Major League Baseball is insanely rich. I mean stupid rich. Think about it, you’d have to be rich to buy a team in the first place! Yup. Baseball is a rich man’s sport. And now, it’s a rich FAN’s sport, too!
We’ve been baseball fans for quite some time. Our Toronto Blue Jays made an amazing playoff run last year but bowed out to KC in 6 games. Figures eh? We’ve been going to games since the 90’s (when games were more affordable) and when we moved abroad the team decides to make a playoff run for the first time in 20 years. I swear it’s a conspiracy. The players had a closed-door meeting and said “Hey, did you hear? Shelly and Al decided to leave Canada. Let’s win this year and totally pi$$ them off”.
Anyway, we recently returned “home” and spent some time with family before our cross Canada road trip. In doing so we were able to partake in one of our beloved summer events – a baseball game.
Now, if you’ve never been to a ball game at Toronto’s SkyDome, you’re not missing much (it’s still called the Dome for those who think otherwise). It’s a concrete structure of boringness – as far as aesthetics go – but games don’t get rained out, so that’s a bonus, I suppose.
Our tickets cost $20 CAD for nose-bleeds (500 level). We used to pay no more than $9. Ahh, the good ole days when the Jays stunk worse than a dog’s farts after eating turkey. Yeah, pretty bad for a while there. What’s worse is that we didn’t even purchase these $20 tickets through the Blue Jays – those would have cost even more. We got them online through a third party ticket vendor (fancy words for internet scalpers).
Beers were $10.75 for a tall-boy (that’s 431 ml). Up a buck since our last visit in early 2014, I think. High beer prices are typical of many baseball stadiums in the majors, or any event for that matter, be it baseball, NASCAR, music concerts, or Sesame Street on Ice.
And then there was the gift shop. Throngs of people were sauntering through the store looking for a purchase. They had money to burn I guess. I looked at the price of a tank-top for Shelly and it was $44.99. WHAT? It doesn’t even have sleeves!
But this is MLB. Put a logo on something and your cost goes up. That’s so MLB gets their piece of the pie. Good for them, I guess. Bad for us minimalist fans though. I suppose this is part of the reason why baseball is an insanely rich sport. They’ve got billions coming in from everywhere! T-shirts, bobbleheads, video games, TV rights, trading cards…it’s like that scene in Spaceballs when Yogurt (Mel Brooks) says movies make the real money from “Moy-chan-dizing”.
There’s also a credit card company that gives away t-shirts if you apply for their credit card. Back in my days of desiring more stuff I would often stop to fill out the application for said credit card to receive a “free” t-shirt. Not this time. No need for another credit card. No need to have another shirt either, even though I’m getting low on my shirts and they’re starting to stink worse than the 1995 through 2014 Blue Jays teams.
I’m all for spending money on experiences, and if a ballgame is one of those, hey, go for it if you can afford to. But baseball has become a rich fan’s sport now. I guess this event was also a “been there, done that” type of event for us. I’d have much rather have gone to another ballpark to experience their stadium, their fans, and their overpriced stuff. I’m all for supporting my team, but at what cost? Players and owners are filthy rich, they don’t need a few bucks from me.
Anyway, I thought I’d provide a quick breakdown/explanation of costs for this “experience”, so here goes:
Parking $30. Okay, kind of misleading because we kind of got screwed. Back in 2014 we’d found $10-15 parking, which is great for event priced parking in Toronto. This time around there was just so much traffic and mass confusion we just parked below the restaurant we ate at. I suppose a silver lining is that we split parking with another couple, so it only cost us $15. Sadly, that’s still much cheaper than the public transit option!
Dinner: $70. 2 large beers, an ample size portion of mediocre fish and chips, and 3 small pork-sliders. We were full afterwards, but a $3 street-meat vendor-dog would have sufficed and would have led to the same repeating effects that my fish and chips offered up for about an hour after I ate it. Tasting a meal with every burp…priceless!
Tickets: $40. Again, we use to pay $9. Some parks still only charge $9, possibly less.
Beers: $32.25. Cheli had one and I pulled an Ernie Banks and played two. We could have enjoyed more but the wallet wouldn’t have enjoyed it. Sorry to the beer girl for not getting a tip from me. At the same time, your job is to get me a beer from a fridge, open it, and hand it to me. I’m not trying to be a d!ck, but you’re just doing your job, so an additional raping of my wallet isn’t really necessary, is it? Especially with the prices of said beer!!!
Prior to game-day I had thought about getting a Blue Jays cap. I’m in need of a new cap. But at $30 for the cheapest I can hold off showing my support for my team on my head. Maybe my team should be offering me a cap to support them?
So, out a total of $157.25 for this “experience”, we pondered our overall enjoyment. The Jays were down 6-3 and mounted a comeback, pulling within one run heading into the final inning. To beat traffic (a common thing to do in Toronto), we headed down from the nose-bleeds to the field level seats. On the way down the A’s plated two add-on runs to take an 8-5 lead that they’d never relinquish, winning the game by the same score.
The game had its moments of excitement, but was overall pretty lackluster. Had the Jays won, or if we’d seen an epic Jose Bautista bat-flip or face-punching incident, I’m sure this event would have ranked a little higher on the excitement scale, but $160 worth? Nope. The week before this I watched a game on TV with my nephew. We ate a bag of chips, he had a Dad’s Root Beer from the bottle and I a few Sleemans. This created a lasting memory for me for way less money than a live game.
I’m sure if we were still working and receiving a regular paycheck we wouldn’t balk at spending that kind of money. But sorry Blue Jays, I’ll have to stick to internet highlights, radio, and TV coverage. Technically, those aren’t free, but they’re a much better bang for my Buck Martinez!
Now go sell all your stuff and take me out to a ball game!