When it comes to baseball- especially in Canada, we only have the Toronto Blue Jays. And this is definitely not a bad thing, as everyone up here in the Canadian north showed how proud we were as a nation to stand behind the Jays during the playoff season last year. And it wasn’t just us rooting for them, it became very evident that baseball fans throughout the US were secretly rooting for them as well, because who doesn’t love the underdog, not to mention bat flips?
But it wasn’t just throughout the playoffs; it is also the constant fill of seats throughout the 81 regular season games year after year that fans have stood by the Blue Jays. We had an extra-long season last year with games played all the way into October (October baseball really is the best kind of baseball), but the 2016 season already looks like it’s going to be a crazy season for the Jays regardless of how they play this year.
According to Breakfast Television, the Jays are only five games into the regular season and ticket sales, merchandise sales and google searches about the Blue Jays have sky-rocketed. With today being home opener here in Toronto, you know there is a lot of spirit throughout the City when we start to turn everything blue as the famous Norm Kelly has mentioned below. By 10 a.m., you can already start to see the hats, jerseys, and Blue Jays spirit throughout the City as today is a big day for Toronto.
So you could definitely say some people have jumped on the Blue Jays bandwagon, but in my personal non-sports related opinion, they deserve it. The Jays have proven to be more than just a team that plays together, from buying the team sweaters to trips to Las Vegas, the Blue Jays proved that they were more than just a team, that they were actual friends who hung out and did normal people things like the rest of us.
Photograph via @joeybats19
Living through their posts on social media, and me wanting to be best friends with them is what has made us all want to go watch them play and constantly follow what they’re doing, everyone wants to be a part of more than the game.
Not to mention the marketing behind the Jays is incredible, the commercials, promo videos, advertisements, by having the luxury of your target audience being EVERYONE, you really can’t go wrong. Jake Courtepatte, a sports reporter within the GTA nailed this exact topic last year with his article, “Blue Jays uniting a nation, one homer at a time”, and it couldn’t be more accurate.
As happy as I am about their new-found popularity, it’s no surprise ticket sales went up this year and those $10 scalped tickets in the 500 level on a Tuesday will no longer exist due to sheer popularity. Not to mention they got rid of a few of their loyalty programs including the “Ballpark Pass” with zero compensation to those loyal fans. We get it, it’s about the bottom dollar, but the spirit of the sport and regular fans shouldn’t be overlooked as they are the ones that have been here before all the Jays glory.
So no matter where you are tonight, it’s no surprise that Toronto is going to be one excited city watching the Jays kick off the 2016 season. Look for me way up in the 500’s with the other 50,000 people that will be at the Rogers Centre. Go Jays Go!