It’s been the subject of conversation for years and now it appears a plan is in the works to build a brand new home for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The proposal from Rogers Communications is to reportedly demolish the Rogers Centre and construct a new ballpark in its place.
Rogers and Brookfield Asset Management want to transform the huge parcel of land as part of a whole downtown redevelopment.
Sources tell the Globe and Mail, a new natural grass baseball-focused stadium would take up the southern end of the current property, with residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space planned for the northern portion.
This multi-billion dollar plan would be privately funded though Rogers and Brookfield are working with all three levels of government on this project.
Tons of regulatory hurdles to clear for this, primary among them is that Rogers owns the building only, not the land, which is leased from Canada Lands Company through 2088. It is zoned for stadium usage only.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 27, 2020
On Friday, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi said the Blue Jays aren’t likely to play in Buffalo in the interim if the plan comes to fruition.
“I don’t think that’s a factor,” Davidi said during an appearance on ‘Lead Off with Mike Zigomanis and Scott MacArthur. “I don’t know where they would play… I don’t think Buffalo is something they want to do forever. Right now, the primary question is where they would play.”
It is believed that the ultimate goal is for ownership to keep the new stadium downtown. Rogers is also reportedly exploring some waterfront options as a backup plan.
The current facility opened its doors in 1989 for the price of $570 million. It was the first stadium to have a fully retractable roof.
It remains one of only two ballparks left in Major League Baseball that uses artificial turf instead of real grass.
The buildings design came just ahead of MLB teams moving away from larger, concrete-heavy stadiums to move towards more open-air ‘retro-classic’ ballpark looks.
In a statement to 680NEWS, Rogers says the pandemic has temporarily paused plans to move forward with a new stadium.
“Prior to the pandemic, we were exploring options for the stadium but through this year our primary focus has been keeping our customers connected and employees safe, so there is no update on the Rogers Centre to share at this time.”
According to the Globe and Mail, government officials and the two companies intend to go public with their plans in the new year.
Rogers is the parent company of this radio station.