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.