Toronto councillor says he’s sure Jays stadium plan is good, whatever it is

The Toronto Blue Jays stadium plan is still, as one columnist called it, “a trial balloon wrapped in a beta test,” with few real details beyond that it would require the demolition of SkyDome, cost “multibillion” dollars, and be “privately funded.” But that hasn’t stopped Toronto city councillor Joe Cressy from endorsing the plan sight unseen:

“The clear understanding from the earliest conversations was that [public funding] was not a consideration here,” Mr. Cressy said. “I don’t see it as an inherently politically contentious subject.”

The problem, of course, is that “no public stadium funding” is a claim that’s gone along with everything from a $350 million gift of public land to the most expensive baseball stadium subsidy of all time. And also that there can be reasons for a development deal to be contentious even if it doesn’t require public money. (Is what the Jays owners want really the best use of the stadium site?) It’s possible Cressy knows more than he’s letting on — the Jays stadium talks have apparently been going on in secret for years — but it’s also possible he’s just trying to spin the story as pay no attention to the financial details behind the curtain, in which case we definitely should be paying more attention to the financial details.

Meanwhile, even the hint of a new Blue Jays stadium has some people fantasizing about how great it would be if Toronto’s future ballpark could be modeled after another stadium that hasn’t actually been built yet:

That there is a Photoshop, all right! It also requires putting the new stadium on the site of the old stadium, which would defeat the purpose of moving it to the south to make way for new residential and office towers, but would be necessary to leave room for the retractable roof to retract, as can be seen in this Hokkaido rendering:

That’s an important question, though: Would a new Jays stadium have a roof? If so, it would be hard to have natural grass there, unless the roof fully retracts as in the above image, in which case there’s not much room on the site for a stadium plus additional buildings. (There’s a major highway not far south of the current stadium, which is the only direction it could expand in.) If not, it’s gonna be cold in April, which is the whole reason SkyDome was built as a dome. This could get contentious!

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11 comments on “Toronto councillor says he’s sure Jays stadium plan is good, whatever it is

  1. It is SkyDome, not “the SkyDome.” Nobody says “the Wrigley Field” or ” the Fenway Park” or “the Yankee Stadium,” therefore nobody should say “the SkyDome.”

  2. Remember the good old days when sports leagues worked around pesky issues like the natural climate of the continent they play on by scheduling early season games in warmer climates to avoid the cold up north and then scheduling mid summer games mainly in cooler climates to avoid the mid summer heat in the south?

    What was wrong with that?

    Sure, you can’t have a baseball team start the season with a 30 game road trip. But then, you don’t have to. A two week road trip is generally more than enough to deal with the worst of the weather up north.

    And start and finish the season with a lot of day games in northern climes. When did weather become a problem taxpayers are required to ‘fix’ for a private for profit sports league?

      1. Sure, everyone is doing it…

        No, I’m not. But there’s nothing wrong with Cleveland, Boston, NY, Chicago etc starting the season with 10 day to 2wk road trips and playing day games at home early/late in the season.

        What, people won’t watch if it’s not in prime time but they WILL buy 2 or 3 different premium networks to catch all the games?

        In the PVR/streaming world, people will watch when convenient no matter when the games are played.

        1. Yeah, I am by no means saying the Jays need a retractable roof. More that they have one now, and everybody seems to want one, and they’re on a pretty small lot as it is so how are they going to fit all this stuff on there, even without a roof?

          1. I suggest a retractable circus tent roof like the Big Owe in Montreal was supposed to have. Surely the engineering problems have been worked out by now!

    1. Sadly, they’re just the Fighters, sponsored by Nippon Ham. (Does this stop me from calling them the Ham Fighters for lulz? No it does not.)

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