Blue Jays Seek G20 Compensation

Before we get into this, let me stress that I am by no means a whiz when it comes to money. I’m about as financially savvy as a Dragon’s Den (or Shark Tank for our American audience) contestant that producers choose to make the show more amusing. In fact, the biggest investment of my life, not counting bar tabs, was the $100 I’ve spent on getting the first three Upper Deck baseball card sets. Note: I’m available, ladies.

So, please bear with me on this, and feel free to correct me in the comments section.

My first impression when I saw that the Toronto Blue Jays had filed a claim for $470,854 from the Canadian government was that it was exorbitantly high. I remember the fervor with which the Toronto Blue Jays, at the time, bent over backwards to let it be known that moving the June 25-27th series against the Phillies to Philadelphia because of the G20 Summit was their idea and not forced by the federal government. They wanted fans to know that they took their safety seriously, and despite plans from law enforcement that would’ve made holding the series in Toronto feasible, the team chose not to go down that path out of concern for their supporters.

Thanks a lot.

At the time, I was against it. Then I was against moving it to Philadelphia, which seemed like a strange compromise considering that there was a precedence for neutral site games. Then I saw the G20 madness unfold and baseball sort of wasn’t as pressing of an issue.

But now we’re here, and the Blue Jays, along with several other businesses are seeking reparations for losing revenue that awful weekend.

So, where did the organization come up with a figure around half a million dollars?

If we take the Rogers Centre capacity seating (49,539) and look at the average ticket price , it’s not ridiculous to think that a three game weekend series in June against the Phillies with Roy Halladay pitching one of the games would bring in around $4 million at the gate.

According to Forbes, the Blue Jays made $34 million from gate receipts last season, but had an operating income of $3.6 million, or just under 10.6%. That same portion of $4 million would be $424,000 which isn’t that far off the $470,854 that the team is asking of the government.

Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. There’s the merchandise sales, the concession sales and any financial considerations that the Blue Jays may have given to the Philadelphia Phillies for operating their stadium for three extra games (although something tells me they weren’t complaining too much). And there’s also the matter of how gate receipts are split at the Major League level, with 66% going to the home team and 34% going into a pool which is split evenly between all teams.

All in all, it appears as though almost half a million dollars isn’t as outrageous as it might seem at first glance.

Comments (17)

  1. Weren’t the jays given some compensation FROM the phillies? Not the other way around?

    Even still… What’s a half mil between friends?

  2. I forgot to tell you that when I was in Philly that weekend, I spent one of the games sitting beside a couple of guys who had driven down from Toronto. The one guy started introduced himself and started a conversation with “Hey, so you like the Jays… have you ever heard of a blog called Drunk Jays Fans?”

  3. Don’t forget though, if no games were played the Jays didn’t have to pay any of their employees for that series.

  4. I think that in addition to your baseball card investments, the stache is definitely a step in the right direction in attracting the ladies.

  5. Well, I only hope Rogers and our corrupt federal government can come to an agreement they are both satisfied with.
    In this situation, I actually don’t know who I hate more: The government for wasting a billion dollars and orchestrating the biggest violation of civil liberties in Canadian history, or Rogers for moving the series when they didn’t have to and then coming to the government to be reimbursed at taxpayer expense.
    I can’t wait till taxpayers are on the hook to replace Skydome, which originally cost taxpayers $360 million, and Rogers later bought for $25 million. Just another powerful corporation lining up at the government trough. But whatever, let’s play ball!

  6. Sorry, but I should probably clarrify that the mass arrests pissed me off more than having the Jays-Phillies series moved.
    Still, who wants to bet that Rogers gets reimbursed their full requested amount while the small downtown businesses will get little.
    Is anybody else starting to find it hard to be a fan of Rogers Toronoto Blue Jays?

  7. Very true – most people would probably have been arrested before they made it to the ballpark.
    I guess the point I was trying to make was that the series should not have been moved if the police behaved in a proper manner.
    Does anybody know who made the decision to move the series? I would suspect that officially it was made by the Jays but I suspect the government would not have wanted so many people around the security perimeter. For that reason, I think Rogers should have absolutely no problem getting reimbursed. I wonder if that cash will be used to sign free agents or draft picks?

  8. “Just another powerful corporation lining up at the government trough. ”
    Just be glad the team isn’t owned by Bombardier.

  9. Very true, but I personally don’t own a snowmobile. The telecommunications monopology is a real drag though.

  10. I think calling the G20 debacle ‘ the biggest violation of civil liberties in Canadian history’ is a huge overstatement. You only need to look at Chinese head Tax, Japanese Internment Camps, or the overall treatment of natives to find more of a civil liberties violation that the G20.

  11. Not to sound picky but…. well, we didn’t have a charter of rights and freedoms during all those other things, so I’m not sure calling the G20 that is far off.

    That said, you’ve got to be kidding me if you think it’s the police that would have kept people away from the ballpark. The actions of the idiot anarchists on Saturday who ruined our beautiful city would have kept people away, on Sunday for sure.

  12. @UKJaysfan:

    You are just arguing semantics. OK, it’s only the second biggest violation of civil liberties in Canadian History?! What I saw that weekend was terrifying police tactics. Secret police. People getting shoved into unmarked vans. 1,000 peaceful protesters arrested.
    People should be worried about whats happening to their country.

  13. Before this becomes an inevitable Conservative Party of Canada bashing, I will point out that while the federal government chose the location, all police actions were lead by the provincial government and to a lesser extent the city of toronto. Very little if any was done by the RCMP – the only federal policing level. Just sayin

  14. @Doong:

    Snowmobiles are just a tiny part of the picture. They are huge in the aerospace industry and have received millions in taxpayer dollars to fund their projects.

  15. Whoa… whatever happened to talkin’ bout baseball?
    Hey Malcolm. I get your point about Bombardier but understand that the government subsidizes countless industries including companies which are not even Canadian such as GM. But I guess we should be lucky our banks have been relatively stable.
    Finally, as for the whole anarchists vs police debate, its obviously easy to blame the anarchists, but ask yourself how a couple hundred people were able to trash the city while 10,000 police officers did nothing to stop them. Then, the next day there were mass arrests of peaceful protestors. During the first day you can blame the anarchists but the second day was clearly an abuse of police powers. Both cases would have kept fans away but I think to place all the blame on the anarchists and none on the police is rather absurd. Moreover, it was not just the police, but the Chief of Police, the Premier, and the Prime Minister should all be held responsible for their actions in misinforming the public, and essentially insituting martial law in one of the most densely populated areas in the country.
    Finally, it was the Ontario Onbudsman Andre Marin who stated “For the citizens of Toronto, the days up to and including the weekend of the G20 will live in infamy as a time period where martial law set in the city of Toronto, leading to the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history.” So yeah, don’t argue with me, but him.

  16. You’re available? Since when? Shame about the ‘stashe.

    Considering the crap I got caught up with just trying to get from work to rehearsal (and we had to move that location from where it was originally), they made the right decision. But if they get that money, they damn well better compensate all the other businesses who lost a much larger percentage of their yeary revenue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *