rogers centre renovations

Fan claims new seats at Rogers Centre are worse than the ones they replaced

Toronto Blue Jays fans are getting acquainted with the new Outfield District renovations at the Rogers Centre, but after a honeymoon period of just a few home games, fan complaints have begun to trickle in.

Wednesday evening's game saw the first cracks appear in the new stadium layout, when fans accosted and even threw beer onto visiting players in the new raised bullpen area that puts spectators mere inches from opponents.

Not long after that game, another complaint emerged when a longtime Jays fan critiqued the new 500-level seating installed during the renovations.

Dedicated Blue Jays fan CJ Hajer, who gained attention in the wake of the team's disastrous postseason run with her depressingly faded temporary tattoo, is critiquing the new 500-level seats, part of an overhaul that say 17,000 seats — many bearing the original SkyDome branding — replaced.

Hajer explains in a thread that, "as a result of the deeper seat, there is now a dramatically reduced space between the lowered seat and the railing (or the back of the heads) in front of you."

A comparison of the new and old seats captured during a media preview of the renovations in January shows that, while the replacements are roughly the same width as their predecessors, the new seats appear to sit slightly lower to the ground.

rogers centre renovationsShe decries the continued lack of drink holders for nosebleed seats and says the lowered seating makes reaching for your drink a very difficult endeavour.

"Also, there is absolutely NO WAY that any person can pass in front of a lowered seat," continues Hajer.

"Every single person must stand up (cannot even just turn sideways a bit which was formerly possible) to allow anyone to pass by. This means far more interruption or movement/traffic and a much more difficult and precarious access and use of the floor space at your feet (where you must set everything)."

"So disappointed," says Hajer. "I have loved the 500L my whole life, now it's frustrating, annoying and disruptive to the game experience."

But the 500-level seating isn't Hajer's only beef with the renovations, taking issue with the connectivity in a ballpark literally named for a telecom giant.

"How the radio reception can still be so bad up in the 500 section - (Fan590) and the Wi-Fi reception abysmal up there- for a radio and internet communications company still stuns me," she tells blogTO.

Photos by

Jack Landau

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