Blue Jays Forget the Fans, Long-Held Season Tickets To Go Up Almost 10 Times
Toronto Blue Jays season-ticket holders were left stunned and disappointed after receiving an email from team president Mark Shapiro, revealing significant changes to the seating arrangements at Rogers Centre.
The email mentioned that due to the upcoming renovations in the lower bowl, current seats would no longer exist as they are currently situated. This news came as a blow to devoted fans who have enjoyed close proximity to the action for years.
The Record reports that among the affected fans are the Gamester family, who have held season tickets since 1977, sharing the cost with two other families. Their seats, located near home plate and beside the Jays dugout, have witnessed some of the franchise’s most memorable moments.
The family was shocked to discover that the new price for similar seats would be nearly 10 times higher than their current cost. The Gamesters were told they would need to commit to a three-year package upfront, a requirement that was previously unnecessary.
When they renewed their seats for the 46th time last fall, the final amount was $15,000 for the pair of tickets, or $7,500 per seat for a total of 81 games — which computes to an average of $92.59 for each seat per game.
They were informed by their Jays account representative that the cost to renew for similar tickets next year would be $137,000 for the pair, or $68,500 per seat — which then computes to an eye-watering average of $845.68 per ticket for each game.
Many loyal fans like the Gamesters feel that the drastic price increase is unfair and neglects their long-standing support for the team. Steve Gamester expressed his concern that the team might want the original 1977 families to leave, making way for a wealthier clientele.
He likened the situation to landlords renovating apartments to raise prices, a common trend in Toronto.
The Blue Jays defend the renovations, stating that they aim to improve the entertainment experience for fans. As part of the changes, three premium clubs will be introduced, offering exclusive services and entertainment options for members.
The team acknowledges the deep history and loyalty of long-tenured season-ticket holders and promises priority access for them to choose their new seats for the 2024 season and beyond.
While some fans are excited about the upcoming changes, others find the increased prices unreasonable. However, fans like Arron Barberian, who has attended over 2,000 games, believe the luxury experience is worth the cost. Barberian hopes that accessibility will be a key consideration during the renovations, as his son relies on a wheelchair.
As the selection process for the revamped lower bowl begins, longtime fans remain divided over the increased ticket prices. While some are eager to witness the improvements, others feel that the changes make attending games an elitist experience, pricing out ordinary and loyal supporters.
The Blue Jays emphasize that the renovations will provide fans with wider seats, improved accessibility, and better baseball-specific sightlines, in addition to the introduction of premium hospitality options.
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