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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Toronto Star: Blue Jays pave way for grass at the Rogers Centre

A look at some of the challenges involved with installing natural grass at Rogers Centre.

If only it were as simple as heading to Home Depot and picking up 143,000 square feet of sod. The four-year timeline before grass can be installed inside the Rogers Centre is based on a year of research and testing, followed by three years to produce the sod and grow the grass.

“For grass in the spring of 2018, you’ve got to sow the seed in 2015,” said Eric Lyons, an associate professor of turfgrass sciences and physiology at the University of Guelph.

Boileryard Posted: April 24, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, groundskeeping, lawns

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   1. BDC Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4693170)
For grass in the spring of 2018, you’ve got to sow the seed in 2015


But how are they going to keep it growing for three years with the Blue Jays running all over it?

If you give me season tickets and a stipend I would be happy to spend the next three years sitting behind the dugout in Toronto yelling "Get off the lawn!"
   2. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4693185)
Didn't the old Busch Stadium's surface get converted back to grass in the 90s?
   3. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4693190)
'96.
   4. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4693198)
So what accounts for the time difference between the transitions in St. Louis and Toronto?
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4693202)
So what accounts for the time difference between the transitions in St. Louis and Toronto?

SOCIALISM!!!!
   6. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4693204)
So what accounts for the time difference between the transitions in St. Louis and Toronto?


Well, according TFA, they need at least 18 months for the seed to turn into sod. And StL was entirely outdoors. Despite the retractable roof, the guy in the article basically said that Rogers is still an indoor venue. I would also imagine that there were stadiums in similar climates to StL that already had grass, so they didn't need to do a whole heck of a lot of research. The stuff being developed for Rogers seems like it is going to be very specific for the climate and venue.
   7. Boileryard Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4693205)
I think the roof is the biggest issue as it's really a domed stadium that sometimes becomes an open-air stadium. Even when the roof is open, there are a lot of shadows on the field (in centre field in particular). When they designed it, I don't think installing natural grass one day was contemplated. The grass they select will have to be one that can survive with artificial light and limited natural light.

Edit: Coke to #6.
   8. Astroenteritis (tom) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4693211)
Good for the Jays. I've often wondered whether the artificial turf plague would have happened had they figured out how to grow grass at the Astrodome. I get the impression it wasn't an insurmountable problem, had they worked at it a little more. I suppose cost issues might have led to many new stadiums in the 70s having artificial turf, but perhaps we would have been spared it in major league baseball, at least.
   9. Karl from NY Posted: April 24, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4693294)
Even when the roof is open, there are a lot of shadows on the field (in centre field in particular).

Thanks to Toronto's northerly latitude. The sun never gets high above the stadium to shine straight down through the roof opening. It's always at least 30° off the zenith.
   10. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 24, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4693315)
Good for the Jays. I've often wondered whether the artificial turf plague would have happened had they figured out how to grow grass at the Astrodome. I get the impression it wasn't an insurmountable problem, had they worked at it a little more. I suppose cost issues might have led to many new stadiums in the 70s having artificial turf, but perhaps we would have been spared it in major league baseball, at least.


I think the multi-use stadiums that popped up around that time also had something to do with the Astroturf "revolution".
   11. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 24, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4693328)
So what accounts for the time difference between the transitions in St. Louis and Toronto?


Just to add on to my previous post, it also appears that Busch II was natural grass when it first opened. Granted, there was a 30 year gap, but I imagine that having grass originally also helped. Plus, Kauffman had grass installed a couple of years earlier.
   12. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: April 24, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4693473)
associate professor of turfgrass sciences and physiology at the University of Guelph.


You see kids, you CAN do anything. Dreams do come true.
   13. Greg K Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4693518)
You see kids, you CAN do anything. Dreams do come true.

A friend of mine got a bird degree from Guelph by engineering turkeys that moulted in the dark...or something. It's a pretty well respected agricultural school. They've got one of those cows with a hole in its side so you can reach in and poke around its insides.
   14. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4693520)
associate professor of turfgrass sciences and physiology at the University of Guelph.


Which no doubt annoys their rivals at Ghibelline College.
   15. DL from MN Posted: April 24, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4693529)
"Pave" the way for grass?
   16. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 24, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4693630)
associate professor of turfgrass sciences and physiology at


...Sod U...!
   17. Gonfalon B. Posted: April 24, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4693702)
Only 37 years after Tony Fernandez broke his arm near the end of the season because of Toronto's artificial turf and his replacements went 7-38 as the Blue Jays lost a 2.5-game lead in the last week, JUSTICE!!!!! (is coming later on, perhaps)
   18. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 24, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4693740)
A friend of mine got a bird degree from Guelph by engineering turkeys that moulted in the dark...or something. It's a pretty well respected agricultural school. They've got one of those cows with a hole in its side so you can reach in and poke around its insides.

I grew up around Michigan State University, another well respected agricultural school. My mom got a degree in Dairy Science from there, and my dad worked just off-campus at a lab that tested farmers' milk samples. I'm pretty sure one of his neighbors was a turfgrass research center.

Anyway, agriculture is serious, vital stuff, and an education in turfgrass or turkeys or dairy is almost certainly more useful and applicable to bettering the world than the degrees most of us have. Also, I saw that cow-with-a-hole-in-its-side thing at MSU when I was a kid, and the memory of it still creeps me out.
   19. Steve Treder Posted: April 24, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4693744)
Anyway, agriculture is serious, vital stuff, and an education in turfgrass or turkeys or dairy is almost certainly more useful and applicable to bettering the world than the degrees most of us have.

Damn straight.
   20. Boileryard Posted: April 24, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4693747)
Fistulated cows are disturbing creatures. Apparently there's a Canadian government site somewhere around here where there's a cow with an actual window in its side. I hope that cow isn't visible from any road I might happen to be travelling on.
   21. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 24, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4693750)
Fistulated cows are disturbing creatures. Apparently there's a Canadian government site somewhere around here where there's a cow with an actual window in its side. I hope that cow isn't visible from any road I might happen to be travelling on.

Actually, the cow I mentioned above did have a window (like a porthole), so it might have been different from the hole Greg K was describing. (I don't know if the window "opened.")
   22. Ryan Lind Posted: April 25, 2014 at 12:06 AM (#4693758)
my dad worked just off-campus at a lab that tested farmers' milk samplesw


Have we run out of cows?

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