The re-branding has come with some minor changes to how these passes are being distributed during 2013. With some significant player acquisitions during this past off season, expectations are high that the Jays will be playoff bound in 2013...somewhere they haven't been since their last World Series winning season way back in 1993.
From a marketing perspecitive, the new look of the Jays in 2013 has helped to sell a lot of seasons' tickets... including seating up in the 500-level of the Rogers Centre, much of which virtually remained vacant for the last dozen or so seasons.
So many diehard Blue Jays fans have been fortunate enough to have access to the empty 500-level seats in seasons' past through obtaining the Toronto Star Pass/Fan Pass/Ballpark Pass. So Rogers had to decide how to roll out the program this season, which it delayed until January 30---typically these seats are out for sale and sold out by mid-December!
What is the Toronto Blue Jays Ballpark Pass
Pass holders in 2013 receive a designated seat in the 500-level of the Rogers Centre for 80 home games for the incredibly low price of $99 (including service charges). The price has remained the same in 2013 as it was for 2012.
This is every Blue Jays home game except for the home opener.
Seats in 2012 were limited to specific sections at the 500-level (along the 1st/3rd base sides and the respective outfields) and starting from row 6 going back. This season, it appears the same holds true except they are scattered through more sections in these areas and not just concentrated specifically in certain sections.
As in 2012, pass holders in 2013 will sit in the same assigned seat each game; prior to 2012, pass holders were guaranteed any available 500-level in the stadium up to 45 minutes before game time...meaning you had to go to the designated box office location at the Rogers Centre to obtain an actual ticket.
To thwart ticket scalping, the assigned seating was introduced in 2012; pass holders simply go to the gate with their pass...a plastic swipe card with the account holder's name and designated seat location printed on it. The card is swiped and a instant printout verifying the pass holder's seat location is provided.
This also means the Ballpark Pass is like a seasons' ticket...you have the same seats all season and can show up to the stadium any time before the game starts...or during the game too!
Ballpark Pass for 2013
The 2013 passes went on sale Wednesday January 30th. Until February 1st, they were being offered only to those who held a Toronto Blue Jays Fan Pass in 2012 and not to the general public. The Jays used an online ticketing process through their seasons' ticket account manager system to ensure the sales during this period were limited to 2012 pass holders; they have an account and account number set up previously in the ticketing system.
If any seats designated for the 2013 Ballpark Pass were still available after February 1, they would be offered to the general public. With speculation that there were actually less seats eligible in 2013 for a Ballpark Pass than in 2012...and a huge waiting list...the assumption is that the passes will be sold out before any offering to the general public.
The Blue Jays also limited the numberof passes an individual account holder could purchase to a maximum of 2 in 2013.
Also, in the past, pass holders had their choice of location based on availability.
The 2013 sale will simply offer up to 4 potential random locations available; you simply have to choose one of those locations. Choosing one location releases the other three offered back into the general pool of passes for others to choose from. As with last season, here are the general terms and conditions for the 2013 Ballpark Pass
It had been rumoured that only one 2013 Ballpark Pass swipe card would be issued to the primary pass holder--regardless of if he/she bought one or two passes/seats. However, it appears individual cards will be issued to each pass holder, like in 2012, as it makes more sense logistically, especially if two different pass holders need to arrive at the stadium for a game at separate times!
That's it for now. Feel free to comment below if you have any additional info you can add or have anything to say about the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays Ballpark Pass!