DUNEDIN — If you were to go to a Toronto Blue Jays game — in Canada, not here — you'd still find a little slice of Dunedin. And even a plug about the need for renovations at the team's spring training home at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Rogers Centre, the team's regular season home in Toronto, gives out a packet highlighting "the uniqueness and charm" of the city. "There's an allure to Dunedin," it says on one page and talks about the team's history here on another. The packet ends with quotes from team leaders about the renovation ordeal.
"We've threatened to leave on a few occasions ,but we never did because there is that comfort of home," says Paul Beeston, former team president and CEO. "I'm not going to call it the worst facility of anybody in Major League Baseball, but it's clearly in the bottom five. I don't think anyone would dispute that and there is an absolute necessity for a serious upgrade."
Current president and CEO Mark Shapiro says the pride and tradition in Dunedin makes it valuable to the team, he can't compromise on stadium standards.
"We need to look at Spring Training as an opportunity to provide a resource for our players that potentially can be a competitive advantage," he said in the packet. "We don't want to be among the worst; we want to be among the best."