With the Blue Jays ready to launch their 42nd campaign tomorrow, against the New York Yankees, in a late-afternoon game that will have many men and women across the city suddenly not feeling well at exactly 3:00PM, the most cherished of all the Toronto baseball traditions is ready to be carried on. That of refusing to call The SkyDome by any other name.
“Who could have predicted people wouldn’t love referring to their cherished ball club’s stadium by the name of their least favourite telecommunications giant?” Asks die hard Jays fan, Tom Hanky, as he hustles past the beloved bowl-like stadium on a chilly March afternoon, blue lid already firmly planted on his head, where it will remain until the fall. Hopefully late-October.
“I’ll always call it the SkyDome,” agrees a woman jogging past. “Corporations can spend as much as they like, I didn’t visit that spot with my dad every year since I was ten to grow up and find it renamed for terrible customer service. It’s a SkyDome. Always will be.”
While the telecom company to be named later has never officially said why it has no imagination, many insiders think it’s because they suck.
Jeremy McGivens, visiting from Victoria, says he has fond memories of coming to ‘The Dome’ in the 90’s, and agrees he doesn’t like he doesn’t like it currents moniker.
“I don’t really get how reminding people, every time they go to a game, that they’re locked in a contract they can’t get out of with a company they can’t get ahold of, can possibly be good for business? Why not just keep it as is?”
As he asks this the young father of two children – whose hands he’s holding now – looks up at the unlovely, but well-loved, cement edifice above us. The old-timey sculptures still point in all directions. The player banners wave in the late-March breeze. Seagulls circle in the grey sky. Baseball in Canada isn’t for the faint of heart; and while it is a business, it also isn’t entirely for sale.
“Honestly,” Mr. McGivens says, returning to his attention to ground level, “I would be more impressed by a company that said ‘you know what? We’re all about the simple optimism that lives in a name like SkyDome, and have no need to title it after our already fabulously famous and wealthy founder. Tell you what guys, you can keep your ties to the past. It’s on us.’ How bout that huh Rogers? Bet that would do a lot more for your name than our refusing to use it every time we tell the kids we’re going to go catch a game. Down at the SkyDome.”