Having been to several Blue Jays games over the last couple of seasons, I’ve learned some short cuts and quirks that may make your experience a little easier and, in theory, more enjoyable. Again, these are based on my personal observations, and are by no means guaranteed to work during your visit.
- Be prepared to pay for parking – or be prepared for a 5 or 10 minute walk. You can shell out the $30 plus if you want to park close…but can pay much less if you’re willing to look 3 or 4 blocks away from the stadium. If you take transit, and the weather is nice, get on and off at St. Andrew station — it’s a more interesting and sometimes less crowded walk. It’s also a good route for scouting out a good place to hit for food or drinks after the game.
- Arrive early, especially if you have 500 level seats or it’s a giveaway day — if you can get there when the gates open (usually 90 minutes before game time) and can be one of the first ones in, you can immediately head to the WestJet flight deck in centre field, or get a railing seat at the bar at section 212. While I quite enjoy the view from the 500 level, if you can spend the whole game at a bar on the 200 level, why wouldn’t you?
- Try entering at Gates 14 or 15 on the northwest side – there are often fewer and shorter lineups to get in. This is also helpful on giveaway days as they seem to have plenty of stock available.
- The My Blue Jays card – highly recommend you get one! Load up some cash on it before you head to the ballpark – it makes it so much easier to pay for drinks, food souvenirs and more. There’s a kiosk near Section 138 where you can swipe it to get added points toward auctions, contests etc.
- Try hitting up the Bacardi stations as opposed to the beer only stands, and get drinks before the game. Lineups are often shorter, and the Bacardi stations do offer limited beer selections as well.
- For your personal safety – if you’re sitting in the 100 or 200 level, follow every foul ball in the stands until it lands – balls can often ricochet off the cement deck facings and come back toward you.
- Unless the Jays are up or down 4 or 5 runs, do not feel obliged to either start or participate in the wave! Nothing is more irritating than yahoos that try to start the wave during a critical point in the game where you want to pay attention. Don’t be that yahoo!
- Try getting food after the 2nd inning to avoid lineups – the $14 Cantina box at Muddy York market at section 109 offers good value – I find I don’t need to eat again for the rest of the day/evening!
- Hit the washroom before the game starts, and in the 8th inning to avoid standing in line in the concourse with your legs crossed drawing awkward glances!
- If you hate lineups, avoid the Jays Shop before or after the game – many of the souvenir shops on the concourses have essentially the same stuff. Pick an inning during the game and go then instead. If you want an inexpensive souvenir, there’s always the $5 program – durable with proper care!
Hit me up on Twitter (@deep_6ix_sports) and let me know if these did or didn’t work for you…or feel free to share some of your own that I haven’t listed here!