We have our first Stadium 411 entrant of 2010. This one comes to us from my friend Tom, who I believe will be making his fourth entrant into the Stadium 411 series. That officially makes him a contributor.
The stadium Tom visited was the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays. Here is his recap of his visit north of the border.
Rogers Centre/Sky Dome
Last week I took an 11-hour bus ride from New York to Toronto to catch a game between my beloved St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays. Now if the bus ride wasn’t crazy enough I took on this solo mission knowing that the G20 Summit was about to commence. I will say that my trip which I like to call an adventure was a lot of fun and worth the risk of running into unruly anarchists.
Of course international motor coach travel in a heightened security state is not the most reliable form of transportation, but I am happy to report I made it into the stadium during the singing of the Canadian National Anthem and into my seat before the first pitch was thrown.
The Rogers Centre, or Sky Dome as I prefer to call it, has always been a stadium I wanted to visit. Structurally, it was years ahead of its time. The neighboring CN Tower stands directly above the stadium, and with the roof open it creates the perfect accoutrement to the stadium.
I was very impressed with how close you feel to the action. There’s no shortage of stadium staff. Everywhere you turn there’s an attendant. Every section even the sections with no fans still had an attendant.
Unfortunately the fine people of Toronto appear to have little to no interest in the home team. I couldn’t believe how empty the stadium was.
Unfortunately the vast emptiness in this cavernous stadium only amplifies the three or four overly obnoxious fans. So sitting behind third base I’m able to hear the jerk in right field berate the Cardinals' Randy Winn. To put into perspective how empty the stadium is, when a foul ball was hit into the left field upper deck seats, it took about 10 minutes for a fan to get to the empty section to retrieve the ball.
I was also surprised that the Toronto Argos of the Canadian Football League were so prominently honored in the rafters of the stadium. I had forgotten that the CFL even existed.
Lastly, and perhaps my biggest gripe, was regarding the merchandise for sale inside the stadium. I was shocked that the stadium sold Roy Halladay Philadelphia Phillies home and road jerseys. I have always wondered why visiting teams don’t get at least a rack or shelf to sell their merchandise, but this is clearly a testament to a failing franchise.
To be marketing your former players is crazy and embarrassing. I doubt that you could find a Manny Ramirez Dodgers jersey for sale at Fenway or a Johan Santana Mets Jersey at Target Field. Other strange things for sale inside the Rogers Centre: Roberto Alomar cologne, Montreal Expo stuff, and Buffalo Bills as well as various other NFL team merchandise.
Overall Game Day Experience
Another road trip, another Cardinals loss. Despite that I enjoyed my experience at the SKY DOME and would rank it seven out of 10.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg