I’m not certain if that’s the largest capacity of the Rogers Centre, but it is what is listed on its site for baseball games. If that is really the case, and nobody can be added anywhere with standing room, booth seats, or crammed into the lounges, then the Jays want to hear those 49,539 people for opening day (April 12th at 7:20 pm ET) versus the White Sox and beyond. I’ve been to the Dome when it’s full and it is one rocking place to be. If you want the Jays to invest in getting the glory of the 90s back to Toronto, fill the ball park. That’s the easiest and clearest way to get the CEO of Rogers and others at the top of the food chain noticing that this product is hot!
Tickets at Rogers Center range from as low as $11 (cheaper than a movie nowadays) to $210 for the “In the Action” seats. You may say to yourself, wow, $210 is a lot of money for a baseball game, but that’s just a small portion of the seats and the next highest cost is the $62 premium seats, so the drop off is very steep.
The Premium seating is right behind home plate and surrounds it to the end of the dugouts. The seats just beyond that go for $60 and are called “Field Level” seats. These are the seats I normally get, because although you can still hear the players talk and feel like you’re part of the action, you’re far back enough to see the plays made in the outfield. If none are available, I normally go for the “Field Level Bases” seats that go for $44 – the best bang for your buck. When you watch games shown in Rogers on T.V., you’ll notice that the majority of fans are within this area and that there are fewer empty seats in this zone than any other.
Some people may like the “200 Level Infield seats” more, but at $60 and farther away from the plays, I’m just not as big a fan of these seats. If you’re taking your family and you really want to have some fun, chat, and not pay an arm and a leg for seats, the “200 Level” seats are your best bet. The seats are $22 each and you still get really great views of the field and feel part of the game.
Finally, my beloved 500 Level seats are for the most dedicated fans, usually reserved for Opening Day, when the Yankees or Red Sox come to town, or may even for when Doc Halladay returns to the Centre, but they do sell lots of seats for regular games to some very dedicated fans. Again, if you’re taking your family or cost is an issue, these seats are perfect for you. Of all the seats in the Centre, these are the ones where you usually get the rowdiest fans that get shown on T.V., so be ready to meet some characters!
I know the Jays want their fans to come out and cheer them on regardless of the record, but that can sometimes be hard to do when you’re shelling out money. However, think of it this way: you’re really supporting the brand so that it can get better over time. As much as some people like to criticize the Yankees and Red Sox fans, you have to hand it to them for the fact that they support their teams 100%. They buy jerseys, souvenirs, go to games, cheer and jeer them as required, and all of this allows these teams to put a better product on the field.
Why can’t Toronto do the same? It has an entire country of over 33 million people to market to, so why don’t they market to all Canadian markets? That’s one part I truly don’t understand. There are no advertisements in Halifax, St-John’s, Montreal, Calgary…..nothing! Just the usual watch us on T.V. if you want, and if not that’s O.K., we understand….. I don’t get it, it’s a huge lost opportunity. Maybe if Rogers wasn’t as focused on other business initiatives it would realize that its competitive advantage over other teams is the fact that it does have an entire country of consumers at its feet. They should be building up the grass roots in all major Canadian cities and spending a little to grown the baseball knowledge of all young fans in order to gain adult fans in the future. But as it stands today, most of their marketing and growth efforts are in Toronto, far away from the consumers it should be looking to reach. I digress, they really don’t have the right strategy in place in my opinion as a business person.
Return to The Glory Years
Having witnessed the glory years of the early 90s, when the Jays outspent the majority of MLB and got the championships to show for it, I am eager to see those days return. And why not? Toronto is able to provide this kind of support. Fans from all over Canada can fly into Toronto more cheaply than any other Canadian city due to the number of flights. Let’s get that Centre full, get that money flowing in the franchise again, and support it from the bottom up by also going to minor league games.
My challenge to all Jays fans is this: if you went to 1 game last year, go to 2 this year. If you went to 4 games, go to 6 this year. And on, and on…. I guarantee that if the fans come out in hoards, the product on the field will increase in value significantly. The Jays want to hear 49,539 people on a regular basis, not just for the special events. They want to hear you cheer when they beat the Yankees, and also when they beat the Royals. It shouldn’t matter who the opponent is, it should all be about the win. So let’s get out there and support them, and make some noise!!!