The Toronto Blue Jays say an 813 per cent season ticket price hike recently noted by a fan who’s had tickets for decades was a “miscommunication” as a result of the stadium’s renovation.
Steve Gamester told CTV’s Your Morning Thursday he was shocked by the increase in cost of the Toronto Blue Jays season tickets he regularly buys.
Gamester, who usually split the tickets with two other families, paid $15,000 in 2022 for two tickets to 81 games. This year, he said he was told the price for those same tickets is $137,000.
In response to a story published by CTVNews.ca Thursday, the team says this was a miscommunication. In an email sent later in the day, a spokesperson said Gamester was quoted the price of the best seats in the ballpark, not the seats he normally shares.
Calling it a “miscommunication,” the team said the tickets were not for a comparable seat at all.
“Mr. Gamester is currently located in Row 3, the first row behind the ‘In The Action’ seats,” a spokesperson said in an email.
“Similar seats for Mr. Gamester next year … will be approximately $18,000 per seat, as part of the Batting Tunnel Club.”
The Blue Jays pointed out this is a price hike of 140 per cent, not the 813 per cent Gamester saw initially.
The team noted there will be an additional row added to the section in front of Gamester, making his now the fourth row instead, while also including “access to a new premium club.”
According to Gamester, season ticket holders got an email from Blue Jays staff that said that due to the next phase of the Rogers Centre renovations, some seats have been taken out, meaning fewer were available in this area.
After hearing of the construction of the lower-bowl part of the stadium, Gamester expected there would be changes, but he didn’t expect what he saw when he went to purchase this season’s tickets.
“The price increase came as a massive shock,” he told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday, referring to the $137,000 he believed he’d have to pay. “It’ll be a really tough thing to give up.”
Gamester’s family has been season ticket holders since 1977, so the seats are a tradition. He was hoping it was something that could be passed onto the next generation of his family.
“It’s kind of like our family’s special thing… The closest thing I have to a really precious family heirloom,” Gamester said.
The Blue Jays are the “soundtrack” of his life, he said, explaining he has memories of going with his parents. His father, Gamester said, would save up for the passes each year, working off a print journalist’s salary.
“The thing I’ll miss are the memories: going to the games with mom and dad, with friends who have come and gone,” he said.
Steep increases in tickets come as other events are under fire for price changes as well, something one expert says people will have to get used to.
But for Gamester and other Jays fans, it is a tough pill to swallow.
“The prices are going up at everything,” he said. “It’s (the tickets) not as important as housing, obviously, but these are the things that are important in life, you know, sporting events, concerts, cultural events… When the price goes up on that, too, it’s tough, and I think that’s why people are responding to this story.”
CTV News has reached out to Gamester following the response from the Blue Jays citing the price for comparable seats.
To hear the full interview with Gamester click the video at the top of this article.