Blue Jays: Renovations to Sahlen Field are ready for Tuesday
The Toronto Blue Jays are finally heading to their temporary home in Buffalo.
MLB is coming to Sahlen Field, but significant upgrades were needed for the Toronto Blue Jays to play there. Almost a month ago, the Blue Jays had zero clue where they would be playing their home games. After an exhausting weeklong search, the team found a nest at Buffalo’s Sahlen field.
The much-needed renovations to the minor-league ballpark meant the Blue Jays couldn’t host opponents until August 11. Now, the road warrior Blue Jays can begin their first homestand at their home away from home.
With their “home opener” against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night, here are the upgrades to Sahlen Field. But, before we get into the upgrades, here are some little known facts you may not know about the stadium itself.
The House that Jimmy Built
Sahlen Field opened in 1988, a year before the SkyDome opened its doors. It’s not just the home of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons as the downtown ballpark bears the nickname “The House that Jimmy built.”
Jimmy Griffin, the former Mayor of the city of Buffalo, was also a baseball fan. He was considered instrumental in helping create the world’s first retro-classic ballpark. One of the largest ballparks to be built for minor league baseball, it’s construction generated a stadium boom, including Coors Field in Colorado and Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Now, for the renovations to Sahlen Field
Sahlen Field measures 325 feet to the poles and 404 feet to centre field. The dimensions are quite similar at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
One of the first renovations done to Sahlen Field were the lights. The stadium lights got an upgrade with stronger LED bulbs and adding portable lights.
Sahlen Field has also provided additional clubhouse facilities for the Blue Jays and visiting teams. Also, the stadium has repurposed the weight room and training rooms.
On the field, Sahlen Field uses natural Kentucky bluegrass instead of the artificial turf used at the Rogers Centre. Construction crews added batting cages and training areas for social distancing practises. Above the dugouts, there’s more dugout space to supplement the existing dugouts.
Final touches of the renovation
With all the renovations coming to a close, the newly renovated Sahlen Field looks like a proper temporary home for the Blue Jays.
It should make them feel right at home, especially with some fan support!
Crews finally added the cardboard cutouts of fans in empty seats. Hopefully, one of those cutouts is our beloved Home Plate Lady.
Several Blue Jays, including Vladimir Guerreo Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., and Nate Pearson, previously played for the Bisons. The young core should have a feel for the 32-year old ball in downtown Buffalo.