Thoughts on a New Ballpark

Saturday, November 28 2020 @ 09:36 AM EST

Contributed by: Eephus

When I awoke yesterday and heard a lot of rumbling about Blue Jays news, this wasn't my expectation.

(as an aside before I begin, I liked Mike Wilner's work for the broadcast. He could come across like he's atop a knowledge mountain sure, but I liked his enthusiasm and obvious genuine love and passion for the team and the game. His unfiltered excitement on the air is wonderfully enjoyable, and nothing but well wishes on his next journey).

The big news around Blue Jays Land right now isn't signing George Springer (damn it) instead it's a report that Rogers is considering tearing down the SkyDome (or that other name it's called) in place of a new stadium. I personally won't argue here for or against that, rather I'm interested in the building itself and the memories we have that can make an objectively drab place so much more special than it appears.

As well, if the Dome were to be torn down... what and where in Toronto would you want to replace it? For now it seems like a new park in the current location is the preferential option for the team, with additional condos and outdoor fan space (like Maple Leaf Square/Jurassic Park) to compliment it. To me that sounds... "ok" if done properly without contrivance (ha)... perhaps even quite good if the plans for the Rail Deck Park are realized in unison.

My choice though (and please jump in with your own ideas here) would be a new park in the Port Lands. There is already some unique development happening there (the land-filling at the western end of Commisioners Street for a public park/housing) and there is a lot of unused land south of that area (leave Cherry Beach alone though) to fit a ballpark. If done right it could be beautiful: the Toronto skyline visible just over the outfield fence and bleachers, Wards Island in view also perhaps. How stunning would that be, watching a ballgame while the sun sets over the big city in the background. Transit would be the biggest logistical issue: the Toronto Port Lands are notoriously inaccessible despite being close to the downtown core. As a cyclist it's not too hard (he he) but to have an MLB ballpark there would require serious planning and adaptations in regards to public transit, pedestrian walkways and roads also. If you're very ambitious, you could build a dock and create a special ferry line that goes to the park and back on gamedays, almost like in San Francisco for Giants games.

My only other request is that it, as a nod to history and that part of town, it be named 'Sunlight Park' (heck, I'll settle for *company name" Sunlight Park, since corporations love to put their names on things).

Anyhow, my idea is a difficult one to implement (obviously) so I'd love to hear yours' also. As I've commented recently, I don't think the Dome is an awesome place to watch a game but it also isn't actively unpleasant or bland. There is room for improvement most definitely, so how can we do that? Have at it.