Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 10:20AM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:21PM
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto, Ont. :: Opened: 1989 :: Capacity: 50,598
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Average Ticket Price: $23.40
Average Cost of Concessions and Souvenirs: $99.00
How expensive is stadium parking? FREE: 3% $5-$10: 20% $10-$15: 39% $15-$20: 28% More than $20: 8%
Is public transportation a viable option? Never: 2% Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 5% A good option to avoid rush hour: 26% Pretty easy if you know the system well: 35% The only way to go: 32%
How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game? To the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 5% Slow, but usually steady: 22% Moves well outside of rush hour: 41% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 25% A smooth ride at all times: 6%
From the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 13% Slow, but usually steady: 30% Moves well outside of rush hour: 25% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 25% A smooth ride at all times: 6%
How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women? Bring a map: 1% It depends on the section: 2% Never more than a short walk away: 29% A satisfactory amount: 27% Plenty: 32%
How long is the wait to use a bathroom? Always available: 70% 1-5 minutes: 27% 5-10 minutes: 1% More than 10 minutes: 1%
How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options? Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 10% Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 23% A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 29% A nice variety but locations are spread out: 25% You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 12%
How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you? $5-$10: 16% $10-$20: 67% $20-$30: 14% $30-$40: 2% More than $40: 1%
How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game? Nonexistent: 4% So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 3% Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 42% Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 16% A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 32%
"When the roof is open, there is no better view than the CN Tower hovering over the Rogers Centre. The improved scoreboard, the natural-looking grass (even though it's fake) and the renovations to concessions areas (especially the widening of the concourses) have really made the ballpark 100 times better to see a game than in the past." If the weather doesn't cooperate and the retractable roof is closed, "it's a massive cave; caves are meant to be explored, not to sit and watch something happen." Those who are watching seem to do so quietly. "Toronto fans are quiet (compared with American fans in general). They'll cheer in appreciation rather than to encourage, for the most part." The relative quiet "almost makes you feel ashamed to make noise." In a stadium once celebrated for the variety of restaurants within its doors, many fans have grown tired of the fare, grousing about "way too expensive" beer and "sad" hot dogs. Still, with a Hard Rock Café, submarine-sandwich stand and pizza joint on the premises, dining options are many. After 17 years the Rogers Centre is showing its age in an era when all of its conveniences are now commonplace, but the Jays have poured money into improving the comfort of the park, from the seats to old Blue Jay reunion nights, which still make this place worth a trip.
If you decide not to go to the Hard Rock Café, which overlooks left center field, "the stadium is within a 10-minute walk of most of Toronto's downtown bars and nightlife just west of downtown." Just north of the stadium is Wayne Gretzky's bar and restaurant, a "fun" place that has "the best patio in the city" and "excellent memorabilia." (Don't forget that the Hockey Hall of Fame calls Toronto home.) Also steps away is the CN Tower, one of the world's largest free-stranding structures, and Eaton Centre, "a large mall with all of the shops you would expect to find." Richmond Street and its selection of clubs is around the corner, as are a host of bars and restaurants on King and Front streets. The nearby Ontario Place "is a great little theme park for the family," while the harbor front and its shopping, eating and boat rides are only a five-minute walk from the dome.
2006 record: 74-69 (all statistics through Sept. 10) Players worth the price of admission: Vernon Wells (.309 Avg., 31 HRs, 94 RBIs), Roy Halladay (16-5, 3.21 ERA, 126 Ks), B.J. Ryan (1.38 ERA, 32 saves, 78 Ks)
It's stunning how quickly a stadium can become outdated. That's what has happened in Toronto, with the Rogers Centre's retractable roof, in-park restaurants and downtown locale all being co-opted by other parks, each accompanied by the manufactured charm of retro architecture. It's enough to make the Rogers Centre look positively Astrodome-esque. But unlike the former Eighth Wonder of the World, the Jays' home has ownership willing to pour millions into renovating the place, and it has a drawing card no other park has -- the city of Toronto. Wouldn't you rather spend the day or weekend shopping and eating in one of North America's nicest and most cosmopolitan cities than in some dying industrial town where one of the only attractions is a faux old-time park?