Last month, I finally went to my first Jays game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. I had lived in Toronto for over 6 years (and only a 20-minute streetcar ride from the city core) and not once had I gone to a game. My close-knit family and friends have never had much interest in sports and I had convinced myself that I would much rather play sports than watch a live game. I’d never even watched a full game on TV! However, a few of my coworkers had coordinated a night out at the Jay’s Game and so I thought, Why not go too and see what it’s actually like?
I realized quickly that didn’t miss the rush hour traffic one bit since moving out of the city. We had tried to leave early from work, but it took us more than double the time it would have in off-peak hours (and a lot of stop and go) to get downtown. As a commuter who visits Toronto monthly (and as a previous Toronto resident), the city really needs to get their act together and expand the highways – ASAP! There’s just way too many cars on the road now; ongoing construction on the major highway routes and shutting down one (or both) highways for summer events doesn’t help.
So we finally got downtown and found parking for $20.00 close to the Rogers Centre (less than half that during the day). We walked a few blocks to get to the Rogers Centre and grabbed a sub at Subway on the way. I couldn’t believe how many people dressed up in Blue Jays attire or blue! Talk about support for our team :-) The walk up to the top level was a long one, but I was excited to be there and with quiet excitement, I entered the stadium.
Our group had pre-purchased tickets in the “nosebleeds” on the upper level right above home plate and I thought they were great seats! I had a front & center view and was able to get some great pictures from so high up. Now, having not watched the game before on TV and not attended a paid sports game in my life, this was not what I was expecting. The game atmosphere is definitely more social/casual and requires less “focus” on the game in play. Having very little game play knowledge, I asked for clarification on a few things and felt a bit helpless at following along. But it was fun to see how passionate fans are about certain players or plays during the game. PRO TIP: read up on game etiquette, scoring, player status/ranks and rules prior to the game (it had been probably 10 years since I played baseball and I regret not doing a bit of a refresher in advance).
Getting alcohol was easy (cash at your seat or charge card just outside). They had quite a few venders outside (ice cream, draft beer, pizza, etc.) and the concessions staff walked the stands with several tantalizing foods (I was quite tempted even after eating in advance). I was pleasantly surprised when the “Take me out to the ballgame” song came on and everyone sung along with the lyrics on the jumbotron. This was one of my favourite parts of the game.
I couldn’t grasp how large the stadium was! I kept looking around at the crowd and participated in the wave several times when they came around. We were nearly 30,000 attendees that evening and apparently the stadium holds just over 50,000! This is mind-blowing and even today hard to process for me. At one point, we were also on the jumbotron as a girl nearby won a prize. I waved and smiled, along with a few of my coworkers and one of the males in the group even did the “Running Man” dance on the big screen! I didn’t even realize until afterwards that we would have been on TV as thousands of fans watched at home all over the country! Again, I just couldn’t process how big of an event this was!
Overall, I enjoyed the game and I’m glad I went (even though we lost to the Tampa Bay Rays!). I liked the social and interactive atmosphere, and thought it was great that the Blue Jays have so many fans supporting them. I would go again, but next time I’ll do a little research beforehand. Until next time…. Go Jays Go!
I’m working my way through life in Canada and traveling when I can afford to explore beyond the border. Sharing my tips, trips, opinions and rants on life and travel in the meantime.