There's a lot of excitement surrounding the Jays heading into the 2013 season. (Courtesy @drew13mg)There’s no doubt Toronto Blue Jays management and ownership are hoping that in exchange for the money spent on acquiring big-name players over the off-season fans will in turn show their support by purchasing tickets and filling the 50,000-plus seats at the Rogers Centre.
And when seats for the 2013 season went on sale Friday fans didn’t disappoint.
Many lined up at the box office outside the Rogers Centre to buy single-game tickets including to Toronto’s home opener against the Cleveland Indians on April 2, which sold out in less than an hour.
Jays players got word of how quickly tickets sold out and expressed their excitement from spring training in Dunedin, Fla.
Dustin McGowan told the Canadian Press:
"That's great. I'd like to see the attendance get back up to the way it used to be. Hopefully this team will be the team that gets it back like that."
McGowan is likely referring to attendance numbers from the early 90’s. For six straight years between 1989 and 1994 the Jays had the top attendance numbers in the AL averaging more than 48,000 fans per home game.
It will take time and sustained success for the Jays to ever even think about filling the Rogers Centre to that capacity on a consistent basis again, but there’s definitely room to improve on the 25,922 fans the team averaged at home games in 2012.
Jays president Paul Beeston has even said he believes if all goes well on the field this season the Jays could reach the three million mark in the 81 games at the Rogers Centre in 2013. That’s a number that would likely catapult the Jays from 23rd in attendance, which is where they were in 2012, to the top 10 in the MLB.
But while the excitement may be at an all-time high in Toronto, the same can’t be said for all the MLB markets including one that the Jays did big business with over the off-season.
One of if not the biggest move Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos made this past off-season was acquiring Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes in a trade with the Miami Marlins. The move was a controversial one as not only were all three players cornerstones of the Marlins roster, but fans were made to believe that all three were brought in to Miami to help build a winning team and give tax payers a reason to feel positive about the $500 million new stadium they funded.
How do Marlins fans feel about their team now? Well take a look at how many showed up when single-game tickets went on sale in Miami earlier this week.
There’s no doubt that in Toronto fans are excited about the Blue Jays again like they haven’t been since the early 90’s. Now it’s up to the on-field product to step up to the plate and perform.