Close your eyes and you’ll swear you’re at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Chants of “LET’S GO BLUE JAYS” will fill the air and deafening applause will echo throughout the stadium whenever a Blue Jay comes to the plate. Open your eyes and you’ll see a sea of blue throughout the ballpark.
That promises to be the scene at Safeco Field again this year, as traveling fans from Western Canada head to Seattle for the annual visit by the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays and Mariners will play a three-game series beginning on Friday.
It’s a unique scene in North American sports when you consider that the Jays’ home is over 4,000 kilometres away.
Can't wait to see and feel the Canadian presence in the crowd this weekend in Seattle! @BlueJays
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) June 8, 2017
The past few years, the Blue Jays have been one of baseball’s best travelling teams as fans show up in droves to support them all across the United States. However, the biggest pocket of fans always descends upon Safeco Field.
Whether it’s fans from Vancouver, or even as far away as Alberta and Saskatchewan, Jays devotees in Western Canada always make their presence felt whenever the team travels to Seattle.
Blue Jays fans always manage to infiltrate the King's Court at Safeco. pic.twitter.com/SxsT9xF2q5
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) July 25, 2015
It’s not uncommon to see a Blue Jays fan or two slip into Safeco Field’s “King’s Court”. It makes for a hilarious image on television – one or two solitary Jays fans among hundreds of Mariners fans.
Last year in particular, the Blue Jays were represented especially well when the club faced the Mariners for a three-game set in late September.
All you need to do is listen to the reaction to this home run by Jose Bautista to tell you how many Jays fans were at Safeco Field to witness the series.
Not only were Mariners supporters in the minority during that series, they were completely overshadowed in terms of crowd noise. Jays fans were loud and boisterous and you can definitely expect more of the same this weekend.
Since the Blue Jays have the distinction of being “Canada’s team”, they do have a large population to draw from for their fan base. Where some markets only may have one or two million in their coverage area, the Jays have over 30 million.
The crowds this weekend may not be as loud or as electric as they were last year when the Blue Jays were in the final stretch of their playoff push. This year, they’re barely past the one-third mark of the season, but that doesn’t mean Toronto followers won’t pile through the turnstiles at Safeco Field.
Seattle currently ranks 21st in MLB attendance, averaging 23,958 fans per game.
But this weekend?
Tickets are in short supply despite dynamic pricing resulting in more expensive tickets, and hotel prices have skyrocketed, presumably because of the influx of Canadians.
Expect the Blue Jays contingent to make their presence felt in Seattle. Odds are you probably know somebody who’s heading down there for this series.