Many of you joined us this past Saturday for our 2015 Home Opener as we hosted the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Rogers Centre. Once inside the stadium, we were all treated to a thrilling ending with plenty of big plays and excitement.
What happened on Saturday night with regard to lineups and wait times to enter the stadium was not acceptable. We believe it was unfair to you, our fans, who have waited so long to see your team play in Toronto. Rogers Centre officials have since informed us that the average wait time at Gate 11 was approximately 20 minutes and even longer at Gate 5. We have heard from many of you, who experienced it first-hand, that wait times were significantly longer – more than an hour.
Entering the stadium proved to be very challenging. We were notified in advance that Rogers Centre staff would be implementing security measures consistent with those of Major League Baseball. These measures were put in place to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance. We did our best to communicate the new measures through a variety of methods. In spite of efforts to communicate the potential delays, there were a number of other circumstances that played into the challenges when the gates eventually opened.
Since the game, we have met with Rogers Centre staff to ensure this will not happen again. Some of the issues that have been highlighted by Rogers Centre officials, and contributed to the delays included a 6 minute postponement in opening the gates, bag inspections and searches designed to keep fans safe were much too long, gates were under-staffed by the stadium, there weren’t enough experienced security staff available to assist and many of those on-site were still in training. While we have been assured that there will not be a repeat of these events, we will continue to encourage fans to plan ahead and arrive to the gates early so you don’t miss a minute of the game.
Thank you for joining us on Saturday. The safety of our fans is a priority and provisions are already in place to ensure your experience while entering the stadium is safe, swift and pleasant. Our next two home games are against very competitive East Division opponents (Sunday, August 23 vs Ottawa and Friday, September 11 vs Hamilton) and we look forward to seeing you at Rogers Centre to help provide a true home field advantage for our team.