Blue Jays to install dirt infield at Rogers Centre for 2016

Rogers Centre. (Frank Gunn/CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays will start work next week on a dirt infield that’s expected to be in place at Rogers Centre when the 2016 regular season begins.

The Blue Jays, presently the lone MLB team without a dirt infield, have been playing on a grass infield with dirt cutouts surrounding each base.

Club president Mark Shapiro has said the Blue Jays intend to come up with a “comprehensive plan” for retrofitting Rogers Centre in the coming seasons. The stadium has been in use since 1989, making it MLB’s seventh-oldest facility.

The team announced plans Wednesday to excavate parts of the cement floor at Rogers Centre by 12 inches. Layers of gravel, sand and clay will replace the cement on the base paths and in parts of the infield.

"This will both improve the surface for the players and also enhance the atmosphere of the stadium for our fans,” senior VP of business operations Stephen Brooks said.