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Preparations underway at Rogers Centre for Toronto Blue Jays opening day

Click to play video: 'Preparations underway at Rogers Centre for Blue Jays opening day' Preparations underway at Rogers Centre for Blue Jays opening day
For Blue Jays fans, the true sign of spring is opening day at the Rogers Centre. That game happens on March 28. Melanie Zettler got a behind the scenes look at what Jays fans can expect this year in the way of new food, swag and merchandise – Mar 20, 2019

Blue Jays excitement is building at the Rogers Centre ahead of opening day — on the field, in the kitchens and at The Jays Shop.

The field crew has been working since the beginning of February and in order to get the pitching mound perfect, you need to understand some geometry and be decent at math.

“Every foot in front of the pitching rubber, we have to drop the amount of one inch,” said Tom Farrell, director of field operations.

There is a little known fact about the dirt used on various parts of the field: Four different types of clay are brought in.

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“It comes from different places: Red clay comes from New Jersey, gray clay comes from Chicago (and) our base clay comes from Pennsylvania,” added Farrell.

Executive chef Craig McAlister has been busy in the kitchen perfecting the 2019 menu of higher-end items, including a wagyu hot dog with duck confit and bone marrow topped with Russian dressing.

For the price conscious Jays fan, a number of “Dugout Deals” have been added to the concessions menu. Budget-friendly items include $5 nachos with cheese, $5 for a 355-millilitre can of Budweiser beer, $3 popcorn and $2 bottles of water.

In terms of swag, all ball fans will receive a Jays t-shirt at Thursday’s opener and another 15,000 fans entering the Rogers Centre will get a Jays hoodie on March 30.

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“My personal favourite this year… this is our Lourdes Gurriel, piña power bobblehead,” said Michelle Seniuk, director of promotions and events.

The bobble head will be handed out at the 4 p.m. game on April 24.

The Jays Shop has something new for all members of the family, including a new, DNKY white crop shirt for women with matching reflective tights and pink Blue Jays “Keds” running shoes. For the kids, a sequin “flippy” logo sweater is new alongside the “MLB-opoly” board game.

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For their opening day on March 28, the Blue Jays will face the Detroit Tigers at 3:37 p.m.

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