The Toronto Blue Jays are considering a major change to Rogers Centre: replacing the artificial turf with grass.
It’s not uncommon anymore to find grass at a retractable-roof ballpark — it’s been done for years in Seattle, Houston and Arizona — but it’s a challenge to add grass to a facility built for artificial turf. For starters, a new drainage system would need to be installed. Second, the unique retractable stands on the first- and third-base sides of the ball field would need to be anchored. (Which means the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts would be in need of a new home once their lease expires at the end of this season.)
Why dump the artificial turf? Well, no one really likes playing on the stuff, even the improved turf installed at Rogers Centre. And it certainly hinders the Jays in pursuit of free agents; Carl Crawford famously refused to even consider a deal to play in Toronto because of the ballpark turf. Plus, it’s a good marketing tool: fans love real grass.
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