Toronto Blue Jays season ticket holders face huge price hike but most fans have little sympathy
As welcome as the $300 million renovation of the Rogers Centre has been for Toronto Blue Jays fans, there is one group that is absolutely furious with the upgrades, which have meant a price increase for their very coveted and often long-held seats.
In light of the stadium's completely reimagined lower bowl, which will see the addition of three new premium clubs ahead of the 2024 season, some season ticket holders have been informed that they will have to relocate to new seats, as their regular ones no longer exist.
One family cited to other media a jump from $15,000 for two season tickets — which they've had for decades and consider somewhat of a "family heirloom" — to over $137,000 for a new pair thanks to the redesign.
While many are crying foul play and fear the stadium is becoming "priced only for the Jeff Bezoses of the world" due to corporate interests, not everyone is feeling all that bad for those who have been impacted.
It’s a 300 million dollar renovation. Shift over to what you can afford. I assume they could move a couple rows to find something they can afford. Such a sense of entitlement. I assume they sold tickets to make $ off these seats and now they can’t.— Daniel Murton (@DanielMurton) May 21, 2023
Some of the season ticket holders who went to outlets like CTV with their personal stories say that they usually split the fees among members of their family, with other families and/or share tickets with friends when they can't make a game.
But there are also those who sell their tickets, often at a higher price than what they actually end up paying per game with their membership, which makes others feel less sympathy for them in this case.
Anyone who has ever tried to purchase one of these "in the action" seats 2nd hand from a season ticket holder feels 0 sympathy for them.— Experts (@mill68303169) May 21, 2023
These people have been paying 92$ a seat and selling them for as high as 1700$ for years
Some are also chiming in on social media to point out that people who can afford a spare $15,000 per year for season's tickets probably shouldn't complain, and that this pricing already limits the closest and best seats to the wealthy.
If you can afford $15 000 a year for 2 Blue Jay tickets season tickets, maybe you should find something else to complain about.— ElectrifiedPorcupine (@elecporcupine) May 24, 2023
You do know there’s a corrupt Premier trying to destroy our health care and education systems, as well as our environment, right? Try covering tbat.
Still others have responded with a shrug and a "that's life" sort of sentiment, with some saying they're really not surprised by the move, especially given the high pricetag of the centre's facelift.
Rich people problems. Ask him how much he made on the second hand market for years . Time to eat the rich— …. (@strikeforce9053) May 21, 2023
Then there are the comparisons to renovictions in Toronto's rental market, with some saying Rogers giving some of its most longtime season ticket holders the boot is simply just "peak Toronto."
Even fans who lost their seats have made the reference, with one telling the Star this week: "To me, it feels like they probably want the original 1977 families to leave. It's kind of like when a landlord renovates an apartment so that they can raise the price, which is very much a Toronto story right now.”
Seriously here: It will be cheaper and more interesting to follow the Blue Jays on the road than renew season tickets next year.— Blue Jays Bat Boy (@bluejaysbatboy) May 25, 2023
A spokesperson for the team, meanwhile, tells blogTO that the price changes are not as drastic as some are making it out to be, and that the $137,000 figure is for the best seats in the ballpark.
In the case of the $15,000 pair of tickets referenced, two seats in a comparable location will actually go for 2.4 times as much, approximately $36,000 for both, which includes the seats and a new "premium club experience."
Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro said back when the lower bowl's new Home Plate Club, Batting Tunnel Club, and Lounge were announced earlier this year that these "compelling premium experiences" are what fans want, and are a focus of the next phase of renovations.
We'll have to wait and see how these new experiences change the team's fan base and home game experience, as there are those now swearing off renewing their memberships, whether on principle or because they can no longer afford them.
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