The first rule of selling your beer at the Rogers Centre is
that you don’t talk about selling your beer at the Rogers Centre.
Historically, the fan experience at Blue Jays games has sucked.
If you look past your pre-pubescent / adolescent Joe Carter-soaked nostalgia for the Sky Dome, you know it’s true. The stadium is a Toronto monument to the last gasps of ugly, concrete, brutalist architecture and the marvel of — wow! — a moving roof has long since lost its lustre. It was always a little too dark and, when the dome was closed, a little too quiet.
It had all the charm of watching baseball in a shitty shopping mall.
Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. The stadium formerly known as the Sky Dome and the in-game experience there consistently rank among the worst in all of baseball. A 2022 “voice of fan report” analyzed 130,000 fan reviews to rank Major League Baseball stadiums based on Food and Drink, fan experience, family experience, and the facility and found that, overall, the Rogers Centre was the third worst and, in terms, of food and drink it was dead last. Continue reading “We don’t talk about craft beer at the Rogers Centre”
The Toronto Blue Jays are the only team in Major League baseball that doesn’t offer local beer at their baseball games.
Obviously, this sucks.
People who like baseball often also like beer. People who like to go support their local baseball team might conceivably also like to support their local breweries.
The Toronto Blue Jays organization apparently doesn’t give a shit about these people. Instead, they are happy to award exclusivity to the foreign-owned entity that was willing to cough up the biggest chunk of dough for the right to be the only beer sold at the Rogers Centre (if you’re still not sure who exactly I’m talking about, look no further than that glaring Budweiser logo that adorns most of the Toronto Blue Jays’ left field).
There was of course a glimmer of hope recently in March of 2013 when I broke the news that Steamwhistle–the folks making baseball-ready pilsner literally across the street from the Jays–would finally be allowed to sell their beer at the Rogers Centre.
Of course, being able to drink Toronto beer at a Toronto baseball game was short lived and almost exactly one year later, conceivably because the folks at AB InBev had had enough “competition,” I was breaking the news that the Good Beer Folks had been unceremoniously given the boot.
There’s been some rumbling in the interim–notably a petition created by Phil Cacace, the owner of the great Toronto bar, Tall Boys, some scant media coverage, and at least one perennially-irascible Toronto beer writer who has made a point of raising the issue on twitter every once and a while but, for the most part, we’re all pretty much resigned to accepting watery lager to drink while we take in live games of Toronto’s generally watered-down version of professional baseball. Continue reading “Are the Blue Jays breaking the law by not offering better beer selection?”