Toronto has a great variety of professional sports for all tastes and ages.
By Benny Hakak*
It is popular wisdom that one cannot really know a country before discovering the different tastes of its cuisine. To a certain extent, the same logic can be also applied to sports. For Brazilians living in Canada, it is clear that the sports menu here is incredibly more varied than in our homeland, mainly dominated by soccer.
In Toronto, the main sports venue of the country, four professional teams belong to four main North-American league sports: the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL/Hockey), the Raptors (NBA/Basketball), Toronto FC (MLS/Soccer) and the Blue Jays (MLB/Baseball). Without mentioning the Toronto Argonauts, of the CFL (Canadian Football League), Toronto Rock, of the NLL (National Lacrosse League), or Toronto Marlies, of the AHL (access league to the NHL) and the Buffalo Bills, of the NFL (read more on the chart). With so much variety, anybody can choose a sport. Which is yours?
Baseball is the summer sport
Thanks to the end of the regular NBA and NHL seasons, the main sports alternative for those living in the Greater Toronto Area is to watch the Blue Jays play at the beautiful Rogers Centre, a covered stadium located at the city’s heart and able to accommodate nearly 50 thousand people. Also, differently than attending a Toronto Maple Leafs match, going to see a baseball game is an activity that fits any budget.
Once in the stadium, try to get into the mood and understand the rules. The ideal is to go with somebody who understands the specifics of the game, or you can even read about the sport on the Internet. Many say that the beauty of baseball is in the details; so, it is worth reading about the dynamics of the match before leaving home.
If you think a trip to the Rogers Centre is only activity for those who cheer, you are wrong. Going to a game is guaranteed entertainment even for those who do not understand very much about the sport. Inside the stadium the spectators will find many shops and eating options. Regarding the food, besides the traditional fast-foods, the stadium has four restaurants with seating areas, all with a spectacular panoramic view of the field. If you prefer to save your money, arrive earlier and taste the classic beef hot-dogs around the stadium. Whatever might be your experience outside the field, during the match you should keep an eye on the pitcher and hope for a game with many home runs!
NFL in Canada
After years of speculation, the NFL, America’s National Football League, has finally arrived in Canada. The Buffalo Bills will play eight preseason and regular season games between 2008 and 2012 at the Rogers Centre. Many believe that those games will be a real test, assessing the likelihood of the successful North-American league establishing itself in the land of hockey.
*Carioca Benny Hakak is a marketing professional specialized in Sports Marketing and Digital Marketing.