Blue Jays getting new AstroTurf field amid hopes for full season in Toronto

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays are replacing the artificial surface at Rogers Centre, choosing AstroTurf to design a new playing field in time for the start of the 2021 season.

Mark Shapiro revealed the plans Friday during a Zoom call with media, adding that the team is also adding new batting cages to the dome, which last year had upgrades to the sound system and 100 level that went mostly unused with the border closure forcing the club to Buffalo.

The new field will be affixed to the ground rather than be easily removable like past iterations, which Shapiro expects will both look better and, more importantly, offer “some safety opportunities” with fewer seams in the surface.

“We went through an extensive (request for proposal), a massive amount of testing over the fall of different applications, and we’re going to continue that testing when we think about the fill of turf,” said Shapiro. “During spring training we’re going to have a test plot down and have our players on it to think about what we do with the fill. Largely been happy with the turf that we’ve had in the way that it’s played. But we’re now looking, thinking player safety.”

The Blue Jays are now one of five teams in Major League Baseball with an artificial playing surface, with the Texas Rangers, who opened their new Globe Life Field this year, and the Miami Marlins, who transitioned from…

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