MLB Ballpark Showdown: Rogers Centre vs Marlins Park
By Andy Salgado
Jul 1, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A general view as a Canadian flag is unfurled across the outfield for Canada Day before the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
It’s day 2 of our baseball road trip. Today we tackle the only baseball team left in the great up north, the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rogers Centre was opened in 1989 to not only house baseball, but a multitude of sports and events. Seeing as this is a baseball site, let’s just talk about the baseball aspect of it. Welcome to this edition of MLB Ballpark Showdown: Rogers Centre vs Marlins Park.
The Outside Look:
The outside is nothing really spectacular to write about. Marlins Park you can see miles away driving down I-95; it is clearly the centerpiece of Little Havana. The Rogers Centre gets lost in the skyline of downtown Toronto. When you do get up close and personal to the Rogers Centre, it has a bit of a Marlins Park look to it (I should say Marlins Park has a Rogers Centre look to it since it was built first). Despite it getting lost in the bustle of downtown Toronto, up close the Rogers Centre is a beautiful site.
To me the inside of the Rogers Centre feels more like a convention center than a baseball park. With Marlins Park you know you are at a ball park. Even other parks which have bells and whistles that try and distract you from the game, you still have the feeling you are at a baseball game. As soon as I walked in the Rogers Centre felt more like I was at a Comic Con than a baseball game. This was not because the fans were dressed up, but because of the feel of the building itself. That being said I’m not going to lie, I would love to stay in one of the rooms in the hotel attached to the Centre. It’s pretty cool that some rooms you can watch a baseball game from your window.
The Home Run Statue:
There is none so that gives it a plus.
The roof was open! I’ve been to countless Miami Marlins home games and the only time I have seen the roof was open for a game was during Opening Day 2012. Now I am a big fan of the roof being close in sweltering Florida, unless it’s a beautiful night, but this is Canada! In September! I was freezing in Detroit but only wore shorts and a jersey to this game thinking the roof would be closed. Well it turns out it was a nice night in Toronto and didn’t get that cold so they kept the roof open. It was great to watch a baseball game under the stars and got a chance to see the skyline. Also, my friend that I hung out with during the game said that the only reason the roof was open was because R.A. Dickey pitches better when it’s open. I’m glad it wasn’t a cold night!
What a site to see. What hurts the Centre from the outside helps it on the inside. The spectacular skyline of Toronto is seen in all its glory from inside the Centre. Well at least from my seat. We were in the upper deck. The CN Tower is the crowning jewel of this site to behold.
Variety of Food:
With a place as big as the Centre I was surprised that it was hard to find something unique and different to eat. They had your typical hot dogs, burger, and chicken so it wasn’t anything special. They did have a Budweiser section which looked like just another BBQ place. The Centre did have sushi, although it was pre packaged.
The Must Have Food Item:
They did have one food item which, while maybe not that interesting in it of itself, has a very iconic name- poutine. Yea I never heard of it either until my trip to the Centre. What is it? It’s French fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Everyone at the Centre told me I needed to get the poutine, so I did. Was it bad? I’ve had worst ball park food, but it was just average fries with an average gravy. Is it better then Marlins Park Cuban Sandwich? Nope. Would I get it again? Yes and no. I wouldn’t get that poutine, but they did have many different kinds of poutine. I guess I’ll just have to make another trip back and see more baseball and become more versed with poutine.
Only if you figured out a way to get the pass code from the hotel that the WI-FI is connected to could you access the WI-FI at the Centre. If not there is no WI-FI.
Here is where things get fun. In my Comerica post a few days ago I wrote that I felt far from the field. In the Centre I was in the 500 sections which were further up from where I sat in Comerica; but I felt closer to the field. Here is what I can only think is the difference. Marlins Park and Rogers Centre are both meant to be close stadiums and therefore give an illusion that you are close to the field because there is no mass opening or airiness like Comerica has. The Centre felt like Marlins Park.
Overall I liked the Rogers Centre! It is a must see if you are traveling to baseball parks, especially next year when the Marlins stop in for a visits. Join me later this week when we hit up the final stadium on this trip, Nationals Park. Until next time… Let’s Go Marlins.