Toronto Blue Jays: Rogers Centre
June 19th, 2013. Toronto defeats Colorado 5-2 for the sweep. (Our first game together)
Being from TO we never really consider Toronto to be a part of the tour, as the motivation for the tour is to travel around America to see parks we wouldn’t otherwise see. We have been to Rogers Centre, formally known as the Skydome, collectively hundreds of times. While it may not seem like an all impressive stadium to us, the general consensus is… we’re right it’s not the impressive. The stadium was built in 1989 and unfortunately it shows. Compared to the newer stadiums in the league Rogers Centre is aesthetically sad to say, not in the same league. However for many reasons Rogers Centre has plenty to offer for a great visit.
One of the big pluses for Rogers Centre is the retractable roof. Retractable roofs are invaluable when planning baseball trips, nothing worse then spending money on tickets and hotel rooms only to have the game postponed for rain. The other very attractive quality for road trippers is the location. Rogers Centre is in the heart of the greatest city in Canada and the earth. For you Americans keep in mind when you visit Rogers Centre(not Center) you’ll get more for your American buck. And there are a number of great city attractions within walking distance of the stadium. You can check out Ripley’s Aquarium directly across the stadium or even the CN tower which overlooks the field. If you are a fan of sports other than baseball you may also want to walk over to the hockey hall of fame. These are just a few things to check out, there are countless other options that cover whatever might interest you.
Now enough about the greatest city ever, what can you actually expect at a Jay’s game you ask? Well for one thing, Toronto has no problem with fan attendance. The last couple seasons we’ve had the highest attendance in the American League. Which many people may find surprising thinking Toronto is just a hockey town. Although to be fair the stadium has a hockey goal horn as it’s homerun and game victory siren. Generally I like to sit in the 500s (third deck) behind home plate. The stadium is built with the levels right on top of each other so you never feel too far from the field but the higher you go the smaller the lines for food and drinks. If you like to sit really close be aware that some sections are non-alcoholic for the kiddies.
In terms of the crowd work at Rogers Centre it seems to be pretty lacking. The best new trope they have added the last couple seasons is the Josh Donaldson roof report. Basically it’s just a clip featuring newscast music and then JD telling the crowd in attendance if the roof is open or not, it’s actually a lot funnier than it sounds. For the seventh inning stretch Toronto plays a sing along song. The lyrics are terrible. The title of the song is “OK Blue Jays”, I can’t imagine what less inspiring titles they decided not to go with. The food available at the stadium is all pretty standard baseball items, hotdogs, popcorn, ice-cream served in tiny little batting helmets.
Overall I think most people would surprised how much fun they could have visiting Toronto for a baseball game. If you are flying into Toronto, don’t feel the need to rent a car to get around the city. Public transit is super easy to figure out and is especially great at getting to the major attractions in the city including Rogers Centre which is right next to the main Subway/Bus/Train station. If you are planning on driving to multiple stadiums the closest stadium is Comerica Park in Detroit, a little more than a 4 hour drive depending on traffic. In the other direction you can head to New York city to see a Yankees and/or Mets game.
Completed stadiums: 1 of 30
This concludes our first stadium visit of the tour. While this post is more review and Toronto sales pitch the next updates will come more from the perspective of someone visiting a foreign stadium. To see the current completion status of our baseball stadium tour Click Here