Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail has done some excellent digging on the issue of the Argos new lease at Rogers Centre, which we first caught wind of back on Friday, and gives it a slightly different bent than the impatient and foul-mouthed laments that initially came from this corner.

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,” he writes.

Well, that’s certainly a better shine on it than I might have put [read: did put], especially since I knew full well that a new home for the Argos hasn’t materialized from thin air in the last six months, and should have been able to recall that– as Maloney points out, and as I quoted back in March– Beeston’s most definitive statement on the subject is that “it’s definitely going to happen. The only question is whether it’s 2016, ’17 or ’18.”

So, maybe things aren’t so bad, even if we’re maybe not quite looking at the timeline that we’ve been most ridiculously optimistic for.

And maybe it’s even better than that:

“Beeston has emphasized consistently that, as a Canadian and a CFL fan, he had no intention of orphaning the Argos. At the same time, he wanted to ensure the football club would be pursuing other options aggressively,” Maloney writes. “So, grass field or not, the Argos are on the clock.”

Aggressive. Shit yes! That sounds about right. It… uh… also sounds straight out of the Jays’ PR playbook, but still!

And there’s more from the piece to like:

The lease renewal for the CFL team, which has played at Rogers Centre since 1989, is expected to include a clause that would allow the Argos to exit early, perhaps as soon as the 2015 season.

But here’s the real money quote:

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.

We’re later told that it may be necessary to bring in special lighting to help the grass grow and thrive, because “Rogers Centre is surrounded symmetrically by high walls to support the retractable roof,” but that’s OK! The bottom line would seem to be that this sounds more and more like it’s really going to actually, seriously, finally happen! Y’know, eventually. After one hell of a dig.

I think I like that bent quite a bit better.

There are several more interesting nuggets in Maloney’s piece, so please do head over to the Globe and read it for yourself so I don’t feel guilty for all the quotes.


Glorious image still via James_in_TO.

Comments (48)

  1. Thank you.

  2. Hm…” special lighting “, you’d think there’s a few grow op practitioners in this fine land who could lend their particular consulting expertise.

  3. GaH!! I am not a patient person!!!

    • I also am not patient.. and worry about Jose Reyes and his legs. But whoever the 2018 version of Jose Reyes is, he/she will be grateful for the grass! (I’m progressive like that)…

  4. I take back my impatient and foul-mouthed comment from Friday’s post. GRASS!

  5. Narratives are indeed powerful entities.

  6. As a proffessional gardner , The Toronto Blue Jays determining the fact that they can grow grass with their system holds no merrit. Just an FYI.

  7. I was going to comment that the Dome could just be left in an open position for the majority of the season and closed for rain days. However, that wouldn’t address growing the grass leading up to spring and April, or whether the electronics and seating inside the Dome could handle the elements, or whatever the odd shadowing might do to certain areas of the field.

    It will be an interesting challenge, much like what they are facing at Marlins Park, but without as much natural sunlight – http://blogs.trb.com/sports/custom/business/blog/2012/05/marlins_park_grass_has_tough_f.html

  8. Gimped that’s priceless.

    I suppose if they keep Jeremy Jeffress around in such a scenario he could have some official marketing role……

    • The story is now that Jeffress self medicated his epilepsy with weed. Do I have a link? No.

      • Genesis 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
        Genesis 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
        Genesis 3:18 “… thou shalt eat the herb of the field.”
        Psalms 104:14 “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man.”
        Proverbs 15:17 “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”[39]
        Revelation 22:2 ” the river of life proceeded to flow from the throne of God, and on either side of the bank there was the tree of life, and the leaf from that tree is for the healing of the nations.”

  9. Now that it’s kinda officially in motion I’m starting to feel a nostalgia for the turf.

  10. I Love that picture. Looks great with grass and the cutout infield.

  11. the stadium will be nearly 30 years old by the time this happens.. and it’s not getting better with age…

    • windows gone, grass in a few years, wouldn’t those be improvments?

      Skydome is gonna be around for another 30 years.

  12. I feel for whomever is on the jack hammer for that concrete removal.

  13. The dream of a home baseball stadium with grass is alive. And the dream of watching my Argos at Varsity (or BMO, but I’d much rather a renovated Varsity) feels alive too. This will be the best thing to ever happen to both the Jays and Argos franchises.

  14. Synthetic or plastic grass provides a cushion-like area that is safe for your children and animals as well. It is a lead free product and not encourages viruses and other insects. it lasts for long time without much servicing.

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