I’m going to do a brief interlude from the Nova Scotia posts to jump to Toronto.
I’m a really bad Canadian. I don’t follow sports, I don’t understand game statistics (.574pct +1.0wcgb 3-7L10 wtf), I don’t know the terminology, and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see me at a sporting event. But, I feel like I’ve been given the tremendous gift of being right smack in the middle of Toronto during the final games of the World Series… as the Blue Jays are winning and the city is drunk with success.
All this said, there are some statistics and numbers that I do understand…
April 7, 1977, was when the Blue Jays were first introduced to Toronto. In the time since then, they have won the world series 5-times (1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993). It has been 22-years since their last win and a decade since they have been in the playoffs.
People in Toronto have gone crazy for their team. People leave work at 2pm to watch the games. Video monitors are set up all over town so people can watch remotely. An entire portion of the city has been shut down and sectioned off for after-game parties. These parties are LOUD.
I keep hearing snippets of conversations around town that are memorable. The second memorable quote from today came from a fan after the Dallas/Toronto game: I no longer feel like I’m from a loser city. Ok. I’m sure that’s not as bad as it sounds (or what this guy intended to say), but in spirit, I think he meant that he is happy that the Blue Jay’s (a.k.a. Toronto’s team) are doing well.
The first memorable quote I heard today was actually quite good: This isn’t a win for Toronto, it’s a win for all of Canada. Rightly so! This is the only major league baseball team left in Canada since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington. As such, the city has gone crazy and people are flying to Toronto from all over the country to be at the games.
I will point a few more interesting statistics: 22-years ago, during their three-year winning streak, Blue Jays games were pulling in over 4-million people per season. The team hasn’t seen those types of numbers since 1993. At their last game, the team reached a 3-million attendance landmark. If the streak continues, they will beat their 1993 attendance record.
Tickets for the games are currently sitting at $200 per game… but as you get closer to the end of the season, these tickets are rising in price to $800 per game. That’s a lot of money. There are millions (if not billions) of dollars at stake for the venue, the team, and the city.