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#pounditThursday, March 30, 2023

Blue Jays announce significant stadium news

Feb 17, 2020; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks on during spring training at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of a multi-year, $300 million renovation to the Rogers Centre.

The overhaul began earlier this offseason with a demolition phase, which focused on the upper levels, outfield walls, and bullpen areas. Crews then moved onto the redesign and construction phase, which was aimed at creating a better fan experience.

Toronto wants to bring their fans closer to the action and “diversify” the types of experiences those in attendance can have.

As a result of these adjustments, outfield dimensions at the Rogers Centre were also forced to change. Some of them were more significant than others, and they also include changes to the wall height.

The most significant change came in right-center where the wall was moved in 16 feet and raised more than four feet. The right-center power alley also saw a notable change with the wall moved in 11 feet and raised nine inches.

“The new outfield not only creates a dynamic and unique ballpark character but most importantly, brings Blue Jays fans closer to the action,” Blue Jays executive vice president of business operations Marnie Starkman told MLB.com. “It was critical to understand how any modifications would impact play, so where the walls come in, heights go up to offset significant changes. Our team modelled these adjustments, and we anticipate they will create a similar neutral environment while providing a modernized experience for our fans.”

How, exactly, these changes will impact play remains to be seen. It will take at least one season to determine if this boosts offensive play in the stadium or if it somehow helps the pitchers.

However, one thing is for certain: balls in play will take different bounces off the wall and outfielders will need to re-learn the flow.

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