Best Ways To Get To Rogers Centre | Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays


Best Ways To Get To Rogers Centre | Toronto Blue Jays

Posted by Kurt Smith

Okay baseball fans, here’s all you need to know for how to get to Rogers Centre for Blue Jays baseball games! I’m focusing on mostly using a train ride to get there. It’s easily the best way…and part of the fan experience.

If you really want to drive, here’s some tips about Green P parking that should help. It’s also a good idea to book your Jays parking ahead of time with SpotHero. I’ll cover Rogers Centre parking in the future, I promise, but this post covers your better options.

(Need more Rogers Centre help? I got ya! Check out this complete seating guide, some tips for bringing in outside food, and this helpful post for bringing the kids to a Blue Jays game!)

I’ve broken down all of these tips for you, based on where you’re coming from and how you go:

From The City + Suburbs, Part 1: TTC Subway
From The City + Suburbs, Part 2: TTC Buses + Streetcars
From Longer Distances: GO Transit
From The YYZ Airport: UP Express
From Other Cities, Part 1: Amtrak/VIA Rail
From Other Cities, Part 2: Greyhound/Megabus
Letting Someone Else Drive: Taxicab/Rideshare
For Some Exercise: By Bicycle
Exercise Around The City: Bikeshare Toronto
From The Islands (+ YTZ Airport): Ferry
From A Short Distance: Walking + PATH

Okay here we go, after a short message from our sponsor:

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union station how to get to rogers centre

The Skywalk is the key. Use it to your advantage.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the public transit system covering most of Toronto proper. They have an elaborate system of subways, buses, and light rail transit, all of which can get you to Rogers Centre fairly easily.

Subway The TTC operates three connecting subway lines. The Yonge-University-Spadina (#1) line drops riders off at Union Station, which in turn links to Rogers via the glass-enclosed Skywalk bridge, offering a view of the city and an escape from Toronto weather. The St. Andrews station is also close to Rogers Centre, for those looking to exit (or enter) a crowded train a stop earlier or avoid the Union Station/Skywalk rush.

(For you Canada visitors, Yonge is pronounced “young”, Spadina is pronounced “spa-deye-nah”, and Dundas is pronounced “dun-dass” if you’re out that way. Here the Yonge-University-Spadina line will be called the Yonge line.)

Because of its U-shape, to decide what train to get on after the game, you have to pay attention: the top of the train will show the destination: Downsview is the destination on the west side; the east side runs along Yonge Street towards Finch.

The Bloor-Danforth (#2) and Sheppard (#3) subway/train lines connect to the Yonge line. If you’re transferring to the Bloor-Danforth, (as you can see from the TTC subway map) it doesn’t really matter which direction you go.

 

TTC toronto blue jays games

Just 2 minutes? But I’m still texting!

Trains rarely take more than five minutes to arrive, so if the train you’re waiting for is too crowded, just wait for the next one. The TTC adds trains for Blue Jays playoff games.

The Yonge line’s last train leaves Union just after 1:30 AM, so you should be okay to party a bit after the game. The last trains leaving the Bloor-Yonge station on the Bloor-Danforth line are just after 1:50 AM; the last train leaving the Sheppard-Yonge station leaves at 2:14 AM, so transferring isn’t likely to be a problem either. If you do miss the last train, there should be a corresponding bus route available.

Most of the parking lots along train lines have reasonable rates that are geared at commuters more than tourists, which is good for your purposes. For example, parking at Downsview on the Yonge line is just $2 after 3:00 PM, which works fine for a night game. Even during the day, lots aren’t all that much, usually about $7.

Union Station can be a bit confusing to get around, especially on the outside. It also gets very busy at rush hour. But there are plenty of helpful signs inside the station pointing the way to the Skywalk, and they’ll be plenty of fans in blue t-shirts you can follow to the Centre and back. The CN Tower is in the same direction, so you can move up to the street and find it that way.

 

 
streetcar blue jays games

Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the sights…

Buses/Streetcars TTC operates three bus routes that stop at Union Station—the 19 Bay from Dupont Street, the 72 Pape from Danforth Avenue (yes, the corner of Danforth & Pape for you Rush fans), and the 97 Yonge from Steeles Avenue routes. These three run at all times every day, and during rush hour there are additional buses. Drivers do not make change; be sure to have tokens or coins on hand.

TTC also has light rail streetcars you could use; the 509 Harbourfront from Exhibition Place, and the 510 Spadina route from the University subway station where the Yonge and Bloor-Danforth lines meet. Both of these lines stop at Union Station and also at Rees Street, which is a short walk to the Centre. The 504 King route also stops at St. Andrews station close by. All three lines run 24/7.

One knock on the current state of the TTC is that the subway doesn’t cover enough ground (which is a somewhat legit gripe), so you may need to use a bus or a streetcar to get to a subway station. If you do the transfer is free, but you may need to ask for a paper transfer ahead of time. There is a useful trip planner on the TTC website.

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TTC bus how to get to rogers centre

Even big vehicles have to obey the street signs.

Riding a bus or streetcar might be fun the first time, enabling you to see the city. They are generally comfortable and quiet. But in most cases, if you have a choice of bus/streetcar vs. subway, use the subway. Toronto traffic can tie up a streetcar or a bus nicely. The 510 Spadina route is a bit better than most, being separated from the traffic (the Spadina/Bremner stop is actually closer to the ballpark than Union Station), but it still has slow moments.

Staying near the Pearson International Airport (YYZ), there are several bus lines that run there from town and back, and most all of them run all night. The 192 Rocket is a nice express ride, making only four stops.

 

TTC day pass Toronto rogers centre blue jays

Eschew the tokens and score some savings with a TTC day pass!

$$$ Tightwad Tip! $$$ – If you’re making a day of visiting the city, a TTC day pass will pay for itself with four rides, and it’s good on any of TTC’s services. Better yet, on weekends and holidays (July 1 is Canada Day) you can buy a group/family pass that is good for two adults and up to four kids, or one adult and five kids under 19, for the price of one person. Great savings for the family, and cheaper than parking at the game.

Another tip: If you’re staying or live near the Airport, you can save beaucoups bucks with the TTC bus lines to the city and back. The aforementioned 192 Rocket runs from Kipling Station to Pearson, and this is just one fare including the ride to Kipling. That’s two transfers, but neither should be a long wait, and the cost for the trip can’t be beat—a cab for this would cost upwards of $60.

 

 
how to get to rogers centre go transit

Should be enough space on this train. Cute little logo too.

GO Transit GO (Government of Ontario) Transit runs seven rail lines of double-decker trains stretching into much of southern Ontario, all of which converge at Union Station. There are parallel bus routes extending as far as Niagara Falls bringing folks to rail stations, and they also have bus service to the airport.

It isn’t the cheapest suburban rail service, but it can save some money over driving in—with a group of three or more it might be better to drive and park near a TTC station and take a subway, depending on the distance. There is a fare calculator on the GO Transit website; the price per ride increases as one gets further away from the city.

GO trains are popular with Jays fans and get crowded with limited seating occasionally before or after games. Try an earlier one if you can. Here’s a trick: if a train is leaving from two platforms, head for the side that is harder to get to, for a less crowded entrance to the train.

Parking is free at GO Transit stations, and if you use a TTC train before and after riding a GO train, your transfer is free.

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GO transit trains to blue jays games

Have mercy…been waitin’ for the train all night…

Check the schedule using GO trains. Many of them won’t take you all the way back late at night, but you can usually pick up a GO bus for the rest of the way. It’s a minor hassle, and the wait for the bus shouldn’t be long, but a hassle nonetheless and you don’t want to depend on it.

The only other complaint for Jays fans is the infrequency of nighttime and weekend trains: often they run just once an hour or even two hours as opposed to every 15-30 minutes on a weekday. On the way back, you may have to hustle or wait a while—so it’s good to get a round trip ticket for easier departure. Union Station has restaurants and stores; it’s not the worst place for waiting.

GO Transit encourages the use of added value PRESTO cards (yes, another Rush reference); if you live in the area this makes for less hassle boarding GO and TTC vehicles, and can save you money on rides and transfers.

 

How to get to rogers centre go transit day pass

You can save a bit on billets if you plan ahead.

Some more money-saver tips for you: Buying a weekday or weekend GO pass offers a discount on fares. If you’re going to use GO say, four times, and you don’t mind the effort, this can save you a few dollars on the slightly pricey fares. If you’re taking the family to the game on a weekend, check out their group passes; you can save quite a few bucks.

One more thing to know…if a GO train is more than 15 minutes late, which does happen, especially in the late evening (I speak from experience), they’ll refund you the cost of the ride.

 

 
UP express airport toronto

Ballpark E-Guides was all over this!

UP Express If for some reason you are coming from the Airport (or the Bloor or Weston GO stations) you can ride the extremely efficient UP Express train to Union Station. It’s not the cheapest ride, but it will get you from the airport to Union Station in just 25 minutes (which is much quicker than the Rocket/subway route to Union), and you never have to wait more than 15 minutes for a train. The last UP train leaves Union at 1:00 AM.

Like with GO, you can use a PRESTO card for your UP fare. It’s especially great if you want to get back to the airport or stations quickly and with no transfers, but decide for yourself if that’s worth the significant extra cost over the TTC Rocket. Like with GO, there are ways to save on passes and such for the family. Parking at the airport costs $35 as I write this.

Never Drive To Rogers Centre Without A Plan…

Book Your Parking Spot NOW With My Friends at SpotHero!

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tips for visiting canada via rail

In case you need to get to Montreal quickly after the game.

Amtrak/VIA Rail Union Station is also a stop for the VIA Rail System that covers the rest of Canada and connects with Amtrak in the U.S., but this is generally for people making a trek to Toronto from another major metropolis out of GO’s reach.

This isn’t a method you would likely use just to get to a game, since the service from Amtrak and VIA from most destinations is rather infrequent, but it’s there if you can think of some reason.

 

 
megabus toronto blue jays games

If you find the guy with a Blue Jays sweater under a black jacket, he’ll secretly lead you to the Megabus.

Greyhound/Megabus For those of you familiar with the ubiquitous continental bus services, both Greyhound Canada and Megabus stop at 81 Bay Street, a 15 minute walk from the ballpark through the Skywalk.

I’m a big fan of Megabus; you can get to Toronto from multiple locations in Canada and the U.S., including Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor and Detroit, for as low as a buck if you book the trip early enough. Even if you don’t get the dollar fare, it is usually reasonable, and the buses are comfortable as buses go.

If you use Megabus, you have to use either the American or Canadian version of the website depending on where you’re coming from. Just FYI, Canadians call non-local buses “coaches”, so you know.

 

 
taxicab to rogers centre blue jays

Well, they seem to know how to find the place at least.

Taxicab/Rideshare If you’re looking for a cab or rideshare, your best spots are north of the Centre on Front Street or south on the corner of Bremner and Rees Streets. Taxis drop you off right there at the gate.

There are ample taxis and Uber/Lyft drivers available both before and after games, but keep in mind that you will probably be stuck in post-game traffic with the meter running. Unless you’re a luxury suites during the World Series type, you probably won’t want to pay that. Rideshares like Uber include “surge pricing” fees, and they often apply to after a ballgame. I also wouldn’t use a taxi, unless I were staying nearby and had the cash to spare.

 

 
bicycle to Blue jays games

Believe it or not, you do need to get here early. But parking is indeed free.

Bicycle You can ride your bicycle straight to the game; there are a few bicycle stands at nearly all of the gates for bicycles only, and they do get used. Scooters will be towed. You’re also allowed to take your bike onto selected TTC buses and streetcars, and there are bicycle lockups at some of the TTC subway stations.

The city of Toronto has taken considerable steps to make the city more bicycle friendly, with painted bike routes on major streets. Along the Harbourfront on Queens Quay Boulevard is a very nice route that is used by many riders.

You can get a free cycling map at libraries or bicycle shops, or you can download one online.

 

 
how to get to rogers centre toronto bikeshare

Yes, you’re seeing more bicycle parking than car parking here.

Bike Share Toronto Bike Share runs a system of bicycle rentals in several major cities. Users can buy a subscription for a time period ranging from one day to a year, and then rent a bicycle from any of 700 stations (!) and return it to another station. It is designed for short rides of 30 minutes or less, which are free to members; longer rides cost a bit extra.

It’s an inexpensive way to get some exercise, see the city and get to the game.

There are stations all over downtown (they’re usually marked by advertisers, rather than with the Bike Share logo), including four near Rogers Centre and a few near Union Station. You can bike from Union to the game if you like, but you can’t use the Skywalk for that.

 

 
toronto islands ferry blue jays game

You can actually see the Toronto Islands from inside the ballpark.

Ferry I can’t think of a way that this method would be convenient, but I’m sharing it anyway. Should you be flying into the Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ) on the Toronto Islands south of the city, there is a free ferry that takes you to the mainland, about a half mile walk or streetcar ride from Rogers Centre.

Porter Airlines runs a free shuttle from the ferry dock to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, but you’re not exactly saving money there.

If you’re heading back that night, the last ferry leaves the mainland just after midnight, except on Saturdays, when it leaves around 8:00.

Again I don’t know if or how well this works, because I’m presuming that you’d be staying overnight, which means you’d have to go to the hotel first to drop off your stuff anyway. There aren’t any hotels on the Islands. Just putting it out there. It might work for a day trip from Ottawa or Montreal or something like that.

 

 
how to get to rogers centre blue jays path

Any path to a ballpark should include a food court!

Walking There are plenty of hotels in the downtown area (including the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel in the ballpark itself), and Toronto is an attractive, walkable city with plenty to interest you on the way to a Jays game. Not only are there lots of shops and restaurants around, but there are some highly original street performers in the area. Toronto is as safe as cities can be, just exercise common sense.

Toronto has a network of underground tunnels called PATH that protects you from the elements and can take you to dozens of points of interest including a Blue Jays game. A map of the PATH underground city is available on the city’s website.

You can use the PATH to find some great pre- and post-game spots. Rogers is kind of a part of the entertainment district here. Most of the buildings closest to the ballpark are banks and office buildings, but further north are hotels and shopping centers. Keep in mind that many of them are closed on the weekends, though.

 

how to get to rogers centre toronto blue jays

Still no parking to be seen. But I think you can take it from here.

There’s all of the ways I know to get to Blue Jays home games and other Rogers Centre events! That’s including football games with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. Trust me, public transportation is almost always your best bet.

Be sure to check out more Rogers Centre tips here. Thanks for reading, and please support our sponsors!

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Rogers Centre Seating Tips – Best Seats, Shade, + Cheap Seats

Posted by Kurt Smith

Here you go baseball fans – your complete Rogers Centre seating guide, full of tips to help you find the best seats at the Blue Jays ballpark for your taste and budget. Whether you’re visiting Rogers Centre for the first time, or you’re a regular, there’s plenty of info here to help you get the most bang for your buck.

There’s a lot of good seats in Rogers Centre, there are some really bad seats, and there’s things to know about the cheap seats and standing room. I recommend you stay with me here, it’s all valuable and I hope you enjoy it. (I even put the links in Blue Jays blue for you.)

This is long, so I’ve broken down my best Rogers Centre seating tips:

Rogers Centre Seating Chart + Layout
Luxury + Party Suites
In The Action Seats
TD Comfort Clubhouse
Lower (100) Level
Mezzanine (200) Level
Upper (500) Level
Outfield Seats + The Worst Seats at Rogers Centre
Standing Room
WestJet Flight Deck
Restaurants + Hotel
A Few More Rogers Centre Seating Tips

So after this short word, we’ll get started…thanks so much for supporting my sponsors!

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rogers centre seating tips

“But they’re all blue! How am I supposed to pick one?”

Rogers Centre Seating Tips, #1) Seating Chart + Ballpark Layout.

The Blue Jays kindly provide a virtual venue seating map on their website, and it does offer views from each section. I’m not being critical of it, it’s definitely helpful, but there are some extra things to know.

Rogers Centre has five levels of seating, each with its own concourse that circles the ballpark. The 300 and 400 levels are luxury suite levels and the 100, 200, and 500 levels are for the rest of us. The 100 level is the field level seating; the 200 level is the mezzanine and is further back from the 100 seats. The 500 level is the upper deck – or the “SkyDeck” as it was once aptly called.

 

Blue Jays seat sections aisles

Hmmm…my Spidey sense tells me that Section 235 could be on either side!

Unlike most ballparks, Rogers numbers aisles rather than sections, and an L or R is added to the aisle number on the ticket to denote which side of the aisle the seat is. Lower numbered aisles are on the first base/right field side.

Facing home plate, seats in each row start with seat 1 on the left side, and seat 101 on the right side, so any seat that ends with a 1 is an aisle seat. Seats 10 and 110 could be next to each other.

 

WestJet Flight Deck Blue Jays standing room

Juuuust so you know where it is, they’ve helpfully labeled the WestJet Flight Deck for you.

The WestJet Flight Deck patio is on the 200 level underneath the big scoreboard; the Marriott Hotel rooms are on the 300, 400, and 500 levels.

Here is the lowdown on the different seating areas of Rogers Centre, starting with the most expensive and working down to cheap seats the rest of us riffraff can afford:

 

 
toronto blue jays premium seating suites

Rolling chairs and a counter with outlets, for that “watch a ballgame while at work” feel!

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #2) Luxury Suites.

There are 95 luxury suites at Rogers Centre on the 300 and 400 levels; they are available for a season, a multi-game plan, or for a single game; they have a considerably lower rate for season tickets, so you might be able to swing a deal on a third party site like TickPick.

The suites include interior leather seats and two rows of cushioned exterior seating, with counters, barstools and drink rails behind the glass inside, private bathrooms, customized catering from a menu with a wide selection (costs extra), and of course TVs both inside and outside to watch the game you’re paying hundreds of dollars to see in person.

 

Summit Suite Toronto Blue Jays

Plenty of space for a game of pool with your baseball!

For the big groups there is the Summit Suite, along the third base line in the 400 level. These include TVs and pool tables for the full baseball experience. The Summit has north and south sides that can be combined for one big and expensive party.

If you want to throw a party for folks who don’t mind paying a nice chunk of change, there are party rooms on the 400 level in the outfield that include food in the cost. The price isn’t too awful for this, but the view of the game isn’t great.

 

jays care community clubhouse

Baseball loves sick kids.

When the late Roy Halladay was a Blue Jay he offered the Jays Care Community Clubhouse suite to disadvantaged children for games; the Jays continued this policy, so if you are running an organization for kids you can have a look at giving them the suite treatment for a game.

 

 
Rogers Centre seating in the action seats

“Ooh…I think I see Geddy!”

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #3) In The Action Seats.

The “In The Action” seats are comfortable, padded and large, and the Jays mean it; these seats are literally on the field of play, with two rows behind home plate and one each past the dugouts, separated from the other seating. Definitely watch out for foul balls (and fielders going for them, for that matter) in the dugout seats—it’s almost like you’re another infielder. Don’t do a Bartman.

The best seats in Rogers Centre, of course, include an in-seat waitress along with food and non-alcoholic beverages, and there’s an outside chance you could be sitting near a Toronto celebrity like Geddy Lee. (I hear Geddy signs autographs before the game, but he requests being left alone once it starts, in case you’re wondering.)

 

in the action section blue jays premium seating

For an extra couple of bucks, they’ll even move the ladder for you.

In The Action seats are sold on a season ticket basis for over $200 a game (which truthfully isn’t bad compared to similar seats in some parks). You can sometimes score a deal for these on TickPick, so have a look a few hours before the game.

Ticket holders are allowed access to the TD Comfort Clubhouse and its gourmet buffet. Speaking of that…

 

 
Rogers Centre seating guide td comfort clubhouse

It’s not the cushions you pay more for, it’s the considerably larger than ballpark size armrests!

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #4) The TD Comfort Clubhouse.

The TD Comfort Clubhouse area is in the 200 level mezzanine behind home plate. This lounge features several booths and tables to enable folks to sit with a meal and watch the game, and there are also barstools with counters and leather sofas with a nice view of the action.

There are several TVs in the area to help you see what’s going on in front of you. If you are having dinner in one of the booths, they recommend reservations.

 

td comfort clubhouse seats blue jays

Please don’t spill your drink on the person in front of you with a smaller salary.

The padded seats in front of the Clubhouse are also for season ticket holders only, but the per game price surprisingly isn’t too bad, especially when a gourmet buffet, full bar, private bathroom and in-seat wait service is thrown in with access to the club. There’s even a wine list and a sommelier (someday I hope to have a need for a “sommelier”) to help you choose the best wine.

You can sometimes score these for a low demand game on TickPick for under $100 CAD, a great price.

 

 
rogers centre seating lower level

The seats come in different colors, but they all work equally well.

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #5) The Lower (100) Level.

Between the foul poles on the lower level are three pricing levels. Premium Dugout is the first 20 rows of sections between the dugouts; Field Level Infield is behind the Premium Dugout and one extra section on either side, and Field Level Bases extend from the bases to the foul poles. There are about 40 rows in most sections.

Field Level Bases are significantly cheaper than Infield, so you can save some bucks by moving one section over.

The slightly padded Premium Dugout seats cost only a couple of bucks more than the Field Level seats behind them, so if you’re handing out that much money you might as well fork over a little extra for a closer, padded seat with a cup holder if you can.

If you’re having a hard time finding something close to the field behind home plate, start looking further down at the Bases seats, because the price for Row 1 in these sections is the same as the last row.

 

best seats at a blue jays game

Note the increased level of caution while finding a seat.

The angle of seating is steep enough in the lower level that you shouldn’t have a problem seeing over anyone, but the steps are a little higher too, so smaller people especially should be a bit careful. Thankfully, even the last rows don’t lose the scoreboard to the overhang, so no need to worry about that in Row 40.

 

best seats at a toronto blue jays game

Wide open for seat poaching!

In the corners near the foul pole, the seating is lowered and you need to use a walkway behind the seats to get to them. This is apparently is too much of a hassle for many fans, because these sections can be fairly empty on low attendance nights…and are a good place to improve your view if you have lesser seats.

Never Drive To Rogers Centre Without A Plan…

Book Your Parking Spot NOW With My Friends at SpotHero!

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Rogers Centre Seating guide 200 level

Good for shade too, which might be a good thing. Or not.

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #6) The Mezzanine (200) Level.

The 200 level seats in the infield are no longer cushioned unfortunately, but the view is fairly nice even though your seats are further back from the field level seating. They cost about the same as 100 level seats, so your choice is between a closer seat or a slightly wider one with a cup holder (cup holders to me are worth about $8—or the cost of a soda and the peanuts whose shells will end up in the cup).

 

12 bar blue jays

And the star second baseman was kind enough to autograph the wall.

The 200 level has its own concourse and concession areas, including the 12 Bar named for Roberto Alomar’s number. You can enjoy a drink at a table with a view at the 12 Bar, if you get tired of your seat. Unfortunately, the concession lines aren’t shorter on this level like you would think…long lines are unfortunately a part of life here.

Like with the 100 level, sections are divided into “Infield” and “Bases”, and again, the difference in price is significant, so it might be worth moving a section over.

For day games most of the upper rows of the 200 sections are usually covered in shade.

 

 
Rogers Centre seating guide outfield seats

They may not have the best view of the game, but they’re happy.

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #7) Outfield Seating (and the worst seats).

Outfield seats are cheaper than most here, but know that once you get about eight rows up you’re under the mezzanine overhang, and unless you’re in the front of the outer sections, you’ll lose sight of the big scoreboard, although there are TVs there to see any missed action.

The outfield sections are behind both bullpens, so you have a neat view of pitchers warming up, but your chances of catching a home run ball are slim, even during batting practice. If you want to do your part for the Jays and heckle the opposing team’s pitchers, the visitors’ bullpen is in right field.

There are about 12 rows in the outfield sections; the last couple of rows on both levels feel more like part of the concourse than the game.

 

Toronto blue jays seats leg room

This is just me. Your mileage may vary.

In the 100 level outfield seats, for some reason, there is a shortage of leg room. I don’t know why this is the case, but I would avoid it if you’re over six feet long like me.

In the 200 level in the outfield, the higher rows are next to pillars, and if you’re in the wrong spot you could lose a good portion of the field. Some seats are single seats with a wall on one side and the aisle on the other; avoid these at all costs.

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worst seats at rogers centre

In championship years, fans were actually willing to sit in the concourse.

You should also stay away from higher rows; if you must have a higher row than 6, try to get something in the middle of a section, e.g. something that doesn’t end in 1-3.

There aren’t a lot of concession stands on either of the outfield areas of the concourse, although the patio in the outfield has a couple of bars with snacks. There is a stairway to get there from the lower level.

As you can see I’m not a big fan of outfield seats in Rogers Centre. Given the choice I might just get standing room and maybe poach a seat somewhere.

 

 
Rogers Centre Seating guide 500 level seats cheap

Yes, they’re high up, but clearly many fans don’t mind.

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #7) Upper (500) Level – Cheap Seats!

The upper 500 level was called the SkyDeck in the SkyDome years, and you’ll see why when you’re up there. The SkyDeck seats take a long walk on dark, boring ramps to get to if you’re not using an elevator, the seats are very high and the angle is one of the steepest I’ve experienced.

If you don’t mind all of this, the panoramic view of everything is definitely better behind home plate than in the outfield, and these are easily the cheapest seats; the best part is that ticket prices are nearly the same throughout the entire level. If you get a lower row (which is a bit tougher to do), the view of the action isn’t bad at all.

 

rogers centre obstructed views

The good news is, there’s no one standing in front of you.

There are a couple of obstructed view problems: the first is that seats ending in 1 could lose some of the field to the stairway railing, which usually isn’t a big deal (the Blue Jays will alert you to this if you are selecting seats from their site); the other is with the scary high seats down the right field line behind light fixtures, where there are often more birds than fans anyway.

 

blue jays game scary seats

It’s the trip down those steps that’s nerve wracking. You should really want to be here for these seats.

There are 25-27 rows in most of the 500 level sections, and the right field sections can have as many as 37. To put it mildly, yikes. If you do end up with seats this high, prepare for a nerve-wracking trip down the steps…I found that to be the scariest part of it.

The only other problem with the upper level seating, other than the acrophobia, is that the food selection isn’t quite as great, and for low attendance games some stands will be closed. If you’re up here and looking for something beyond hot dogs or pizza, you’re better off getting something downstairs first.

 

worst seats at rogers centre

Yes, it may take two seconds to actually hear the crack of the bat. But there is shade.

Upper level sections in the outfield obviously have a poor view, but for most games you won’t likely be relegated out there. If it’s a high demand game and you have a choice, though, these are better than 200 level outfield seats, IMHO.

 

 
rogers centre seating guide standing room

Nice open place to stand, with TVs yet!

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #8) Standing Room.

For most games you should be able to find some place to sit, but should no seat be adequate, the 100 level has an open concourse (the 200 and 500 levels do not), so you can stand most anywhere and be able to see the game, although the overhang blocks the view of the Big Board. There are TVs on the concourses as well.

You might find folding chairs in the handicapped areas behind sections, but the Blue Jays usually lock them up.

 

blue jays tickets standing room

Yes, they once designated standing room spots here.

Other than the 12 Bar and the Bacardi Bar, which have some seats to sit in if you’re early enough, there is other standing room space in the 200 level in the outfield behind the seats, which is even marked as such, humorously reminding you that people would have done anything to get in during the World Series years. This is a lousy standing spot; just stay on the 100 concourse.

 

 
westjet flight deck rogers centre

Truly, you do not have to stand behind the Budweiser sign.

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #9) The WestJet Flight Deck.

The Blue Jays knocked out the Windows restaurant in center field, and replaced it with a standing room party area. Anyone with a ticket can hang out on the WestJet Flight Deck.

The outfield bar has three levels. There is a drink rail to lean on and bar tables to sit drinks on behind them. It gets crowded quickly, so stake a good spot and have someone large with you to guard it for bathroom trips. There are bars serving drinks and snacks on either side in the concourse area and a souvenir shop. There’s also a kids play area behind the standing area.

 

westjet flight deck rogers centre seating

Your date will be duly impressed with having your own table at the Blue Jays game!

In my own humble opinion, the view is slightly better higher up for some reason. People can meet under the Rogers or Budweiser signs in the outfield patio, but the view behind the signs is not good for obvious reasons.

 

 
Rogers Centre hotel marriott

Someone paid the very high price for a room with a view of a ballgame, and closed their shades.

Rogers Centre Seating, Tip #10) The Restaurants + Hotel.

If you’re looking for a unique experience at a Blue Jays game and have the means, you can order a room with a field view in the attached Marriott Hotel, or reserve a table next to the window at the Sportsnet Grill restaurant in the outfield and hear the radio broadcast. (Unfortunately the Sightlines restaurant is no more.)

I could talk a lot more about this, but or seating perspective purposes, it is a neat experience but you will be high up and in the outfield…and far away. So while the view is spectacular in general it isn’t the best from the fan’s perspective, and none of these options enable you to access the rest of the ballpark.

 

 
rogers centre seating tips shade

Note that even the light fixtures can provide some shade here.

Rogers Centre Seating – A Few More Tips.

The sun goes down on the third base side at Rogers, so if you want to be in the sun the first base side is better, and if you want to be out of the sun third is best. In Toronto, both options can be preferable given the Ontario climate. Because of the roof, all of the outfield seats are in the shade. The 200 level seats are far more likely to be in the shade than 100 level.

 

rogers centre toronto apartments

It’s not THAT much further than the hotel rooms…

On the third base side you will have a splendid view of the CN Tower, the 1,800 foot “world’s tallest tower” next door, which is extra cool when it’s illuminated at night. But the view from the first base side isn’t bad either, with high rise buildings overlooking the field, and sometimes people do watch from there like a very wealthy person’s version of the Wrigley rooftops. Obviously you need the dome open for this view.

 

alcohol free blue jays tickets

Not only can you bring the kids, you’ll have the whole alcohol-free section to yourself!

There are alcohol-free sections at Blue Jays games; they are Sections 141-142 on the lower level, 237-238 on the mezzanine, and the first 14 rows of 520-521. (Anyone who makes it to the 15th row of the 500 level deserves a beer.) These sections tend to be empty on low demand nights, so if you go alcohol-free you can have them almost to yourself.

 

rogers centre seat poaching

I don’t know why Blue Jays fans won’t use this walkway, but maybe it’s eerily lonesome.

When the Blue Jays aren’t having a playoff-bound season, you can usually move to a better seat with little trouble, so long as you don’t try to get into the lower sections behind home plate. The upper level and the outermost sections of the lower level often have plenty of empty seats, so you can usually grab one. I’ve never read any stories of people being ejected for poaching seats, so it’s not a big risk.

 

best seats at rogers centre guide

Now you know what to do!

Get all that? Sorry if I went a little long, but I wanted to cover all of the details. Rogers Centre was built in an era where teams wanted to maximize the number of seats, and as a result there’s quite a few to avoid.

Hope I was able to help and you enjoyed the read. If you need more Rogers Centre help, check out my posts about the best ways to get there, parking at the Green P spots, bringing food into Rogers Centre, and some things to know if you’re visiting Canada.

Thanks for reading; please support my sponsors and this website!

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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Click here to start booking your trip to Toronto and Rogers Centre today!

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Rogers Centre With Kids – 3 Things to Know

Posted by Kurt Smith

Visiting Rogers Centre with kids can be a blast of a time for them, especially on days when the Jays set up an entire playground in the outside plaza. Here’s three things you should know to make it a memorable day for them…

 

rogers centre with kids jr jays sundays

Because nothing says Sunday afternoon baseball like a big inflatable slide.

Rogers Centre With Kids, Tip #1) Do Jr. Jays Sundays. For the kids, the Jays have Jr. Jays Sundays (or Saturdays, it changes from year to year). Of late they’ve been setting up entire playgrounds on some Sundays, with big inflatable bouncy stuff and entertainment in the plaza outside Gates 10-11.

Definitely get out there early for this…it’s a pretty big setup with games, food, people on stilts playing ball with the kids, etc. Don’t miss it…you might not see it coming from Union Station and you have to walk around the Centre a bit.

Inside the ballpark on Jr. Jays days, they have interactive kids’ areas throughout the concourses, pitching and batting cages, video games, face painting and other fun things to keep the kids occupied.

Without doubt it’s the best day of the week to bring the kids, and it draws a big crowd of families. Running the bases is an extremely popular promotion, so expect to be there a while, or…

 

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rogers centre with kids fan club

What’s the team’s name again?

Rogers Centre With Kids, Tip #2) Join The Fan Club. The Jr. Jays Kids Club doesn’t give deals on tickets like some teams do (Jays tickets are generally pretty cheap already), but as of 2019, you do get a package with a cap, a backpack, sunglasses, a lanyard, and access to members only events.

If your kid is a big fan, it’s worth it, if only for the front of the line access on Run The Bases days. Lines get very long for that and the little ones may get antsy.

 

rogers centre with kids bring your own food

Street certified gourmet food! (Seriously, it says so right there on the truck!)

Rogers Centre With Kids, Tip #3) Bring Your Own. If you’re bringing a family and are on a budget, you can save a ton of cash bringing your own food. (Drinks must be sealed.) The Jays are particularly lenient with this policy; people online tell stories about bringing in whole pizzas. (Bonus if you bring in a Boston Pizza!)

I’ve talked about the multiple “street meat” options here, but you also have lots of choices at Union Station to fill up your goody bag, including the always beloved by kids McDonald’s, if you’re arriving that way.

There’s three tips for taking the young ones to Rogers Centre and teaching them about baseball for a better future. If you’re looking to save on tickets when you do, try this post.

(Need more Rogers Centre help? I got ya! Check out this complete seating guide, some tips for bringing in outside food, and this helpful primer on the best ways to get to a Blue Jays game!)

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Never Drive To Rogers Centre Without A Plan…

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3 Tips for Cheap Blue Jays Tickets

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re looking to do a Jays game tightwad style, it’s easy enough…there are already lots of cheap Blue Jays tickets to begin with. You need only be willing to sit in the 500 level somewhere.

But if you’re looking to find deals for wherever you’re sitting, here’s three suggestions for you.

(Need more Rogers Centre help? I got ya! Check out this complete seating guide, the best ways to get to the ballpark, some tips for bringing in outside food, and this helpful post for bringing the kids to a Blue Jays game!)

 

cheap blue jays tickets box office

Hmmm…I’m thinking this is the spot.

Cheap Blue Jays Tickets, Tip #1) Use The Box Office. Blue Jays games rarely sell out, especially when the team isn’t in contention. It’s easy enough to order tickets at the box office on game day, saving yourself the considerable online fees.

Here’s a bonus tip for you…the box office close to the Union Station Skywalk is by far the most popular, so try another one to avoid waiting in line. I tried this for a weekend game on a beautiful June day…against the Yankees…and didn’t wait at all.

My friends at TickPick have Blue Jays tickets…they offer a best price guarantee, a buyer’s trust guarantee, and NO service fees. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

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cheap blue jays tickets tickpick

No thanks man…I found mine on TickPick!

Cheap Blue Jays Tickets, Tip #2) Use A Third Party. For low demand games especially, you can often find a better deal for tickets on StubHub or with my affiliate friends at TickPick. The Blue Jays sell a lot of multi-game packages, so fans have lots of extras to unload.

Click here to search for Blue Jays tickets at TickPick and tell ‘em Kurt sent you…they are an affiliate of Ballpark E-Guides.

cheap blue jays tickets flex packs

Because no one’s going to buy a Flex Pack for Mediocre Games.

Cheap Blue Jays Tickets, Tip #3) Get A Multi-Game Pack. There are plenty of deals for those willing to splurge on a few games; the Jays will throw in a few perks with multi-game packs too, like Opening Day or postseason ticket offers and discounts in the team shops.

This is a popular choice with locals; if you plan on going to a few Jays games, get a friend to split the cost and you’ll both save some cash.

Those are three tips for getting your hands on cheap Blue Jays tickets…and while I don’t often recommend patronizing scalpers, they do tend to be plentiful here and can offer you a nice deal if the time is right. But you didn’t hear that from me.

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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Click here to start booking your trip to Toronto and Rogers Centre today!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Rogers Centre Nachos – 4 (Very) Different Types

Posted by Kurt Smith

I wouldn’t say that the home of the Blue Jays tops the list in ballparks known for culinary greatness, although they have definitely improved things in recent years. But that there are several different editions of Rogers Centre nachos is impressive to me; chips with stuff piled on them go over pretty well here.

Here are three places where you can get a piled mess of food on chips at the ballpark in Toronto:

 

Rogers Centre nachos muddy york

With a helpful listing of the ingredients, just in case.

Rogers Centre Nachos, #1) The Muddy York Market. The Muddy York is the large food court at Rogers, and there’s a separate nachos stand where you can actually customize your plate of nachos.

Get a plate of smoked jerk chicken nachos with cheddar cheese sauce, pico de gallo, cole slaw (!), green onions and infused sour cream. Or pile on your own stuff, with toppings like cheese, chicken, salsa, corn, jalapenos, etc. Sour cream and guacamole cost extra (as always)…

 

My friends at TickPick have Blue Jays tickets…they offer a best price guarantee, a buyer’s trust guarantee, and NO service fees. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

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rogers centre nachos king club

Nachos with the visual enhancement of smoked meat sitting behind them.

Rogers Centre Nachos, #2) The King Club. At the Budweiser King Club bar area behind home plate is a carved meat station, and you can order “Bases Loaded Nachos”. These babies are covered with beef brisket, BBQ sauce, jalapenos, caramelized onions, pico de gallo, three bean chili (!), and something called “pepper infused sour cream”.

The Muddy York Market has BBQ nachos too, but they’re not as BBQ, if that makes sense.

 

rogers centre nachos 12 kitchen

Please don’t spit these at the umpire.

Rogers Centre Nachos, #3) The 12 Kitchen. The 12 Kitchen is named for star Jays (and Orioles!) second baseman and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, and has more of a Latin theme in its food. 12 nachos are made with a mix of plantain and tortilla chips (and rightly so, personally I don’t get the kettle chips thing), covered with adobo spiced chicken, queso franco, guacamole, sour cream and green onions.

 

rogers centre nachos

They’re kind of Christmasy looking nachos, aren’t they?

Rogers Centre Nachos, #4) Intentional Guac. The Intentional Guac stand is located on the upper level as I write this, sparing SkyDeck patrons a trip down long ramps to the other nachos. And they’re perfectly serviceable nachos in their own right. It’s the gooey cheese type substance and un-pickled jalapenos, but you do get pico de gallo, beans and corn on them. And appropriately given the name of the stand, guac is available too.

The ingredients for these nachos plates could change when you visit, but as I write this these are the three distinct food stands where you can get some variation of nachos at Rogers Centre. It’s among the more popular non-hot dog foods inside this ballpark…but many fans go for the street meat outside too.

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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Click here to start booking your trip to Toronto and Rogers Centre today!

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Parking Near Rogers Centre – 3 “Green P” Spots

Posted by Kurt Smith

I highly recommend against driving and parking near Rogers Centre for Blue Jays games. If you don’t have to, don’t. There are many better ways to get there. But if you must, try using one of the “Green P” lots.

The Green P lots and garages in Toronto, including the ones for parking near Rogers Centre, are owned by the city and as such offer better rates than most. As far as I can tell, none of them charge “event” rates.

(Need more Rogers Centre help? I got ya! Check out this complete seating guide, some tips for bringing in outside food, and this helpful post for bringing the kids to a Blue Jays game!)

Here are my top three picks for a night at the ballpark…after a quick word from our sponsor:

My friends at TickPick have Blue Jays tickets…they offer a best price guarantee, a buyer’s trust guarantee, and NO service fees. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

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parking near rogers centre green p 40 york

This is a pretty nice evening rate for baseball parking.

Green P Lot #1) 40 York Street. I’ll probably get some grief for sharing this favorite spot of fans, but it’s probably the best deal that you’ll find for parking near Rogers Centre. It’s not only cheaper, but the event rate kicks in at 5:00, unlike 6:00 for most lots, so you don’t have to time your arrival so much. It’s a convenient spot too, especially coming from the east. 

 

parking near rogers centre green p 10 portland

With a helpful arrow.

Green P Lot #2) 10 Portland Street. The night rate starts at 6:00 PM for this one, but it’s still fairly convenient at about a half mile from the ballpark, for a ten minute walk, and this one offers a relatively easy out going westbound.

 

parking near rogers centre green p 2 church

“Municipal” means good rates!

Green P Lot #3) 2 Church Street. If you can’t score a spot at 40 York, this one isn’t bad coming from the east. It’s got over 2,000 spaces and has cheap nightly rates, including a Saturday special of $1/hour for the first two hours. So on Saturday especially you can arrive plenty early for a good spot and still pay a small fee to park for the evening.

One caution about the 40 York and 2 Church Street lots: these are both close to the Air Canada Centre, home of both the Maple Leafs and Raptors. I strongly recommend checking first to see if there is an event there before going…if there is, get there very early or use public transit.

There are other good options for parking near Rogers Centre, but I would advise that you try Green P first, especially if you can walk a little bit.

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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Click here to start booking your trip to Toronto and Rogers Centre today!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Visiting Rogers Centre – 5 Tips For Newbies

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re visiting Rogers Centre in Toronto for the first time, there are a few tips you definitely need to know. The home of the Blue Jays is unique in many ways, some of which present some interesting challenges for the fan.

 

visiting rogers centre tickets in line

Foiled by the bicycle rack roadblock again!

Visiting Rogers Centre Tip #1: Consider demand when buying tickets. When the Blue Jays are good, they draw very, very well. That means you should plan ahead and buy from the team first. Most weeknight games against opponents other than the Yankees or Red Sox don’t sell out, so you can pick up tickets at the box office where the fees are lowest.

Should you be looking for a low demand game…say, if the Jays are having a disappointing season…sites like TickPick will help you find the best deal on tickets. Weekends sell far better than weekdays, partly due to the insane rush hour Toronto traffic.

My friends at TickPick have Blue Jays tickets…they offer a best price guarantee, a buyer’s trust guarantee, and NO service fees. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

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visiting rogers centre 200 level

The ushers are fleet of foot in the empty sections.

Visiting Rogers Centre Tip #2: Try the mezzanine level. The mezzanine level at Rogers isn’t as close to the field as you might like, but the seating is much lower than the 500 SkyDeck level, and the seats have cup holders. The seats are around the same price as the field level seating below them, and it will be easier to duck out of the elements there should you have the need.

One caution though, don’t sit in the outfield on the 200 level…way too many ways to lose the view. Stay in the infield if you can.

You have a ton of seating options here though, so if you want to find out more, check out my detailed guide to Rogers Centre seating.

 

visiting rogers centre union sign

The Force is with you, young Skywalker.

Visiting Rogers Centre Tip #3: Use public transit (TTC or GO). Rogers is in the heart of downtown Toronto, and there are two major highways that both run south of the ballpark that get jammed at rush hour. During the week especially, you don’t want to be driving there; instead use the TTC from elsewhere in the city or the commuter-friendly GO Transit trains from the suburbs.

The Yonge-University-Spadina line of the TTC stops at Union Station; all of the GO lines from every direction also stop there. Union Station is a short walk to the ballpark through a covered walkway, and there’s a whole lot of cheap places to fill up a pre-game doggy bag.

Public transit is almost always your best option…I tell you a whole lot more about that here.

If you do decide to drive to the ballpark, book your parking beforehand…

Never Drive To Rogers Centre Without A Plan…

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visiting rogers centre street cart yves

Note the gentleman’s backpack, suitable for carrying veggie dogs.

Visiting Rogers Centre Tip #4: Get the street meat. Rogers Centre has great food items, especially if you’re into nachos…check them out at the Muddy York Market, the King Club or at the 12 Bar. But to get a good-sized dog at a much cheaper price, Torontonians will tell you to get the “street meat”…dogs from the numerous hot dog carts that surround the stadium.

You can get a good-sized dog for about half the cost of one inside, and you can pile on a great choice of condiments. There are even veggie dogs from Yves out there if you look. If you want more variety, check out Front Street north of the ballpark; there are always some unique food trucks there.

 

visiting rogers centre welcome to toronto

Really? You’ve been expecting moi?

Visiting Rogers Centre Tip #5: Remember you’re a foreigner (if you’re visiting Canada). Toronto isn’t very different from most baseball cities, but remember a few things…like checking with your phone service provider about using your phone abroad, getting your money exchanged at a bank or hotel and not at the exchange centers that take an exorbitant cut, and check with your credit card company about overseas purchases. Gas is much more expensive in Canada too, so if you can, fill up stateside. Oh, and don’t forget your passport!

There you go; five tips to help you for your first time visiting Rogers Centre. If you’re bringing the kids, remember Saturday is Jr. Jays day, and that’s when the kids can get their face painted and run the bases and stuff.

And relax, because you know a game will be played in this ballpark whatever the weather.

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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Click here to start booking your trip to Toronto and Rogers Centre today!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

 

Rogers Centre Food: 3 Things To Try

Posted by Kurt Smith

The Rogers Centre food situation has been improving, and today the Jays’ home features a fairly impressive menu, even if it’s not quite as varied and full of gourmet options as some ballparks. After doing my customary and thoughtful walkthrough, I found three items that are certainly worth trying if you’re wondering what to eat:

 

rogers centre food garrison creek dog

Because the 3.048 decimeter long dog doesn’t sound as tasty.

Rogers Centre Food, Tip #1: The Garrison Creek Home Run Footlong Dog. OK, just call it a Home Run Dog or Garrison Footlong if you don’t want to say all that when you’re debating what to get with your date. But this puppy is one nicely dressed dog, different from any I’ve seen at a ballpark.

It’s a footlong dog obviously (and come to think of it, why isn’t it a two-decimeter dog or whatever the metric version of it would be?), but it’s thicker than most ballpark footlongs…and it’s adorned with maple flavored baked beans, cheddar and bacon bits.

You could just put bacon bits in maple baked beans and I’d be happy, but add that big dog to it and I might even pay to see a losing team.

My friends at TickPick have Blue Jays tickets…they offer a best price guarantee, a buyer’s trust guarantee, and NO service fees. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

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rogers centre food sweet potato fries

Be like Deion and have “both”.

Rogers Centre Food, Tip #2: Sweet Potato Fries. At the Gourmet Frites stands (and at other stands around the ballpark), you can find appetizing looking sweet potato fries. Judging by the amount of people I saw carrying them around, they’re a pretty popular item here.

The sweet potato fries come with a chipotle style dipping sauce, so it’s not something you can walk around eating, but it isn’t healthy to walk while eating anyway. And I’m guessing that people who choose sweet potato fries are looking for a healthier choice over just plain old potato fries.

rogers centre food hogtown stak

Bacon gravy…there’s no wrong amount.

Rogers Centre Food, Tip #3: The Hogtown Stak. The Hogtown Stak, so I’ve read, is a creation of executive chef Elizabeth Rivasplata, who the Blue Jays hired both for her cool name and to answer the knock on the lack of gourmet options here.

It’s a truly amazing plate of baseball food…russet potato fries smothered with pulled pork, farmer’s sausage and smoked bacon gravy. Red jalapenos too, so be ready for the kick. It’s big; you’re probably want to share it. Find them at the Muddy York as I write this.

There are plenty of other choices of Rogers Centre food; I mean no disrespect to Liberty Village sausage poutine or the multitude of choices at the Muddy York Market. Or the impressive selection of nachos.

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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Click here to start booking your trip to Toronto and Rogers Centre today!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Can You Bring Food Into Rogers Centre?

Posted by Kurt Smith

There’s no shortage of a selection of food at Rogers Centre, but as in any ballpark, it’s expensive. Fortunately, if you want to bring food into Rogers Centre, you can…and you have some great alternatives just outside.

(Need more Rogers Centre help? I got ya! Check out this complete seating guide, the best ways to get to the ballpark, and this helpful post for bringing the kids to a Blue Jays game!)

 

bring food into rogers centre street cart

Free hot dog if you can properly pronounce the name of this cart!

Some ballparks have a better outside vendor scene than others. Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are among the best, but so are Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards…which would suggest that a good choice of outside vendors is actually more due to a ballpark’s location than its age.

Being in the heart of downtown Toronto, Rogers Centre fits into this category, but it’s not quite the same sort of activity. Outside, the food carts selling hot dogs and sausages are plentiful largely because the Blue Jays allow them on the grounds. Torontonians refer to the vendors’ wares as “street meat”, an appropriate appellation.

My friends at TickPick have Blue Jays tickets…they offer a best price guarantee, a buyer’s trust guarantee, and NO service fees. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

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bring food into rogers centre street meat sign

I like “street meat” better than the dubious sounding “meat in the street”.

In Toronto, Rogers Centre is surrounded by such carts. Many of them are operated by Shopsy’s, a popular local deli, or Yves, a manufacturer of veggie dogs and burgers. But some of them are operated by local Joes just making a buck.

The carts on the Rogers Centre grounds don’t differ much in their offerings: they mostly sell large dogs, sausages, and veggie versions of both.

 

bring food into rogers centre street cart condiments

I don’t think any of us truly appreciate what our world would be like without condiments.

The neat thing is the condiment choices; you can pile anything from chopped onions, hot peppers, pickles, sauerkraut, even bacon bits if you’re lucky. The dogs are also hefty, making them well worth the price.

While the carts on the grounds of the stadium certainly can handle your hot dog or even your vegetarian “meat” fix, there are some extra options if you’re willing to venture onto Front Street north of the ballpark: during my visit, there was a Don Juan’s truck, whose fries are very popular, and I also spotted a truck called Crazy Fries, which sells burgers along with dogs and the ever-popular poutine (fries with gravy and cheese).

The policy to bring food into Rogers Centre is quite lenient. You can even bring a whole pizza, I’ve read. If you’d like to see what’s in the neighborhood as far as street food, check out the “Toronto Food Trucks” website.

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bring food into rogers centre hot spot bbq

How do they get that pig roaster inside the truck?

It’s not that the inside food at Rogers Centre is awful by any means—they have good-sized dogs, popular sweet potato fries and an impressive selection of nachos among many other things. But as always, the stuff is quite overpriced inside, and maybe it’s just me, but it seemed even more so at Rogers.

So if you not only want to save a buck but get a tasty hunk of ballpark food, talk a walk around and go for the street meat.

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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3 Tips For Visiting Canada To See Baseball

Posted by Kurt Smith

A quick glance at a road atlas reveals that unlike any other MLB city, Toronto isn’t in the United States. If you’re headed to Toronto for a Blue Jays game, you should probably be aware of some tips for visiting Canada.

(Need more Rogers Centre help? I got ya! Check out this complete seating guide, the best ways to get to the ballpark, some tips for bringing in outside food, and this helpful post for bringing the kids to a Blue Jays game!)

 

tiops for visiting canada via rail

What’s all that French stuff on the schedule?

That’s a cool thing, of course, because it makes you the ballpark roadtripper an international traveler! But it also means that you’ll be entering a foreign country, maybe for the first time, and if you do there are definitely some important things to know.

Here are three that I consider pretty important:

 

tips for visiting canada border line waiting

Someone forgot to bring quarters again. Happens every day.

Tips For Visiting Canada, #1: Have a passport. Yes, you’ll need one of these even just driving your car across the border into Canada, and you’ll have to go through a customs service if you’re flying so they want to know you have permission to enter. This didn’t used to be the case, but it’s something you need to know now.

Sometimes there are long delays at the border because someone forgot something pretty important. Don’t be one of them.

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tips for visiting canada tickets ad

Use your Canadian credit card.

Tips For Visiting Canada, #2: Be sure you can use your phone. I learned the hard way that my phone service didn’t cover me in Canada…I had to send e-mails to my wife from the hotel and tell her to call me there. Eventually I got myself a phone card which helped, but it will save you a big headache if you know beforehand if you can use your phone there.

And you’ll be surprised at how much you miss it.

tips for visiting canada green p rates

It’s that American dollar sign that throws off foreigners.

Tips For Visiting Canada, #3: Be aware of money transactions. Get your money exchanged for Canadian money at a bank or at your hotel; do not use the exchange centers that take a big cut of your cash. Also, check your credit card company and see if they add foreign transaction fees, and if they do, use cash as much as you can because those fees add up.

Remember that you can use American money at most establishments, but you will get Canadian money in return, so as you’re leaving don’t pay for your cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s with an American twenty. It’s a headache turning Canadian dollars back into U.S. dollars, even at TD Bank. Take it from me.

There are some more things to know, but these are the important ones.

Never Drive To Rogers Centre Without A Plan…

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When It Was SkyDome

Posted by Kurt Smith

The Blue Jays of 1993, who played in what was then called the SkyDome, and the Blue Jays of 2014 were similar in that the majority of either team’s superstars weren’t home grown talent.

 

skydome blue jays pennants

You’d think they never lost a game. Actually, back then they didn’t lose very often.

Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar, Paul Molitor and several other stars on the 1993 champs were acquired from other teams, while recent Jays teams featured Colby Rasmus, Melky Cabrera, and R.A. Dickey among others, all of whom were stars before they came north. But it doesn’t seem the same as it did in 1993, when everything seemed to go the Blue Jays’ way.

And like the team, the perception of their home ballpark has changed too.

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skydome top of dome

Is it still “modern”?

When the Blue Jays consistently finished atop the AL East, their ginormous brand new home had a different name— SkyDome (not “the” SkyDome, just SkyDome). It was named through a fan contest, with the winner receiving lifelong tickets to any events there.

SkyDome was seen as modern, futuristic, the spark of change in baseball venues from stadiums to entertainment centers. SkyDome influenced today’s ballparks in more ways than you probably think.

Sit-down restaurants with a view and chain eateries are common in baseball venues today, but they were a novelty when SkyDome first opened. It was also the first ever venue with a working retractable roof. Today six major league parks have opening roofs, rendering “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain” obsolete as a managing strategy.

skydome 500 level

At least we’re closer to the field than the hotel rooms…

And there was that hotel attached to the ballpark, with rooms overlooking the field—apparently without consideration that folks may tend to amorous desires in front of thousands, as some did before the hotel made guests sign an agreement not to share their wares in the window. That hasn’t caught on as a ballpark feature, but it still could someday, especially in the minor leagues.

SkyDome, and its features and prices, was the future of ballparks. But just a couple of years later Camden Yards would open for business to rave reviews in Baltimore. Almost overnight, concrete and artificial turf became a serious liability with fans.

This 180-degree change in ballpark design trends coincided with the declining success of the team.

The Jays had won several AL East titles before finally taking the World Series crown in 1992 and 1993, with a team that could pitch, field and hit like few in history. The 1993 Blue Jays roster read like a who’s who of baseball’s biggest stars at the time: Roberto Alomar, Paul Molitor, Joe Carter, John Olerud, Juan Guzman, Jack Morris, Rickey Henderson, the list goes on.

skydome blue jays win

So…did the Blue Jays win?

After coming up short in the playoffs a few times, they finally came out on top of the baseball world two years in a row. One of the most iconic moments of baseball history is of Joe Carter leaping into the air running the bases following his World Series-winning home run. A packed-to-capacity crowd that night made so much noise you could barely hear the fireworks in the ballpark.

In its early years, SkyDome was filled to capacity almost every night, and for three seasons the Jays topped the four million mark in attendance, averaging a still today unheard-of 49,000+ per game. This was in the days before the Internet and StubHub…so Blue Jays tickets were extremely tough to get.

But less than a year after Carter’s home run landed into the deliriously ecstatic crowd, baseball went on strike, and like with many teams, the Jays’ attendance crashed as fans everywhere shunned a sport that had sacrificed a World Series to the altar of palpable greed.

 

skydome rogers centre outside

Maybe if it was “Mister Rogers Centre”, people would warm up to the name.

The Blue Jays never did bring four million through the turnstiles again, many times averaging just half that amount, especially as the 1993 stars departed and the team’s win totals went downhill for several years. In their recent return to contention with a division title in 2015 and a wild card victory in 2016, they’ve definitely increased their numbers, but in 2016 they still only reached 3.3 million.

Perhaps it’s fitting that the name of the venue has changed. Baseball is still very popular in Toronto, but looking back at the atmosphere and novelty of SkyDome, Rogers Centre almost feels like a different ballpark. It’s still a fine venue in its own right and houses a competitive team, but things seem different today.

People nostalgic for the SkyDome name are no doubt also nostalgic for capacity crowds and World Series games. Any fan can appreciate that. It was a wonderful time in Toronto baseball.

Planning a trip to Toronto? Save a bunch of money on hotels, flights and rental cars…book your trip with my friends at Hotwire! (It’s still Kurt’s favorite!)

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Click here to start booking your trip to Toronto and Rogers Centre today!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)