Ontario Bans Blue Jays Beer Sales For 2 Games

Toronto fans are in for a rude awakening when they settle into their seats for Tuesday’s game between the Jays and Tigers at the Skydome Rogers Centre (other than realizing that they’re once again rooting for a painfully mediocre team). Why? It’s because Tuesday at the Rogers Centre…is “No Beer Day.”

Blue Jays beer

No, it’s not the worst promotion of all time. It’s actually a punishment from the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission for “infractions” at past events at the stadium. In addition to Tuesday’s game, the Jays’ April 21st game will also be dry, as will a Toronto Argonauts game in August. Of course, Rogers Centre officials announced this ban well in advance so people would know not to buy tickets for those games if they wanted to booze it up. Oh wait, no, they actually waited until Friday to say anything.

And, since most people would rather run into a brick wall than endure a baseball game without a few Molsons, Blue Jays fans are not taking this very well.

One such fan is Bert Dandy, who purchased 575 group tickets for the April 21st game and now is faced with a dilemma: tell 574 other people they can’t have beer at the game, or trade the tix in for another day. He’s going with option “B” but isn’t happy about it. According to the TORONTO SUN:

As soon as his tickets arrive in the mail he’s planning to take the Jays up on their offer to exchange them — he’ll have to go down to the Gate 9 box office to do it and the ticket exchanges are subject to availability.

“The big question is who knew what and when did they know it,” Dandy said. “There’s two possibilities here: That the commission didn’t notify the Jays until yesterday and that’s a scandal in itself … or the Jays knew and kept their mouth shut.

“If they knew two weeks ago then they have no business keeping me in the dark and if they didn’t know until yesterday then somebody should be grabbing (Premier Dalton) McGuinty by the neck and giving him a shake.”

I’m sure that the Premier (which I think is Canadian for “governor”) of Ontario is greatly concerned about the ability of the 15,000 or so people who actually show up for these games to get wasted.

Besides, it’s only two games, and both are crappy Tuesday night games in April. In fact, there may be some people who show up to the game because of the temporary ban. There’s nothing the non-drinking folks hate more than a bunch of drunk idiots, so now they have more of a reason to show up.

But by the sound of some of the commenters on the SUN’s original story about the sanctions, the very fabric of Canadian society is being torn by this decision.  To wit:

But sports fans — those nasty hooligans — must be treated like chilldren. Next thing you know, they’ll be requiring fans to wear bow-ties and crew-cuts to get in.

This kind of thing really gets my goat. The LLBO didn’t even give specific examples of the alleged ‘incidents.’ Don’t the pencil-necked bureaucrats have anything better to do besides spoil the bit of summer Toronto gets? I guess not… But I’m sure the fans will lay down like sheep (it’s the Canadian way, is it not) and just take it.

Again: Two games. April. There are still 79 opportunities for you to get loaded and watch B.J. Ryan blow saves. Although paranoia about the situation is not entirely unfounded, considering that beer was unavailable at Blue Jays games for the first 5 1/2 years of the team’s existence.