rogers centre renovations

The Rogers Centre is now removing seats so they can never hurt Toronto fans again

The Rogers Centre's long-awaited renovation, a $300 million upgrade that will breathe new life into the aging stadium, has officially begun.

But it won't take the pain away.

The massive overhaul to the former SkyDome — now the seventh oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball — is really just a band-aid solution to the bigger problem of an outdated ballpark, with the renos expected to squeeze another decade or so of life out of the old concrete megalith.

And just hours after the Toronto Blue Jays experienced a monumental, historic, still-can't-believe-it-actually-happened collapse during the disastrous AL Wild Card Series, the stadium renovation kicked off with the removal of seating from the 500 level.

These are seats that will never again be able to support your numb butt while you and about 50,000 other fans have your dreams of glory torn to shreds before your disbelieving eyes.

They can't hurt you anymore.

The long-anticipated Rogers Centre renovation is expected to undo elements of the stadium's multipurpose design to improve the fan experience.

What it will not do, however, is install the natural grass playing surface or sign the much-needed bullpen depth actually needed to give players the conditions they require to take things to the (and I'm going to use their words) "Next Level."

The Jays' much-touted renovation plan will set the organization back more than a quarter billion dollars, which sounds very expensive until you realize that the top three teams in baseball are all spending upwards of $200 million on their rosters compared to the Jays' paltry $141 million.

That's 11th place in roster payroll — and the real world doesn't always play out like the plot to Moneyball.

The dome's renovation will be carried out in phases over the next two MLB offseasons, though if Toronto Blue Jays President and CEO Mark Shapiro and General Manager Ross Atkins really want to improve the fan experience, they can start by putting the same kind of money into the roster this off-season.

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