Steve Gamester was shocked to learn the front-row Toronto Blue Jays season passes he regularly buys increased 813 per cent in price from last year.
Gamester, who usually split the passes with two other families, paid $15,000 in 2022 for two tickets to 81 games. This year, the price for those same passes is $137,000.
The seats are in the “Action Section” of the Rogers Centre, in the front row.
According to Gamester, season pass 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 are 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 passes.
“The price increase came as a massive shock,” he told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday. “It’ll be a really tough thing to give up.”
Gamester’s family has been season pass holders since 1977, so the tickets 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.”
To hear the full interview with Gamester click the video at the top of this article.