to be any plans at this time for natural grass to be added to the Roger Centre, but the idea was left open as an option after the organizations new president and CEO, Mark Shapiro, answered a question from a reporter during the Baseball Winter meetings earlier this month, if a natural grass field could be under the dome by 2018, according to John Lott, of the National Post News.
Lott on Shapiro:
[Shapiro] said it’s impossible to know whether grass can thrive in the dome and how much it would cost to complete major renovations to accommodate irrigation, drainage and ventilation, among other challenges. Guelph scientists are scheduled to submit a progress report next May.
[Blue Jays CEO and president] said the natural-grass project could be among the array of stadium improvements under consideration for the next few years, but refused to list it as a priority. He said he expects to take a new plan for capital spending to owner Rogers Communications by the end of this year.
So for now the latest upgrade will be the all dirt field, and maybe the next phase could be grass. We will all wait and see.
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