Reasons Not To Go
To the cacophony of concern over minuscule Jays crowds this week, let me add a personal experience.
For the 11-year-old boy's birthday, we and another dad and son took in the Yankees game eight days ago at the dome. Picked up the tickets, $50 per, which got us great seats eight rows up along the first base line.
Bought the obligatory overpriced food, and were in place for the first pitch. So far so good.
Joining us for the game in the seats directly in front of us were three young men and two girls, girlfriends to two of the guys. Right away, it was clear that the intent of the men was to quaff as many beers as possible over the course of the game, and of course it had to turn into a marathon.
Now, you can wonder about the financial I.Q. of people who imagine it makes sense to drink wildly overpriced beer to excess while paying no attention to the entertainment on the field, but whatever. As the game wore along, the swearing picked up, as did the volume and the general distraction as they clearly weren't all that interested in the game. They wanted to drink beer and find ways for someone, anyone, to pay attention to them. And, naturally, they always imagine themselves to be the funniest people in the building. By about the sixth inning, it was impossible to ignore them, and the fact there were two small children very close by didn't really impact on them and their behaviour.
Predictably, by the ninth inning, internal tensions had grown, and one stood up, drilled his buddy with a right hand and stalked off.
Now, I should tell you my son and his pal found all of this wildly entertaining. But to me, these were reasons not to go to another Blue Jays game. For roughly $200, you basically buy a lottery ticket and hope you don't get stuck with drunken idiots nearby. Meanwhile, the objective of the organization seems to be to encourage maximum beer consumption, and the results are predictable. It wasn't an awful experience, but it was unpleasant. Call me a prude, I guess.
All this would be fine, it seems to me, if the Jays were grappling with excess demand. But they're not, and crowds of 11,461 and 11,159 this week suggest big problems may lie ahead with the baseball team seemingly sentenced to endless mediocrity.
If you have an outstanding team people desperately want to see, maybe you don't have to worry about whether some people have to grin and bear it when seated near people whose objective is to drink and be loud in general, not loud as baseball fans.
But if you have these Jays, you better make sure that's not happening, ever. If a family can't be guaranteed a family experience, why would a family ever return?.