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.