Source: The City of Dunedin, Fla., has approved schematic designs for the Toronto Blue Jays new spring training facilities, although the chosen designs push the project more than $7.3 million over the approved $81 million budget.
At a city commission meeting on November 8, the commissioners voted 4-1 for one of four proposed designs presented by the Kansas City architectural design firm Populus, Inc. The design is in keeping with the “Key West” look preferred by Dunedin residents in a poll taken when the project was unveiled in 2016.
“This is a long-term project that has to look good for a long time,” Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski told the commission. “I don’t want to skimp on something we told community would be beautiful. They told us they want Key West; it needs to look Key West. We need to follow what the community wanted us to do. This gets us part way there.”
The new stadium – in fact, a renovation of the existing Grant Field facility – will feature what the architects described as a more open, coastal feel. Design accents such as a trellis effect along roof lines will lighten the structures appearance, while a single tower housing an elevator will dominate the main gate area.
The stadium design chosen by the commission will add $360,000 to the approved stadium budget of $33.3 million. In approving the design, the commission instructed staff to work with the city’s partners – Florida, Pinellas County and the Blue Jays – on funding options to cover the cost overruns.
The Blue Jays have already agreed to add $7 million to the PDC’s original $47.8 million estimated cost to ensure that most of the centre’s programming elements are preserved.
The deal is done and the Blue Jays are ready to take better care of developing their players and they feel this facility is going to be a leverage tool in recruiting top-end talent.
The ground is breaking in the next couple of weeks and I must say, this is a positive for Team Shatkins.
Mark Shapiro went through the media rounds today and he was selling the ‘plan’, and his vision for the direction of the ball club. He thinks the team is ready and willing to hit the ‘go’ button but mentioned not a minute sooner than what he feels must be the right time. Makes sense.
Until then, he’s going to hang tight on making major moves.
To me, it sounds like if the right offer is presented for Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman, he’s pulling the trigger. It has to include a major league ready top prospect, and my assumption is an impact bat with speed. Should he trade either of those guys, no but the problem is Shapiro doesn’t like uncertainty and both Stroman and Sanchez can’t seem to stay healthy.
He didn’t know what he had in Tulo this season, so he cut him. Options weren’t picked up from roster players last season, again their uncertainty had no appeal.
Vladdy is going to come up in April, and Shapiro is going to wait and see what exactly he has in the best prospect in baseball before the wallet comes out.
Let reality sink in.
79 days since 2018 season ended, 58 days until pitchers and catchers. Here’s #BlueJays off-season so far:
RHP Elvis Luciano
RHP Oliver Drake
RHP Trent Thornton
SS Troy Tulowitzki
INF Yangervis Solarte
SS Aledmys Diaz
RHP Jordan Romano
LHP Travis Bergen
LHP Jose Fernandez
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) December 18, 2018
Won’t be long though so prepare yourselves.