Jays From the Couch had the opportunity to read the Ballpark E-Guide Rogers Centre Edition and offer up a review of the fan resource
One of the greatest pleasures to be had as a Blue Jays fan has to be making the pilgrimage to the dome (some people have moved on to calling it the Rogers Centre) for a live game. Touted as “Canada’s Team”, that means that many making said pilgrimage will not be locals, but fans coming from all over to witness a home game. Being from Toronto and at as many games as I can fit into a busy schedule, I have come to think of the dome as both a second home and (usually) my happy place.
I know what to expect, where to eat, where to sit – I’ve been all over with the exception of the top row of the 500’s as I asked for the dome edge walk rope and they wouldn’t give me one – as well as the best way to travel there on a given day.
So what is a fan to do when this is a first trip to the home of the Blue Jays? There is an e-guide out that aims to put all of this info into one place. Ballpark E-Guides by Kurt Smith has a Rogers Centre Edition. I was given a copy to peruse and was surprised at the amount of information packed into it.
The guide itself is an easy read, with different sections of information some with corresponding pictures about information one might want to know when going to a Blue Jays game. The information seems pretty accurate through the lens of a visitor, though I do think some of the facts provided will change for the upcoming season if Mark Shapiro’s grand vision of improving the fan experience inside the dome actually comes to fruition – it hasn’t really so far.
The transportation section is accurate, with suggestions of places to park that was quite extensive, though the option to über is omitted and shouldn’t be. The TTC, as many fans have experienced, has been known to kick off passengers on the “last train” in the middle of line one (usually Eglington station) mid week, only to be told to bus the rest of the way – true story I’ve been there, forced to take the all nite bus the rest of the way up Yonge Street. There is also the problem with the never ending parking dilemma downtown where you regularly see the $35 price tag displayed at the dome lot. With the destruction of a popular parking lot just east of the ACC, the prices will just continue to be on the high side.
There was an omission in the section that discusses the Junior Jays Saturday program. If you are at a game with your child and it is their first game, head on over to the customer service office located on each level and you can request a first game certificate. This is available for any game, not just a junior Jays Saturday game.
So the dome is big… and the game is hours of entertainment. Sustenance is usually required and if you’re like me, the choice becomes the closest and fastest. I don’t like to leave the game for too long waiting in some line, or looking for some particular food. Knowing where the food and drink is as well as what is available is certainly a win for even locals. I’ll wander before the game, but during the game the focus is on the field. Taking the guesswork out of where to go just saves time. If I could request a handy insert with cider locations that would be greatly appreciated as there are crazy cider dry spots all over the dome making the search for such libations too time consuming.
All said and done, this e-guide seems to hit the mark on useful information needed when trekking to the Rogers Centre, and it does have this info categorized and all in one place. Keep in mind there is no way to always have 100% of the information, so don’t treat this as a be all and end all kind of guide. Guaranteed you’ll find a question or two unanswered after reading, but it’s really only a question or two, unlike the 20 questions you might have had before reading the guide.
To truly keep up with Blue Jays events however, like the Friday Night Bash events held this summer, it is best to check the team’s website, where you will find up to date information. Happy reading to Blue Jays fans, and happy reading to MLB fans planning on visiting our house.
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.