We may have a target date for real grass in Rogers Centre. The Jays sent out a press release saying that Rogers Centre and the Toronto Argonauts have signed a deal to keep the Argos playing at Rogers until December 31, 2017. The Argos can opt out early (but there is nothing there that says that Rogers Centre can opt out early. And it says:
The parties involved have agreed that no licence renewal past that date is contemplated.
There is a quote from Paul Beeston:
The length of the deal allows the Argonauts a reasonable period of time to pursue other stadium options while allowing us sufficient time to plan the logistics of various stadium improvements including the installation of a grass playing surface for baseball at Rogers Centre.
So we have a date for when we might have grass. Yay.
The CEO of the Argonauts Chris Rudge said
The Argos look forward to the process of developing and implementing a plan for a new home for the team while we continue to be a cornerstone tenant of the stadium that has been our home since its opening in 1989.
Now, if the Argos play there until the end of the 2017 CFL season, I very much doubt all the work needed to make Rogers Centre a place that green green grass can grow could be completed by the start of the 2018 baseball season. It seems like there would be a lot of work involved. Drainage would have to be figured out, which would mean tearing out a good part of the floor of Rogers. New lights would have to be put in. And, of course, soil and grass.
I don't know where the Argos might go. Building a new stadium for a team that only plays 9 or 10 home games, a year, doesn't seem very cost effective to me. I can't imagine the tax payers of Toronto or Ontario would be thrilled to foot the bill for that. And I can't see the team putting out that kind of money.
But, even though it seems a long way off, at least we have an idea on when the Jays could be playing on real grass, like God and Doubleday intended (yeah, I know, Abner Doubleday didn't invent baseball)(and, obviously God doesn't get involved in it either, or the Red Sox wouldn't be having such a great season).