The Blue Jays are finally home! What to expect from the home opener
By Edward Eng
After starting the season on a grueling 10-game, 11-day road trip, the Toronto Blue Jays will be finally returning home this week to get ready for their series home opener against the Detroit Tigers. There is plenty to get excited about for both the fans and the players in preparation for the event.
For the fans attending:
This will be the first opportunity for Jays’ fans to get a look, live in person, at their prized offseason acquisitions and signings in Daulton Varsho, Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Belt, Erik Swanson and Chris Bassitt. Also, they will be able to see if the Jays can build upon their achievement in making the postseason last year and to have potentially a longer and successful run this coming year.
But more interestingly, during the past offseason, per CTV News, the Jays underwent a $300M renovation project that literally helped change the entire landscape of the Jays’ home ballpark, the Rogers Centre. These changes included revamping the entire outfield wall and its dimensions, and the construction of the newly elevated warmup bullpens. The drastic changes made to both structures will provide the fans with some new unique angles of view, action, and photo-capturing opportunities to help preserve the games’ most enjoyable moments and memories.
In addition, the renovations involved the incorporation of many new outfield districts, or so-called “social spaces” around the facility to enhance fan experience. Among these districts include the Corona Rooftop Patio and Park Social found in the 500 level, and The Stop and the Catch Bar, situated on the 100 level concourse. The Rooftop Patio is a space where fans can hang out to enjoy some signature patio drinks, along with some classic ballpark food items. The Park Social is a great place to gather for fans of all ages, along with being able to enjoy some typical food-truck favorites such as grilled cheese sandwiches and churros.
The Stop district is inspired by typical grab-and-go eats typically found from subway stations across the TTC, including Jamaican patties and rice bowls. Finally, the Catch Bar is strategically located above the outfield bullpen, providing a distinct unique view of the game, while enjoying some casual food and drinks. On top of it all, fans can enter the stadium and enjoy all of these new experiences and the game without having to purchase an assigned seat by getting the $20 outfield district ticket instead.
With the implementation of these districts, along with the enhancement of food offerings across the stadium, there will be many interesting new food items to try out that would make the days when only hot dogs, pizza, and fries were the main offerings for ballpark food totally obsolete. Some of the new intriguing food items include: poutine hot dogs, jerk chicken nachos, peameal bacon sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly churros, bacon-pepper grilled cheese, banh mi sandwiches, and much more. This would certainly be a warm welcome for many Jays’ foodies and would provide added food experience enjoyment to go along with the game.
Also, to commemorate the home opener for the Jays, there will be some collectible promotional giveaway items available for the fans to take home as a souvenir. This includes a light-up wristband and magnet schedule for all fans attending the home opener on April 11th, as well as an exclusive Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Gold Glove bobblehead for the first 15,000 fans in the second game on April 12th.
So, there are many things Jays’ fans can look forward to if they plan to attend the home opener. But with tickets going at a fast rate, not everyone will have the opportunity to attend the event live. Not to worry, those Jays’ fans can still prepare to be excited from the comfort of their own home or any alternative venue because….
For the fans that can’t attend the event live (in addition to the attendees) and for the players:
The Jays will be returning home after a long road trip to start the season. They will definitely be pumped and excited to finally get home to play their hearts out in front of their loyal hometown fans. Look for the Jays to be performing at their best to give their fans a great first impression for the 2023 season at home.
In terms of commemorative events taking place for the players during the home opener series against the Tigers, Guerrero will be receiving his Gold Glove Award and Alejandro Kirk will be presented with his Silver Slugger Award. This will also be the legendary Miguel Cabrera’s swan song, as he is playing in his final year of his storied career with the Tigers. This will give the players, as well as the fans, one last chance to witness his greatness from his superstar legacy.
Altogether, the Blue Jays’ home opener will be an event you don’t want to miss for the 2023 season.