Instead of pissing and moaning, as usual, I would love be writing a post today about how the Jays have finally devised a sensible plan for limiting the tendency of fans at Rogers Centre to provoke multiple mini-donnybrooks in the upper deck during home openers. Shit, I’d even love to say that there probably really isn’t anything close to resembling a perfect solution to this problem– and let’s be straight, while this is admittedly a blog that isn’t unfriendly to the drink, we’re also fervently against dumbass violence, and the kind of moronic behaviour that incites it, so yes, these Opening Day Dickheads are, indeed a problem.

Unfortunately, today I have to write a post about how the Jays, as usual, have devised a solution with all the elegance of Roger Clemens getting shot in the ass with nandrolone in the SkyDome hotel– and none of the usefulness.

As reported by Colin Freeze of the Globe and Mail, at tonight’s home opener, if you had the misfortune of being broke-, cheap-, or late-enough to only be able to sit in the 500s, you’ll be limited to getting just one beer at a time from the beer carts that are already a giant clusterfuck during sellout games.

Not only is the measure fucking pointless– most of the problem drunks at the game are getting hammered before-hand, or by way of the flask, not on the obscenely-expensive brews available at the Dome– but it punishes the people who want to enjoy the game while drinking responsibly. These folks, the vast majority of attendees, will now be forced to miss giant swaths of action while waiting in ginormous beer lines– they won’t even be able to alternate trips between friends, because your friend won’t be able to pick up one for you in the third, and have you return the favour in the fifth.

And… frankly, the more I think about it, the more exasperating it is that they actually think this is going to do anything but bog down the beer lines for responsible drunks, and make them frustrated as fuck about the whole experience. Way to piss on the hand that feeds you, Jays!

I mean, the beer situation at the Rogers Centre is already ridiculous in too many ways. The price. The lack of local microbrews– including the one that’s right fucking next to the damn building. Shit, even the fact that, at their most lenient, they allow you to bring just two back to your seats. I would gladly– gladly– give the security staff and the police at the games a lot more power to eject drunks in exchange for a little more respect for people who demonstrate they can behave like adults.

Because, let’s be honest, that’s the actual issue here. The lack of adequate security, and Rogers’ apparent unwillingness to bring in people who might have a prayer of stopping a fight before it gets started.

The police, at least, seem to have the right idea.

“Toronto Police say there will be a stepped-up security presence inside and outside of the Rogers Centre,” Freeze writes. “‘There will be additional officers to ensure public safety,’ says Constable Tony Vella.”

Do we really need more than that? Do we need to create a clusterfuck at the beer lines, frustration and outrage among patrons missing the game due to inadequately-available alcohol, and the knowledge among fans in the 500s that– if not this year, certainly next– you’d better get your drinking on before-hand if you’re going to want to actually watch the whole game?

Is this dog and pony show not, maybe, going to create an atmosphere that’s more conducive to fighting, rather than less? I hope not, but I wouldn’t bet against the notion. And I wouldn’t doubt that, as far as the club is concerned, looking like they’re doing something constructive is more important than actually doing it. That’s really the most frustrating thing about it.

For those of you planning on braving the lineups, Ian Hunter has an awesomely-handy map of all the Rogers Centre booze carts at the Blue Jay Hunter. Of course, there will be beer guys walking the stands, if you can get to them.

Comments (79)

  1. Well, looks like the LCBO at King and Spadina will have a *few* extra customers this evening. A sock mickey has never looked more appropriate.

  2. Thank the lord for my 100 levels.

    • Agreed. What’s stopping people from buying beer in the 100or 200 level level section & walking up to the 500 section /

      • Aside from the prohibitively long walk, passage between levels when you have a 500 level seat is not allowed in an effort to stop people from sneaking down. There are ways around this though.

  3. The game sold out before I could get tickets this year. I was initially disappointed… but I’m actually fine with missing it now.

    The Opener is like going to a bar on St Patricks Day or New Years. It’s fun and exciting, but always turns ugly. Amateur hour. I’ll watch tonight on TV and go Tuesday.

    • It is for sure amateur hour, and that’s why I never go.

      That, and because I don’t get in with my fan pass.

  4. Thats true man… Fucking Rogers and their stupidity.

  5. The lack of micros, particularly local and especially as noted Steamwhistle, is annoying both at Skydome and at the ACC. I refuse to drink the usual macro suspects under normal circumstances but at $13+, hell no!!

    Reading about some micro-friendly ballparks in the States hurts. One of these days, road trip!

    • Rogers Centre is easily the worst park I’ve been to in terms of beer selection. Oakland is not a great ball park but sitting down in the 100′s for $35 and grabbing a pint of Sierra Nevada is pure bliss.

    • A little off-topic, but…

      Anyone see that article a few days ago about that Mill Street bar opening up at Terminal 1 in Pearson? Makes me want to get to the airport a little bit earlier next time…

    • You can get a Creemore near the smoking section on level 100 at the ACC. They have various bars with different beer selections throughout the building. Also, the Creemore bar never has a line more than two deep. It’s fucking tits.

  6. I mean, the beer situation at the Rogers Centre is already ridiculous in too many ways. The price. The lack of local microbrews– including the one that’s right fucking next to the damn building.

    Amen. There’s some great fucking beer that’s made in Toronto (and Ontario in general), and it’s total bullshit that none of it is available at Rogers Centre.

  7. Yep, I’m definitely thankful for my 200 level tix. I’ve always had good experiences in the 100s and 200s for the home opener. Stronger police presence should be enough if they really wanted to handle the 500s properly. But hey, that costs more than just faking caring about the problems.

  8. My couch, in front of my 50″ plasma with the HD feed will have a 2 drink minimum this evening.

  9. Let’s give the already drunk people a reason to get angry and belligerent, sound crowd control. This will create more problems than it solves and what with the stupid opening day towel giveaway, they’re just destined to end up on the field

  10. The Jays are going to have roaming customer service people this year throughout the concourses, so there should be plenty of people to complain to about this policy.

    • Since when has Rogers ever listened to customer complaints?

      • They listen 100% of the time and choose to act upon it some 0.0001% of the time. Believe it or not, there are actually models for calculating how much you can piss customers off… ain’t humans smart.

  11. You know what I’d like more than anything? To get shitheads to stop throwing stuff on the field once their hammered by the 6th or 7th. It’s embarrassing.

  12. Is this just an opening game policy?

  13. It looks like the guy in the sports-coat learned the hard way that you don’t fight with people in the elevated rows behind you… severe disadvantage.

    • Old-school leverage problem.

      • leverage? that dude is begging to have his arm broken over the rail.

        • Perhaps you’re right. I take it you, sir, are a man who knows what to do with leverage.

          Personally, I am more comfortable making use of leverage when negotiating… I’m really not sure what that shirtless dude’s BATNA is…

    • “never fight a guy in the row behind you. That one level of elevation can make even the toughest guy look like he’s made of baby.” Everyone just needs to brush up on the djf guide to opening day.

  14. Good point.

    I think they are neglecting to understand that the morons who create fights during opening day are probably too cheap to by booze at the stadium.

    They are more likely pre-drinking and sneaking in booze… (Yes no matter how hard you try to fight it, people will still get in with liquor….

    They need to have like 100 cops in the 500 level… Pretty much 2 cops per section.. Much like at bills games… Where people also get drunk and act like idiots…

    In the past they have had some nerdy faced 17 year old kid in a rogers centre shirt police an entire section of drunken 16-25 year olds… Ya that seems really well thought out…

  15. Worth noting: this opening day sold out ridiculously fast because the Blue Jays quietly made tickets available to Star Pass holders/die-hard fans before they really went on sale to the public. I’m sure there will still be tons of idiots there, but I’d guess the frat boy:actual fan ratio will be a lot lower this year than normal.

  16. “And I wouldn’t doubt that, as far as the club is concerned, looking like they’re doing something constructive is more important than actually doing it. That’s really the most frustrating thing about it.” – exactly. Very frustrating. Is it really that hard to think this stuff through.

    Stoeten should offer consulting services to the Jays as a representative of the “competent to be drunk in public” demographic.

  17. Did anyone ask this question at the season tickets holders meeting?

  18. This kind of thing is why I never really regret not going to an opener. I will be going to tomorrow’s game however. I will enjoy the extra leg room too. (Although based on sales, my section appears to be busy).

  19. I reject the notion that flask-carriers are problem drunks. We drink as responsibly as everyone else, we’re just cheap. The pint-in-the-pocket crowd who lack the foresight to bring a flask, those are the folks you need to worry about.

    • As a flask-carrying friend says, “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just cheap!” To which I just point out that he’s a cheap alcoholic. And then we continue heckling the Yankees bullpen. Oh, we’re a blast, I assure you…

      • Yeah, maybe it’s more fair to say that we’re realistic about our alcoholism and plan our drinking in advance. Either way, my buddy dropped $40 on beer at a junior hockey game the other night while I got by with my flask and a $3 bottle of pop from the concession stand and still had enough left for a swig or two on the way home. In my opinion, that’s epic hustle.

        Also, maybe we both have drinking problems.

    • Fair point.

  20. dont forget stoeten that all your valid complaints are compounded by the fact that the skydome security is staffed by 18 yr olds who have no idea how to handle 50,000 and act out by power tripping

    i honestly hoped bringing back beeston would return some normalcy to security and the way the skydome in general is run, havent seen it yet

    • My buddy from grade school has been the 500 level chief of security for years now. OVerall, they do what they can, but they are busy and understaffed. The issue is the same as with the concessions. They hire based on season attendane averages and the rare sold out games are hard to manage.

  21. Y’know as much as it pains me to say it — I’m glad I moved to Boston to watch games. Better brews on tap and zero misbehavior in the stands, even when wearing a Jays cap. I was annoyed by the Sox fans who came up to the Dome, but they couldn’t be nicer to vistors in their house. The higher/limited ticket prices do deter a certain sort of “fan”.

    • Zero misbehaviour in the stands? Please wear a Yankees cap next time you go and report back.

    • Yeah ,I’m with Stevie A.
      Everybody i’ve talked to about Fenway says it can get pretty rowdy in the stands.Especially when the Yankees are in town.

  22. What’s this? A publicly-traded corporation restricts sales of its most profitable concession on the busiest night of the regular season? As a Rogers shareholder I find this policy appalling.

    • Except if the experience limits future game sales.
      If somebody fights or pukes in the seat next to me ,i might not purchase tckets for future games.
      At minimum I wouldn’t want to take a date to future games experience lest it might lessen my opportunity for poon tang later in the evening.

      • This is a huge factor. It`s one of the big problems the dodgers faced the last couple of years too. It`s a topic many people brought up when discussing the new owners.

        Yankees games in the 80`s had similar issues.

    • Dude, you should seriously send that message to Rogers’ investor relations folks (investor.relations@rci.rogers.com) or fill out the form (http://www.rogers.com/web/Rogers.portal?_nfpb=true&_windowLabel=investor_1_1&investor_1_1_actionOverride=%2Fportlets%2Fconsumer%2Finvestor%2FshowContactUsAction&_pageLabel=IR_LANDING).

      I can’t imagine what the staffer having to pen that response to you will be thinking…
      Then, you may proclaim yourself the first ever activist shareholder whose focus is not shareholder return but world-series return (see what I… Oh fuck that).

    • A few years back the MLB forced them to have two totally dry games due to the previous Spring’s home opener. So, one beer minimum hopefully saves from two games with no sales whatsoever.

      • One per transaction, not per person. You just have to keep going back if you want more.

      • the dry games were not imposed by mlb but by the provincial gov’t due to underage alcohol sales infractions (the same season “ice cold beer” guy got canned)

        as anybody who has ever gone to road games know, toronto crowds are extremely tame (notwithstanding the ritual opener antics)

  23. I’m surprised Rogers didn’t buy the LCBO chain and limit one beer per customer for tonight also.

    Complete waste of time, really.

  24. <i.Because, let’s be honest, that’s the actual issue here. The lack of adequate security, and Rogers’ apparent unwillingness to bring in people who might have a prayer of stopping a fight before it gets started.

    This, and the reluctance of the concessions stands to stop serving people who are clearly already intoxicated. There’s little incentive for the concessions to actually deny service, given that they are there to make money and you make more money by serving drunks rather than not serving them, but it’s still a huge issue and not just on opening day.

  25. I’ve always been bummed when the Season’s Pass doesn’t include the home opener – but in reality the amount of human garbage concentrated at the event has always been a huge bummer in the years that I’ve gone.

    This year I’ll gladly watch from home and hit the other 80 games that the fighting in the stands crowd are highly unlikely to attend.

    That said – I have to fully throw my hat into Stoeten’s corner on this one. I’ve had my fair share of drunken nights in the 500s and never had a confrontation. The vast majority of violent people that I’ve seen aren’t buying $10 beers to get drunk on. If you can afford to pay what it would take to get hammered at the Dome – you’re probably not among the student segment of the crowd who get occasionally violent. Not to give flak to those who flask it and keep things jovial.

  26. Yet another reason why I’m going to again watch the opening day game at my parents place with my dad and instead go to the game tomorrow. Nobody is spending $50-$100 for 5-10 beers and getting drunk at the game. Or, at least, those who are will probably not be sitting in the 500 level. The Jays are getting so much right these days that it’s a shame to screw this up. I’m not sure what the real solution drunken, violent idiots is, but this strategy seems poorly thought-out and I doubt very much that it will prove effective.

  27. Well Said Stoeten. My question is why can the people in the other sections get two beers? I saw at least four fights in the lower bowl last year.

  28. Here here!

  29. I’m not convinced, I think if they sell 50% of the beer that they normally do during a home opener, this will help.

    As for the long lines, just don’t drink if you are going to tonight’s game.

  30. A cop in every section. Problem solved. Play ball.

  31. Fucking just sell Labatt for $2 and call it a day. A real “Buffalo special”

  32. I got my ticket today from a buddy and only agreed to take it because it was in the 100s. I hat the 500s on a normal game, let alone opening night.

    They should cut off sales earlier in the game. Might curb things a bit.

  33. This won’t be popular here but you could always not be an alcoholic and not drink booze! Try it, it won’t kill you, honest!

    • Pretty sure I can drink booze and still not be an alcoholic… But thanks for your self righteous comment.

  34. What really galls me in the picture above is that no one is attacking the asshole in the papelbon shirt.

  35. this is why I will be enjoying the game from my sofa with a guiness and a tightly packed bowl of kush.
    follow soberjaysfan on twitter for constant in-game updates.
    check out the only jays stat that matters here: http://soberjaysfan.blogspot.ca/p/game-balls-and-goat-horns.html

    dont hate.

  36. Let them drink all they want imo. It’s nothing a few extra cops and a taser can’t handle quickly and quietly. If they want to be ass monkeys and ruin things for everyone else at least we can all get enjoyment out of seeing their drunk asses get tased. Comes down to the same old shit that a few idiots have to ruin everyone’s fun because they can’t handle their booze.

  37. i love that the longest post in the last few days is the one about beer, keeping true to your name

  38. Heaven forbid that people can’t enjoy a baseball game without the need of drinking alcohol, especially at their ridiculous prices.

    • Heaven forbid that as a 30 year old I be allowed to enjoy a FUCKING BEVERAGE without some self rightous asshole like you getting all high and mighty about it.

  39. You’d have to pay me by the hour to sit top deck for a Jays home opener and I LOVE the 500s. With that said, I avoid the opener and come with apprehension to night games against the Sox or Yankees. More idiots per capita, everytime. Last year during a Yankee game, no shit, I witnessed the bribing of a Rogers Centre security dude when a drunk shirtless neanderthal slipped him either a 5 or a 10 spot to look the other way while his friend leaned forward and clocked a Yankee fan two rows in front of him. This happened after he had been berating him with a profanity filled tirade for 10 minutes about how shitty the Yankees are. Security guy managed to deliver the police about 15 minutes later, but the cash exchange bought every minute of the violent exchange. I sent off an email to Rogers the next day because I was still blown away by it all. I didn’t get a response. I’d say that’s reason enough to investigate whether or not there’s adequate security in the 500s anytime, not just for the opener..

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