TORONTO, Ont. – The Toronto Blue Jays opened their 35th season Friday, with a bang beating the Minnesota Twins 13-3 at the Rogers Centre to a sold-out crowd.
The gates opened at 5 p.m. and the sold out crowd watched a pregame ceremony that honoured both past and present players.
Well-versed fans purchased their tickets for the game early, as the Jays home opener has a reputation of quickly selling-out. Some scalpers were offering tickets in the 500 section, which regularly cost between $11-14, for between $100-150 each.
More than 50,000 people watched Ricky Romero throw his first pitch. Romero won fourteen games last season, Brett Cecil won fifteen and Jojo Reyes has earned a spot with some strong work in the pre-season.
Some fans travelled from as far as Cobourg and Ottawa to get a chance to be at the home opener. One couple spent $140 for two tickets in the nosebleed section, which would normally retail for less than a fifth of that price.
“It’s really harsh, but we’re leaving tomorrow so we don’t really have a choice, we can’t go tomorrow after the game,” the couple from Cobourg said.
Regardless of where they had to sit or what they had to pay, most fans seemed to be content just to be at the home opener, as many went home disappointed after failing to score a ticket.
“The atmosphere I think will be really good, so I’m not too worried,” one fan said. “There’s going to be a lot of people up there, it’s going to be fun – I think.”
Sportsnet Radio TheFAN590′s sports reporter Peter Gross said that there is always optimism at the start of a baseball season; however, this year, the Blue Jays seem to show even more promise.
Fans are hoping Jose Bautista can come close to matching the 54 he stroked last season, and they have high hopes for the Jays this season.
“Some of the trades they did, I think they actually might have a chance,” one fan said.
Meanwhile, Lori hopes the capacity crowd will be loud. “Toronto fans are too quiet, they have to get out there and be a bit more rowdy and cheer for their team,” she said.
Toronto Police are reminding those who planned on having a few beers at the game to take public transit, and R.I.D.E. stops will be in effect to catch impaired drivers.
- Click here for a schedule of upcoming Blue Jays games.