Rogers Centre staff*

Year before last, I went to a game in San Francisco. During the third inning, I went to get myself some of the famous garlic fries (highly recommended!) and upon attempting to return to my seat, was told by an usher to wait until the end of the half inning before going down the aisle. Having only previously attended games in Toronto, this was a shock to me, but not an unwelcome one.

“You’re right, man. Thanks for doing what you do,” I said to the usher. “This would never happen in Toronto and you know what? It sucks. This is a much better system.”

The usher seemed confused by statement and proceeded to actually chain off the aisle as more out-of-towners (obviously, right?) tried to make their way to their seats.

That game in San Francisco remains the only MLB game I’ve attended outside of Toronto, so I don’t know if Giants ushers or Blue Jays ushers are more typical of the league-wide experience, but I can say that, on the whole, the experience in San Francisco is a much more pleasant one. The ushers there seem to be in place to enhance the experience of people who wish to watch the game and have fun.

In Toronto, with some notable exceptions, the ushers seem to be in place simply to ensure that people sit in the seat that’s listed on their ticket and to ensure that the fans don’t have too much fun because, my god, don’t you see? There are old people watching the game! You can’t stand up or cheer too loudly because they might get upset!

At Monday’s home opener, a man dressed up as a cannabis leaf got tossed from the game for being dressed up as a cannabis leaf. He got tossed after having been allowed into the stadium wearing the cannabis leaf.

Having seen the Rogers Centre staff in action, I have to assume that the man dressed as an herb was tossed not because he was inconveniencing the people around him, but because his mere presence may offend some people. In fact, the security guard in the following video clearly says that dressing up at a game is fine, but “he’s dressed up as a cannabis leaf.”

Now, if I had ended up sitting beside or behind this guy, I probably wouldn’t have been too happy. I want to watch the game, not the back of a costume. But that doesn’t seem to the point of this guy getting tossed.

And yes, I know the Rogers Centre is private property and they can boot whoever they want for almost any reason, it just seems like their priorities are, in general, a little out of whack.

What do you think? Should this guy have gotten tossed? Did he get tossed for the right reasons? Do Rogers Centre staff need to adjust their priorities? Am I just a crazy old fool who’s sick of being told where I can and can’t sit?

* I know there are plenty of good, accommodating people who work at the dome. This post is not directed at them. Those fine people, to me at least, are SkyDome staff, not Rogers Centre staff.

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19 thoughts on “Rogers Centre staff*

  1. I think they are fine throwing him out. I think in the post 9/11 world we live in, security staff are generally tougher on people who have anonymity due to their face being obscured. That doesn’t even go into the fact that he would be obscuring the view of others should he go sit in a seat.

    Secondly regarding the San Fran ushers… To be honest I think waiting until the end of half inning is obnoxious. Waiting until the end of the batter seems perfectly reasonable to me. THere’s usually a 30 to 45 second down time at that point which to me seems more than long enough to get to your seat without disturbing anyone.

    • As I said, it would probably be unpleasant to sit near him and maybe he should’ve gotten the boot, but watching the video, it’s clear he’s not getting kicked out because he’s dressed up and he’s not getting kicked out because he’s annoying people near him — he’s getting the boot because of what he’s dressed up as. If they were booting him for either of the reasons you mention, I’m cool with that. But to do it for, essentially, political reasons after having let him into the stadium dressed like that? Doesn’t sit right with me, not when they have bigger issues to deal with. Even on a most basic level, there were fights in the stands at the opener that got little to no attention from security, but this guy? Here’s the door, don’t let it hit you on the way out!

      • Meh…I disagree. If I’m Rogers Im booting this guy too. Its the home opener, 50,000 people, you are selling a family product and you want them to come back. I dont want someone coming dressed up as an illegal drug at my place of business when they could be sitting beside a family with 3 young kids. Nothing personal Mr Pot leaf, but thats just bad business.
        Ive seen dozens of guys at Jays games wearing tshirts and hats with pot leaves. Never seen one of them get kicked out. If you ask me, this guy was asking for it and got what was coming to him.

    • And about waiting to return to your seat: I agree that waiting until the batter’s turn at the plate is done is probably enough. I was just happy to see any sort of system in place at all. The free-for-all at the dome gets tired pretty quick, if you want to watch the game, anyway.

      • When I sat in the 200s last Tues, they made me wait until the at bat was finished. I suspect they don’t bother in the 500s because it’s too far away to be distracting. Plus they don’t always have an usher for every aisle. So there is a system.

        • I’m glad they make people down in the 100s and 200s, but it definitely is distracting up in the 500s. There’s nothing more distracting than someone trying to squeeze past you when the pitcher’s winding up on a 3-2 count — except for maybe some yahoo in front of you trying to start the wave.

  2. I’ve only been to about 6 games in the last 3 years, but someone in my party has been stopped by an usher at every one of those games. They have all been informed to wait for the half inning to be over. All my tickets were in the 100s, so maybe they are stricter down there?

    • That’s interesting. The bulk of my experience is with 500-level ushers. Maybe it is a level-dependant thing. I was sitting field-level at the Giants game, too…

    • Yup, they always make you wait until the half inning (or other significant break in the action). Always have at least since Rogers took over.
      Not sure about the 500s…havent sat there in a few years, but I remember you could do pretty much whatever the fuck you want up there. Walking in front of someone during an at bat is one of the least annoying things up there.

  3. Chris, I don’t know if they’ve instated this for the 2012 season, but at the Home Opener my friend had to wait at the top of the ramp at 130 until the end of the inning. There were a few breaks in play during the inning and I wondered why he wasn’t coming down, only to find out they held him up there for that half of the inning. So maybe it is in fact happening at the Rogers Centre?

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