Blue Jays (Finally) Install Dirt Infield

Rogers Centre history contains many firsts, but now the home of the Toronto Blue Jays has become one of the last to change.  By installing an all-dirt infield this offseason, the Jays become the 29th team out of 30 to play on the natural surface. Now only the Tampa Bay Rays remain as a team playing on an artificial infield. 

Since 1989, dirt has covered the first and third base lines at the venue once known as SkyDome--first Major League Baseball stadium with a retractable roof and on-site hotel. Crews expect to haul away roughly 12,000 square-feet of concrete along the third- and first-base lines to make room for a mixture of sand, gravel and dirt. Officials expect the process completed by April's opening day. 

The stadium still uses artificial turf as management continues exploring the logistics of replacing the artificial turf with grass. 

An ongoing study from the University of Guelph may determine if a grass field can be installed. Jays ownership didn't offer a timetable for when the study would be done, only that its results would inform their future plans. Crews installed a playing surface known as AstroTurf 3D Extreme prior to the 2015 season. 

The synthetic playing surface resists wear thanks to a blend of horseshoe-shaped and slim-fit fibers, while a patented system of crimped fibers secures its sand and rubber components, according to AstroTurf.