This article was originally featured on www.stadiumjourney.com .
Back in 1989, the Rogers Centre (previously the Skydome) emerged as a modern marvel of architecture. Thanks to its retractable roof, after 20 years it still stands as one of the most unique ballparks in the majors.
FANFARE SCORE: 22
F ood & Beverage: 5
Whatever your heart, and your stomach, desires, you will probably find it at the Rogers Centre. Not only do they have ballpark hot dogs, pizza, and ice cream, but just this year the Rogers Centre has updated their concessions to include very unique items such as corned beef sandwiches, chicken wings, and even sushi. The quality of food is vast, and the prices are reasonable.
Unlike the food, the beer choices are fairly limited, with a few domestics, and a couple of imports. A 12 ounce tall can of domestic beer will run you about $9.50
A tmosphere: 2
With such a large stadium, it’s difficult to get the entire crowd involved and excited about the game at times. One thing that’s significantly lacking at the Rogers Centre is any sort of memorabilia or “wall of fame”. Aside from the World Series and playoff banners hung high atop the dome, there isn’t much in the way of historical memorabilia at the Rogers Centre. The large information screens along the outfield wall are great for keeping fans updated on other scores around the MLB, but can be somewhat distracting at times.
N eighborhood: 3
One very popular attraction close to the Rogers Centre is the Steamwhistle brewery. It’s a great idea to go there before, or after the ball game to get a free sample. You can also travel up the nearby CN Tower, which is especially beautiful on a clear night.
There are a plethora of bars and restaurants surrounding the stadium for fans to flock to for a post-game celebration. If you head west a few blocks, you will stumble across Lonestar Texas Grill. If you get your second wind following the game, this is a great place to enjoy a juicy steak, or even just nachos. Their selection of beer is pretty decent, and they also make a mean Margarita.
Just south of the Rogers Centre is St. Louis Bar and Grill. They are most famous for wings and ribs, but they also have a great selection of sandwiches and other entrees. St. Louis Bar and Grill features seven beers on tap.
F ans: 2
Long gone are the days when the Blue Jays used to draw three million in attendance. However, the Blue Jays still manage to consistently clear at least 11,000 in attendance per game. At times, it’s frustrating to watch fans more focused on when they should stand up so they can catch “the wave”, or when they are cheering loudly to win a piece of pizza, rather than cheer on the home team itself.
For the most part, the biggest crowds flock to the Rogers Centre when the Blue Jays play the Yankees, or Red Sox. At times, the opposing fans are actually louder than the home fans, and you can hear this clearly on the television broadcast.
A ccess: 3
If at all possible, I would recommend taking public transit to get to the game. With Union Station just a 10 minute walk away, it’s much easier to take the subway and save yourself the money, and the headaches. If you’re traveling from out of town, there are plenty of parking lots around the Rogers Centre for those willing to arrive early and shell out upwards of $20 for parking.
You will have no problem finding the bathroom facilities at the Rogers Centre. They are very well equipped, and there are usually no waiting lines until the game lets out.
R eturn on Investment: 4
Really, there isn’t much to complain about in regards to tickets to a Jays game at the Rogers Centre, which start as low as $9 dollars. For those looking to get closer to the action, tickets range anywhere from $25 dollars up to $200 dollars. Earlier this year, the Blue Jays offered special discount days and “All You Can Eat” tickets.
E tc.: 3
Bonus points for promotions offered throughout the season. Most notably, the Blue Jays had a “Back 2 Back” weekend, in which the 1992 and 1993 Blue Jays rosters reunited to celebrate their World Series wins. This was a very clever way to draw fans to the ballpark for what would have otherwise been an ordinary series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Some might say that the Rogers Centre is a cold, dark, and lifeless place. Please keep in mind that when the Rogers Centre was built 20 years ago, it was meant to be a sports mecca where many professional sports would take place. Despite all this, the Rogers Centre still holds its own as Canada’s premiere baseball stadium.
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