It’s been a slow off-season, so let’s talk about the Rogers Centre. It’s known that a big priority of Mark Shapiro since he joined the club in fall 2015 has been bringing the Blue Jays into the 21st century. A big part of that is improving the fan experience at the Rogers Centre.
#BlueJays starting to share plans for a new premium seating area w some fans
Located on the 300 level at Rogers Centre, it'll be called the Ticketmaster Lounge & replace old press box. Has food & bar spaces
1st row seats cost $33k per season. 2nd row & bar rail seats cost $24k pic.twitter.com/KlBsRY8aoY
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 10, 2019
Per Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Jays have unveiled some plans for a new “Ticketmaster Lounge” premium seating area up in the 300 level. This new seating area will be where the old press box was located. The new area will include food and bar spaces, and, I’m guessing some kind of in-seat table service.
The first thing that jumps out, of course, is the whopping price on these seats. The first row of seats will cost a whopping $66k for a pair for the entire season. To the normal Jays fan, this is only something you could scoff at ever actually paying for, but this type of thing is targeted towards corporate and high-spending types as Jays seek to generate more revenue-per-ticket.
Premium revenue is something, among many other things, the Jays have lagged behind in. Right now, the TD Comfort Zone is really the only premium style of seat you can access, so this will give high-spending investors a chance to throw a bunch of money at the club for a slightly improved in-game experience.
I mean, this doesn’t matter for me or probably you reading this, but the more revenue the team can generate from things like this, the better. So long as the investment goes back into the team, of course. Something Josh Howsam on twitter pointed out, also, is that the revenue generated from this kind of thing is something Rogers can’t hide as revenue they generated themselves.
It’ll be interesting to see what other upgrades are added to the Rogers Centre in the upcoming years. As we all know, the stadium is easily one of the worst in Major League Baseball at this point, but the location is phenomenal, so the prospect of building a new dome somewhere else probably isn’t realistic. The goal for new-age stadiums is to create an all-in experience rather than just simply a three-hour game experience.
Take a look at SunTrust Park in Atlanta which was opened last year. The stadium features an area known as “The Battery” which connects to the park with dining, shopping, stages, and accommodation space for businesses and workplaces. This Disney World style plan creates the opportunity to turn going to a baseball game into an all day or evening experience.
Like I said, the Dome is in a great location and it presents a great opportunity to create a really cool surrounding area for fans to come eat and drink and relax in the summer time. Honestly, anything that improves the experience of attending a game Rogers Centre would be welcomed.