A Rogers Centre veteran’s tips for getting the most out of the Blue Jays’ postseason games
Visiting Rogers Centre can be an overwhelming experience, and that’s especially true during the MLB postseason, when every game draws 50,000 excited fans and the Blue Jays are playing for keeps. Fighting the crowds doesn’t need to be a source of misery, though. If you know how to use the stadium’s amenities to your advantage, you can leave feeling like a winner regardless of what happens on the field. Here, ten tips for getting the most out of your time in the stands.
1 Catch a ball in batting practice. The stadium generally opens between two hours and 90 minutes before first pitch. It’s a great opportunity for 500-level ticket holders to spend some time in the good seats before getting settled into their own—and it’s also the perfect chance to snag a foul ball. The opposing team’s batting practice usually happens during this time, and their shots land in mostly empty stands. Just park yourself on the right or left field line on the 100 level and wait for the free souvenirs to rain down on you.
2 Get to your seat without standing in massive lineups. You can enter the ballpark through any of the main gates, no matter what your ticket says—so if your gate is swamped, just head to another one. There’s only one exception: Gate 8, which is reserved for folks headed to the luxury boxes or the TD Comfort Clubhouse.
3 Bring in outside food. The world learned about Rogers Centre’s lax food restrictions in the most delightful way this summer, after podcaster Jake Goldsbie of Sportsfeld tweeted a shot of a charcuterie board he’d made while in his seat at the ballpark. A charcuterie board! There’s no need to get that creative, but the point is: you can bring food.
4 Buy a hot dog outside the stadium. For a lot of fans, hot dogs are an essential part of the ballpark experience—but they don’t have to be an essential part of emptying your wallet. The stands outside the Rogers Centre sell dogs for $3, while the in-stadium kiosks hawk them starting at about twice that price. So, why not just buy your street meat on the street? (If you do, you might see Dioner Navarro in line.)
5 Buffalo cauliflower poutine. Don’t have time to stop for food outside the building? Don’t settle for Rogers Centre pizza. Go in with a plan, and make that plan Buffalo cauliflower poutine. It’s incredible, and it’s available at Toronto Street Eats, near section 135.
6 Tip your beer vendor early. Beer and baseball are a terrific pairing, but it can be frustrating to have to leave your seat and wait in line to get yourself a cold, delicious beverage. That’s where the beer vendors who walk up and down the aisles come in. Tip them big early on and suggest that they keep coming back your way.
7 Bring a pocket radio. There’s no better way to enrich your game experience than by listening to the radio broadcast while you’re at the park. It’s full of little details that are easy to miss from the stands. You’ll know what the pitcher is throwing, you’ll get better context for matchups, and you’ll get insight into how the umpires are calling the game. Just be sure to keep only one earbud in, so you can still make conversation.
8 Charge your cell phone. Charge stations are few and far between, but they are available in the concourses. Look for them in Guest Service locations on levels 100, 200 and 500.
9 Be a good fan. Though it’s tempting to touch a ball in play, or to stand up and block other fans’ view to start the wave, don’t do it. At the end of the game you’ll want to share in the joy of a Jays victory with your fellow fans, and that’s hard to do when they’re all giving you the stink-eye.
10 Avoid the crowds on your way out. Most of the crowd uses the exits nearest their seats. If you stroll around to Gate 1 or Gate 2, not only will you avoid the worst of the crush, you’ll be deposited directly at Front and John, the closest point to Union Station.