The Toronto Blue Jays Are Coming Home to a New World-Class AstroTurf Field
Toronto, ON – After 670 days away from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, the Blue Jays will return to their home field on July 30th. And they will play their first game north of the border since September 2019 on a newly installed AstroTurf baseball field, a project that has been in the works for more than a year.
While holding spring training and games in the States earlier this year due to COVID safety restrictions, the team has been collaborating with the manufacturer of state-of-the-art synthetic turf to create the ultimate playing surface. Combining AstroTurf’s leading product for the sport – the RootZone Diamond Series turf system – with the extra shock absorption provided by a Brock SP17 pad, they succeeded in doing exactly that.
The RootZone Diamond Series RBI 60 ounce was chosen by the Blue Jays for its player interaction, safety, ball action, and ball performance.
“They wanted the best surface around for the best baseball athletes in the world. They had specific boxes to be checked when finding that,” said G. Aaron Klotz, AstroTurf’s National Manager of Baseball Sales. “They took their time, hired a third party to administer these tests and examined all products available in the marketplace – and ultimately they selected the best.”
“The Blue Jays put our Diamond Series through a vigorous testing procedure that graded safety, durability, ball interaction and playability. For four months they broke down all turf companies in the same manner. It was quite the process and I’m not quite sure anyone has ever done this when selecting a turf provider.”
The RBI fiber blend includes 2-inch high polyethylene monofilament fibers for a grass-like appearance and slit film fibers to enhance resistance to wear. The RootZone, which is a texturized fiber system purpose-built to reduce infill migration, boosts ball playability and achieves realistic ball hops and speeds.
Step one was for AstroTurf to create a test plot in Dunedin, FL., home of the Blue Jays spring training facility. AstroTurf was able to create an agility field with the exact replica playing surface that would be installed in the Rogers Centre.
Some of the team’s top players tested the field earlier this year to ensure it was exactly what they wanted. They also brought on a third-party firm to conduct independent testing, hired a private firm to compare other turf systems with AstroTurf’s, and worked directly with the installation team at AstroTurf to customize the field, getting the perfect ratio for the field, so it performs exactly how the players want it to.”
“The goal was to have the Blue Jays bring down their top players and let them see how the ball plays on the field,” Klotz said. “During spring training, we worked with the players, coaches, Head Grounds Keeper, Tom Farrell and their Director of Sport Science, Brandon Stone, to perfect this field with the exact ratio of infill. It was a total team effort, and we are very excited on how it turned out.”
“Based on the results and performance of our RBI system, AstroTurf came out on top,” Klotz added. “We can’t wait to watch the best in the world compete on our turf.”
When the Blue Jays went from Florida to their temporary home turf in Buffalo, NY, AstroTurf went with them, doing the batting cages, hitting facility, and bullpen. “Wherever they went, they brought AstroTurf – it truly is a partnership we are very proud of,” says Klotz.
The Blue Jays will play the Kansas City Royals on July 30th, which will be the start of a 10-game homestead. They’ll also have matchups against Cleveland and the Boston Red Sox.
One key to the entire journey was AstroTurf’s experienced installation team anchored by Jose Nunez and his crew.
“Having those guys was a huge part of what we were able to do,” Klotz said. “They did the previous installation at the Rogers Centre and it was a big-time bonus to have those guys back on board and for them to be familiar with the process. They did such a great job. They were rock stars.”
Klotz added that the entire AstroTurf team played a huge part in the project.
“When you’re talking about a team that truly understands the game of baseball, from top to bottom. I’d put our team and group up against anyone in the game.”
For athletes and sports enthusiasts, AstroTurf has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport, and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams, and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.