Right Field

Blue Jays, Rogers Centre: Argo #### Yourself

The Toronto Globe and Mail and other outlets report:

A renewed lease for the Toronto Argonauts to play at Rogers Centre will effectively serve as notice to vacate, clearing the way for grass to be installed for baseball no later than 2018.

The Toronto Blue Jays have determined it is possible to grow and maintain a grass playing surface inside the facility by digging up the floor, adding a drainage system and topping it with about 30 centimetres of dirt. …

It would be especially complicated to maintain natural turf in the indoor stadium, despite its retractable roof, with football cleats chewing it up. So, with the [Canadian Football League] schedule intersecting baseball seasons by up to four months, there will be no room for the Argos at the inn.

Opened in 1989, at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $600-million, Rogers Centre (then-called SkyDome) was the latest and greatest of the multipurpose genre, a brand since made extinct. Today, it stands as one of the oldest stadiums to house Major League Baseball, and one of only two with artificial turf (along with Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Rays).

Rogers Centre and the Blue Jays are owned by Rogers Media (a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc.). The Argos are owned by Canadian Senator David Braley (who also owns the CFL’s B.C. Lions).

A spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Culture declined comment.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.


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