When I was a young boy, my dad would often take me and my brother to sports games in downtown Toronto. We watched the Blue Jays during the championship days of the early 90’s, the Argos during the Doug Flutie era, and the Maple Leafs during the reign of Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark and Felix Potvin.
It was a fun period. One that firmly planted the seeds for my love of sports.
We always try to attend professional sporting events when we travel. You can learn a lot about a city and its people by sitting among them during a heated sports rivalry.
Although I’ve lived on the West Coast of Canada for nearly 15 years, my allegiance to Toronto sports teams has remained strong. Well, at least it has for the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays.
Over the years, I’ve become a huge supporter of the Vancouver Canucks (just ask Jeremy – he has hilarious photo evidence), but I always grab tickets when the Maple Leafs roll into Vancouver and proudly wear my Maple Leafs jersey at these games.
Given this love for Toronto sports teams, you can imagine my excitement when a sports tour was offered at the Toronto TBEX conference we attended a few weeks ago.
The 3-hour tour would take us inside the Rogers Centre (home of the Toronto Blue Jays), the Air Canada Centre (home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors) and the legendary Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ironically, I was wearing a Vancouver Canucks t-shirt during the tour, so my friends from both Vancouver and Toronto continue to give me grief for that one.
The Rogers Centre part of the tour typically allows guests to walk on the baseball field, but the Toronto Blue Jays were out of town that day and the stadium was transformed into a massive Euro-dance party that expected 20,000+ party-goers.
It’s quite impressive to see the effort and detail that was put into the one night event.
A sea of empty seats made for an interesting photo
Inside the press box at Rogers Centre
VIP access to the Toronto Maple Leafs locker room
Big moment for this longtime fan – inside the locker room of the Toronto Maple Leafs!
All-star forward Phil Kessel’s locker
The rafters of the Air Canada Centre are lined with banners of Maple Leafs legends
Toronto Raptors locker room. Unexpected simple and ordinary
Silence at the Air Canada Centre
Fun hockey statue outside the Hockey Hall of Fame
Entrance to the Hockey Hall of Fame
The Great One – Wayne Gretzky – on the Wall of Fame
A display at the Hockey Hall of Fame with the stick and gloves used by Sidney Crosby to score The Golden Goal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. This goal lifted a nation and gave Canada, the host country, the gold medal in Men’s ice hockey.
I’ll remember this goal for the rest of my life. The entire city erupted when Crosby scored, echoing across the Lower Mainland.
There she is – the REAL Stanley CUP!!
The original Stanley Cup. It’s locked behind glass in a room that feels like a vault
Real Sports Bar located at Maple Leafs Square outside the Air Canada Centre. It’s one of the coolest sports bar I’ve visited. Look at the size of the screen!
Our travels have taken us to some amazing places around the world, but sometimes a simple trip back to your childhood home can deliver the same feelings of excitement and fulfillment.
Walking through the locker room of my favourite sports team certainly had that affect on me!
Very cool! I loved the picture of the empty seats and Stanley Cup! Not a big sports fan but your post made it all sound very cool
Traveling Canucks says
Thanks Charu – glad you like the photos!
Hopefully you’ll check out a sports event on your next trip – we find it’s a great way to connect with a city – even if you don’t know anything about the sport. 🙂
Deepali Shaw says
Any event but it is really good to see the stadium filled it up and crowd cheers up player s , nice to be feel live match action on the field. Inside the stadium we can feel like a travel new places.
Soumya Mohanty says
Ya its good to start any eve first moment. so keep ready to fight our dreams.
[email protected] says
Hi there! the photograph of the empty seats at the stadium is breathtaking! Which future events would you be covering soon?
It seems so cool to me to visit someplace that you’ve seen on TV, or in a movie, or heard about since you were little. A magical feeling, as I’m sure you know. 🙂
Sujan Das says
The stadium look is pretty nice ! It’s a really cool and nice idea to keep the sports things to our memory.
Rasmikant Panda says
I went a couple weeks ago and I must say I was really stunned at this ground. It was fresh, helpful atmosphere, and the area itself was heating.
Tom Ben says
I am uncertain as to why a group that can invest so much cash on their gamers would offer lovers with such a dreadful position to look at activities.