Council approves permanent grass for BMO Field
Published Wednesday, September 30, 2009 3:45PM EDT
Toronto's city council has given a green thumb up to install permanent natural-grass turf at the BMO Field soccer pitch for next season.
"Grass at BMO Field passes council unanimously!" Mayor David Miller said Wednesday in a posting on Twitter, a social messaging service.
He holds season tickets.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), owner of the Toronto FC soccer club, has proposed to spend $5.5 million to replace the artificial turf currently in place.
It was part of a deal that would also see a bubble built over Lamport Stadium to make that King Street facility available for year-round use. In addition, an artificial turf field would be built at Lakeshore Collegiate for $800,000, the Toronto Star reported.
This is to compensate for the loss of public access to BMO Field.
The stadium opened in 2007, with year-round public use as part of the $63-million deal. The club, fans and players say the artificial turf creates weird bounces and is hard on the players.
When the Real Madrid soccer club turned up for an exhibition match, real sod was laid down just for the one match. It cost $250,000.