Over the weekend, Jays PA announcer Tim Langton– who appears to have been doing duty at some sort of motorcross event– tweeted out the above picture of the current state of the changes taking place in the outfield at Skydome, and quite clearly the club’s new outfield concourse has come a long way since we last saw it.
On a related note, Paul Beeston showed up on Prime Time Sports back on Thursday and explained what was going with the changes in a segment that also included a bunch of chatter about the Jays’ dreams of another major change to the facility.
“Windows Restaurant doesn’t exist anymore,” Beeston told Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt. “Windows is out. The windows are gone, and anybody that comes into the stadium will be able to walk out there– there’s going to be no seating there, but you’ll be able to walk. There will be tables, and you’ll be able to watch from the outfield, as to what it is, and whether you’ll be coming from the 500 level down there or from the 100 level going up, you’re going to be able to watch it from centre field in an open area. I was out there the other day, Bob– it was fantastic. It’s got that feel– it’s kind of opened it up.”
“You’ll be able to wander in there, watch a little bit of the game. We’ll have some activation of things that can happen as it goes on… concessions in there,” he continued. He also said that they’d ”like to make it also an activation area for the kids,” presumably with kid-related activities nearby, giving parents on Junior Jays Saturdays the opportunity to take a bit of a breather from their screaming devil-children.
Something people do care about? Getting real grass in the stadium. And that’s something Beeston evidently cares about as well, as he made clear during his radio hit.
“We’d like to put in grass. There’s not even a question about that,” he said. ”They’ve made so much advancement in grass and how they keep it, we can do it. But there is some engineering work that has to be done, too.”
So, it won’t be easy, but according to Beeston, Rogers has “given a green light to examine it, and I think everyone recognizes that that’s something that would be good for the ballclub.”
What’s going to be disappointing to a lot of people, however, is the timeline he suggests, and the reason that this process appears to be set to drag on until long after Jose Reyes’ knees are shredded.
“No, no no no,” Beeston said when asked about 2014 being a possibility for the Jays to being playing on a real grass surface.
“That would even be pushing it,” he added when Brunt pushed back the year to 2015.
So what are we left with? “Sixteen, ’17 or ’18,” he says.
And the kicker: “The reason is to give the Argos fair warning.”
Uh… I’m pretty sure the Argos have known for a fucking long time that their presence in the Rogers Centre is untenable, and not just because of the Jays’ plans for the facility. No, there isn’t an adequate home for them just waiting to be occupied, but who’s fault is that? At some point, don’t you maybe have to give them a damn push? And shit, perhaps the Jays will and Beeston is just being diplomatic here. Whatever the case, the big takeaway from all of what he said is a good one.
“There’s not a question,” Beeston says of the grass issue. “It’s going to happen, at some point in time. The question is, is it going to happen in 2015, ’16, ’17 or ’18. But it’s definitely going to happen.”
I guess we shouldn’t get greedy, but… yeah… sooner please!