Rogers Centre, Toronto – Visit #5

Friday, May 6 – Blue Jays 5, Dodgers 2

Indoor baseball isn’t my favorite.  The concourse at Rogers Centre is spacious and the sight lines are good, but the continuous echoing noise makes it sometimes difficult to hear announcements and becomes tough on the ears.  All in all, though, a good visit to a terrific city.

Access:  Toronto was the first stop of a three-game, 1,400-mile trip in my Jeep Cherokee.  Garage parking was just several blocks off an expressway, about a three block walk to Rogers Centre, and not too exorbitant at C$26, about US$20.

Seats/pricing:  I got a front row seat in the upper deck that turned out to be exactly behind home plate.  A seat to the left or to the right and I wouldn’t have been quite as precisely behind the plate.  Great for judging inside-outside on pitches, not so much for high-low.  At C$28, about US$21.50, a good value.

Behind the plate

View:  Well, Rogers Centre roof was closed, so of course there’s no view to the outside.

Food:  Armed with recommendations from event staff, I was torn between the King’s Club and a market area with a variety of selections.  I finally went with King’s Club and the sirloin sandwich cut in full view from a large roast such as you’d see in a quality buffet.  With a choice of toppings: excellent.

Food

The sirloin at King’s Club (left) and the market, which looked good, too.

Beer:  Somehow, it seemed odd that Budweiser was the principal brand rather than the Canadian brand, Labatt’s.  Budweiser also had its name on the King’s Club.

Crowd:  42,304.  The crowd was noteworthy for almost everyone staying through the entire game.  Plenty of vocal support, which was easy thanks to Kevin Millar’s  no-doubt, 3-run home run that gave the Blue Jays the lead in the eighth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie after the teams had gone scoreless through five.

Fans sculpture

A whimsical sculpture of fans above an entrance to Rogers Centre

Men’s Rooms:  One was the biggest I’ve seen so far:  44 urinals, 6 stalls, and 12 sinks spread amongst three partitioned areas.  Very clean.

Neighborhood:  Rogers Centre is in the middle of town.  It’s just a short walk down wide Bremner Boulevard to Air Canada Centre, home of the NBA Raptors who still were alive in the NBA playoffs when I visited.  Many restaurants, bars, and stores are in close walking distance, and a fascinating railroad museum has old locomotives and train cars on outdoor exhibit just steps from the ballpark.  The museum is housed in and around a former roundhouse.  Today’s active local and national rails are just north of Rogers, and Union Station is off Bremner.

Outside Rogers

The railroad museum, CN Tower, and one of several player names on the sidewalk

Arts and visuals:  The visuals are the urban scenes outside, whether viewed from street level or next to Rogers Centre from the CN (Canadian National) Tower, the world’s third-tallest tower at 1815.4 feet.

Baseball Moment:  It felt like déjà vu from Washington watching Blue Jays closer Drew Storen, a National until traded this past off-season, sweat through a bases-loaded ninth inning before emerging unscathed.

Ninth inning

A botched force play made the ninth tougher for Drew Storen

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