SBD/September 10, 2013/Facilities

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  • Blue Jays Want Grass Playing Surface At Rogers Centre, Leaving CFL Argos In Limbo

    Rogers Centre could see the Argonauts leave as soon as the '15 season

    A renewed lease for the CFL 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," according to Tom Maloney of the GLOBE & MAIL. The lease renewal is "expected to include a clause that would allow the Argos to exit early, perhaps as soon as the 2015 season." The 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." But Argos Exec Chair & CEO Chris Rudge said his team "can't play there if they have grass." Maloney notes it would be "especially complicated to maintain natural turf in the indoor stadium, despite its retractable roof, with football cleats chewing it up." Meanwhile, because Rogers Centre is "surrounded symmetrically by high walls to support the retractable roof, special lighting may be required to stimulate grass growth." But the "biggest hurdle is lack of drainage" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/10).

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  • Facility Notes

    In Seattle, Lynn Thompson noted the Washington State Court of Appeals yesterday "rejected a challenge" to a new pro sports arena in the city's Sodo neighborhood brought by a local longshoreman union. The court "upheld a trial court decision from February that found that the agreement between the city of Seattle, King County and Chris Hansen" to build a new $490M arena "did not violate state environmental laws" (, 9/9).

    THE RACE IS ON: In Daytona, Godwin Kelly noted the primary contractor for the Daytona Rising project at Daytona Int'l Speedway last week "pulled a city building permit for work totaling" $105M. DIS Senior Manager of Media Relations Andrew Booth said that the permit is the city's "go-ahead for Phase 2 (of 3)" of the $400M project that will "lay the groundwork for new grandstands, suites and more to transform the Speedway's erector set exterior into a major league stadium" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 9/7).

    PARKING WARS: In L.A., Bill Shaikin wrote the Anaheim City Council "made the right call" last week in approving the parameters of a deal in which Angels Owner Arte Moreno would "pay for a new or renovated stadium in exchange for the right to develop the parking lot." If the lot at Angel Stadium was "that easy to develop, it would have been done by now." If Moreno "fails, the city keeps the Angels at no cost, in a new or refurbished ballpark" (L.A. TIMES, 9/8).

    TALKING TURKEY: In DC, Mark Giannotto reports the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors yesterday "unanimously approved the construction" of a $25M indoor football facility. The project "will be privately funded and the school currently has" $11M in pledges (WASHINGTON POST, 9/10).

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