Big Brother is Watching at Rogers Centre (SkyDome)

Big Brother is Watching at Rogers Centre

I had head that the Rogers Centre cheap seats (those in the 500 level) were having trouble with rowdyness. To curb this rowdyness the normally very strict SkyDome (Rogers Centre) staff have cracked down even more and it seemed to me they were using technology to sleuth out dudes that like to drink Coke with some spice brought in from the outside.

During the first homestand, there were many fistfights reported in the stands and opening day was marred by a guy and his girlfriend who were too shy to take off their clothes but ok to run on the field. College bar antics were reported throughout the opening week rife with, “Show your boobs” chants with security standing by, waiting to get a glimpse and then escort the young woman off the premise. Classy.

On Monday nights game, when the Jays hosted the White Sox the security seemed to know exactly which group of 20ish males had just topped their Coke off with JD or CC. Security would come out of the gates and yell at the young ballfans in a most belittling way. The ring leader of the security force is a Dude in a Suit. Perhaps people will listen to a Dude in a Suit instead of a stadium security guard. It didn’t matter, the Dude in a Suit or security guards had no respect and usually need a cop to back them up.

Metro’s finest, on paid duty, have been relegated to watching who walks into the mens room with soft drinks then pointing them out to the Dude in a Suit who then sticks his nose in their softdrink after chasing them down and yelling at them. Then if the soft drink stinks they throw them out.

The only way that the Dude in a Suit and his lackies are getting their info is from the cops who watch bathroom doors or from cameras in the stadium that are meant to be used for fun. That’s right, the same cameras that you dance to when you are on the jumbotron are the ones being used to watch you pour a pint of whiskey into your pop.

Now, much of this is speculation but I agree that fighting in the stands has to stop. Beers sales on $2 Tuesdays have stopped to try to curp fan drunkeness. I feel this will curb it to some extent but more and more people will try to smuggle in the illicit sweet nectar known as liquor.

Perhaps the Jays should build a team that does not make fans have to drink to entertain themselves. The pitching duels are ok but it does not make for exciting baseball. I see no reason why the Jays should not target college aged fans as the die hard Jays fan either goes to every game anyways or they watch everygame on TV at home (Jays historically have tremendous TV ratings). You are not going to attract new fans with the team on the field this year (unless they win, which they won’t) unless you start promoting to the people that want to go to games in the first place (college aged fans).

The 500 Level seats are a great deal. They are normally $9 and $2 on Tuesdays. This is ideal for college age groups to come down and not have to spent $25-$50 each on tickets. If you let them buy beer they will, for sure, make up the difference in ticket price. If Jays management is worried about the language and actions that these fans use and how it may offend other fans or effect the game they should take into some consideration a new gimmick that other clubs are doing. They Jays should open a Party Zone in the 500 Level where a ticket gets you all you can eat and college antics would be encouraged. The LA Dodgers opened a section last year and the Oakland A’s and others, trying to draw in the 20 something/binge drinking crowd have followed suit. And, if you want to take your young family or a business associate to a game, don’t sit there unless you want to have fun.

Anyways, Jays fans, stop fighting when you get slopped up but don’t stop going, sometimes baseball can be fun to watch without the booze. And for Blue Jays security back off, your job is not that important. But keep working hard and maybe someday you can be the cop that watches people go to the bathroom.

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  • In Atlanta they run the all you can eat gimmick for $40. They also have a 2nd tier, which for $60 total gets you in the park, all you can eat and….. wait for it… all you can drink (bud & bud light). I walked by this section and didn’t notice any problems. Maybe Jays fans need to learn how to hold their liquor.

    I like the idea of a party zone. They could take apart some of the seats on one of the sides of the 500 level and build in layered bar seating.

  • Do you have data on Jays ratings this year? It would be interesting to see how the ratings data shakes out vis-a-vis home game attendance. Is Godfrey just sending fans home to get slopped up in front of the TV or at the bar instead of getting half a buzz on at the game? I am interested in what you base your claim that Jays ratings are “tremendous” are. I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way, I am just coming from a place of ignorance (as usual) and would be interested in knowing.

  • You might be on to something with the Party Zone. It might become so popular that they can charge a premium price for those tickets. What might be even better is an all-you-can slop section. Won’t happen but a guy can dream.

  • Tight PP

    They should make it like the Mardi Gras Section the Ottawa Renegades once had. Aimed at the college crowd, bead necklaces were given out/sold and the girl with the most at the end of the game won $1000. People in that section knew what they were getting themselves into. The High ups in the CFL put a stop to it….and there is no team in Ottawa anymore.

  • RC

    “I had head that the Rogers Centre cheap seats”…..

    Freudian? Were you the one tossed for receiveing felatio in the 500’s last night? I have eyewitness accounts saying that WENT DOWN… I guess they couldn’t use the bathroom with all those paid duty piggies on refill watch.

  • sam

    i am a jays security guard and it makes me laugh what u wrote …first of all we dont want college kids who want to get smashed going to a game screwing it up for those who want to take their families to the 2$ games….a lot of people in toronto housing who have a difficult time purchasing tickets to regular games take their kids to the $2 games …and we dont need those kids to see the amount of fighting which happened on the 500 level ….. second u are pissed off that people got caught sneaking booze into the stadium…pre drink if needed before u come to a game then buy a drink….if you dont want to buy a drink go home aand watch it on tv … also about the party zone get tickets to the hsbc club and drink all night or get a box and get fed and drink all you want. baseball is supposed to be fun and for all ages not just for the college crowd ….. why would we make a party zone for people like you…you mentioned that you dont even have fun watching the game unless u r drunk

  • I think the whole booze police gimmick makes everyone uncomfortable . There has to be a middle ground somewhere. Regular families etc aren’t too thrilled with having to walk past police every time they go to the washroom either.

    Re Sam: “also about the party zone get tickets to the hsbc club and drink all night or get a box and get fed and drink all you want.”

    Sam is missing the point. Slop is happening on $2 night. Are these kids going to rally together and rent a box? Maybe there’s a reason why they are sneaking in the drink ($6+ beers anyone?)

    This attitude of “if you want to slop stay home” is ridiculous. If this is indeed the stance of upper management than I recommend discontinuing the sponsorships with Labatts. Since that isn’t going to happen you’ll need to be relaistic and make comprimises.

    Baseball is and always will be second in Toronto’s heart. Let’s set up a good chunk of the 500 deck as family seating during the $2 nights. Old Tiger Stadium set up the entire left field lower deck seating as a family section. For $2 night have at least a third of the upper bowl designated for families. Secondly management needs to get real. The drinking brings in fans, and $$$ from beer sales. This also (for better or worse) helps to attract the coveted 18 – 29 age demographic to the games, team, TV, etc. Set up a party zone that is outside of the “windows”.

    Atlanta had a great set-up in the outfield seating for the drinking, etc. Tampa has about three of these designated areas.

    Turning the Rogers Centre into a lockdown security facility isn’t the answer. Roll with the punches and adapt.

  • doug

    i agree with wanting to drink and that the 2$ nights will bring in families and college kids but it is just not working out as sam said if they want to get smashed rent a box and if they cant afford it dont freak out because they cant drink. the reason so many police are up on the 500 during $2 games is because the other $2 games have resulted in fights and foul behaviour which distracts others wanting to enjoy the game if you come for the $2 game to get drunk i believe you should pre drink and then watch the game. if drinking is so important to you and sneaking in booze is so important to you come to a regular game when tickets to the 500 are $9 and security is less strict. i spoke to a few security guards on tuesday and they said that they are watching extra carefully on the $2 nights.

  • Sorry to disagree and continue this argument but the whole “you should pre-drink” argument isn’t valid. Regardless of whether these kids should pre-drink or not isn’t the issue at hand. The reality is that they are sneaking booze in and getting tanked. Let’s be realistic here. That is the problem. Now let’s address this in a better fashion than having half of Toronto Metro hanging around the 500 levels.

    In my mind a few options are

    A) Continue with the prison like security throughout the entrance, stands, washrooms and even ramps

    B) Cut off beer sales for the $2 nights (which will never happen)

    C) Create a family section away from the boozing +

    D) create a designated party zone within the ballpark

  • Early

    It is good to see some discussion on this topic. But to defend my article I have to clarify some things and rebut along KMans lines. Except I disagree the problem is sneaking in liquor, the problem is the fighting and lewd acts taking place which may or may not be the case of smuggled liquor.

    I, in no way in my article condone fighting in the stands, using offensive language or in anyways ruining someone elses enjoyment of the game through bad behaviour.

    Saying that, “Low income families come to $2 games” and “students should rent out a SkyBox to get hammered.” Is ridiculous. College students have very little expendable income. If Jays love up their low income families coming they should put them up in a box. At least half of them were empty at the two games I was at last week. This is rather rendundant and I will not dwell on this point.

    If the 500 level is supposed to be geared towards families. If the $2 Tuesdays are supposed to get low income families in, why don’t they offer them in the summer when ‘poor’ kids are on vacay. If they want to give the low income families a break, why don’t they have $2 Tuesday everyday? Open up a $2 family secion in the LF upper deck and a $10 Party Zone in RF Upper Deck. I know why they don’t have a family zone at $2 because if they want to save the $7 on a ticket they are not going to buy the swag/park fare etc which costs alot. College kids, with similar financial situation will spend all their money on that crap. I remember at a game last year, in April with 15,000 in the stands buying a 500 Level seats and sitting behind the Jays pen and in the latter innings moiving around right behind the plate. We spent $5 on pop and $10 on tickets, total, for two people. We bought the tix off a scalper. College kids sitting infront of us for the most part, for 4 of them probably bought $100 in beers and nachos etc. To top if off, one kid went and bought a Casey Janssen jersey towards the end of the game – beer induced impulse buy? The jersey probably cost upwards of $80 and the only one Jays Shop sold all year. Those guys, also had 500 Level tickets and towards their heckling became monotonous and not very insightful ” Hey DeJesus, you suck!” or “You are Gay” or “Casey sign my jersey” . SkyDome security tossed them up to the their seats in the 500 Level. We had the same tickets, we spent $5 for two people on SkyDome crap. These guys probably spent $300 total for the night and they were treated like crap in an empty stadium.

    If someone can give me a good anwser to what the Jays marketing is trying to do in the 500 Level with either $9 or $2 tickets i might be able to understand the madness behind the security situation. Getting families to the park doens’t cut it as it is a marketing disaster. And if they are trying to take the moral highroad, there are many holes that I think I have touched on. If they want to protect families from the Frat Boys, why not make a Party Zone to keep the monkeys in the zoo? And a family zone with puppy dogs and ice cream everywhere. Most other teams have done it.

  • Tight PP

    the 2 parks i’ve been to this year outside of skydome had bar areas. I do not know what the price/situation is with them, but PNC and Prog Field have enclosed areas

  • dope

    in response to early,
    u r a dumass regardn the security thing on ppl tryn to get their jersey signed
    lets say one of those fans tried to hurt the player, wat den, who is to blame? ur mother?
    think b4 u talk son

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