Catching a baseball game is one of those things that everybody in Toronto has to do at least once per season. Since the departure of the Expos, our very own Blue Jays are the final bastion of Major League Baseball in Canada.
With that being said, not a lot comes cheap in Toronto. The Rogers Centre, (or the Skydome if you know what you're talking about) may sweet talk you into buying inexpensive tickets... but it all goes downhill into overpriced food and merchandise the moment you step through the gate.
But, there are ways to eat a lot, have a few drinks, and enjoy the game while keeping your spending at a minimum. And we're here to share them with you.
1. Bring Your Own Food
That's right. Re-read that if you have to, we'll wait... According to the official Rogers Centre FAQ, you are in fact allowed to bring in outside food. With some foresight, you can construct the meanest foot-long sub in the world before heading out to the game.
Eat and feel superior as folks around you succumb to their overpriced nachos while you haven't spent a dime. Drinks are also allowed, but not the fun kind. Alas, you can't bring outside booze. But that's just dandy, because...
2. Get Free Beer At The Steamwhistle Brewery
Everybody gets a free 8 oz taster at the bar. Bottles add up to $4 per and pints will cost you about $6. The brewery is an excellent place to hang out and drink before the game starts. It's conveniently located across the street from the stadium at Roundhouse Park so you never have to feel rushed to return to the gates.
Photo Cred - The Globe And Mail
3. Take Stuff Home
Before buying tickets to the next baseball game, take a moment and go through the Promotions/Events schedule. Everyone loves free stuff. Even if it's Tupperware, the fact that it came easily and free makes it ever so delightful. On the 19th of July, fans will be able to bring home some Blue Jays winter gear (a little early to think about cold weather, but eh, it's free!).
Bobblehead day is on August 3rd. If that strikes your fancy, it may be advisable to come early and beat the 20,000 people rush. Besides the promotions, there are a ton of events to check out too.
Photo Cred - Traverse Earth
4. Find Cheap Parking Before The Game
Parking in this city is nightmarish. It's bad enough circling around busy streets, dodging cyclists and breaking every five seconds as a clueless pedestrian snap chatting their friend blindly jaywalks across the street. By the time you find that elusive parking complex, the cost of it drives the nail in the coffin that is your soul. Well, it doesn't exactly need to be this dramatic. Using Parking Republic can relieve some of that stress.
It's a website designed for the frustrated commuter to find cheap and/or free parking across Toronto. If you don't mind parking a 20 minute walk north-west of the Rogers Centre, it might save you $15-$30 in the long run. That one's for you, 905'ers.
Photo Cred - The Globe And Mail
5. Sit Closer At 12 Bar
If you're sitting in the 500's, odds are you haven't spent much money on your ticket. As awesome as it is to have a birds eye view of the field, and hopeless knowing you won't be catching a foul ball that afternoon, you can totally head down a couple levels to get a better look at the game. Located in section 215, you can sit overlooking first base in a lounge-style atmosphere at 12 Bar. Stay frugal. Nurse that Bacardi and enjoy the game at a much more interesting angle.