the good news...new turf. new jumbotron. and 40% increase on the payroll for the jays. interestingly enough the increase came after most free agents were already signed, so mr. rogers still have some time to reconsider.
here's the article. from tsn.ca
TORONTO (CP) - SkyDome is getting a facelift with new scoreboards, new playing surface and a new name - Rogers Centre.
Owner Ted Rogers also pledged more money for players - $210 million US over three years.
"That represents about a 40 per cent increase on the payroll in the past year," the communications mogul told a news conference Wednesday.
The Jays finished with a 67-94 record last season, bottom of the American League East, a division ruled by big-spending Boston and the New York Yankees.
"We have the resources now to go out and do some things that we would like to do," said GM J.P. Ricciardi. "We're going to take it and look at all the avenues available to us going forward."
The 16-year-old domed stadium's original name came from a fan competition.
Rogers Communications spent just $25 million Cdn to buy SkyDome from Sportsco International, a Chicago-based group of investors, late last year. It was a fraction of the $580 million the stadium cost to build.
But the aging 50,000-seat stadium had steadily gone down in price since opening in 1989. It sold for $151 million in 1994 and Sportsco paid $80 million when it bought SkyDome out of bankruptcy court in April 1999.
"We pledge to you all our fans that we will investigate any and all ideas that will improve this building and the fan experience," Jays president Paul Godfrey said Wednesday.
The stadium will also receive several upgrades, including new video scoreboards to replace the aging JumboTron and a new playing surface designed by the Montreal-based FieldTurf Inc, replacing the rock-hard artificial turf.
The main screen will be the same size as before: 33 feet high by 110 feet wide (10 by 33 metres). Two other screens, 10 by 65 feet (three by 19.8 metres) will also be installed.
"No longer will the Blue Jays be the only team in major league baseball to play on AstroTurf," Godfrey said.
Instead a new FieldTurf surface will be installed.
"This is our start, but by no means is it our finish," Godfrey said, saying the baseball-friendly stadium makeover will continue.
When SkyDome opened in June 1989, it was the envy of the baseball world - a state-of-the-art facility that continually packed in more than 50,000 fans a game. The Jays broke baseball records with more than four million fans per season in '91, '92 and '93.
Last season the Jays drew 23,455 per game, its highest average in five years.
As it turns out, SkyDome was among the last of its kind. Baseball moved back to more traditional-looking stadiums - such as Camden Yards in Baltimore, Jacobs Field in Cleveland and The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas - and multipurpose facilities gave way to specialty stadiums.