The Blue Jays will make their first visit to the playoffs in 22 years on Thursday, and pubs around campus are getting ready for the rush. Because it’s an afternoon game, classrooms and office buildings around the city could be sparsely attended after noon.
Some will be lucky enough to be at the Rogers Centre while many others will pack Toronto bars to take in the action.
Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the idea of the work day being cut short.
I vote for no work day for toronto fans on thursdy or friday so they can watch the games #nationalholiday
— R.A. Dickey (@RADickey43) October 5, 2015
While it’s unlikely that the country will add a statutory holiday on such short notice, Ryerson’s student-run pub Ram in the Rye has been preparing since the playoff push began. Food and beverage manager Rick Knapp has been running a special on tall boy beers, similar to the ones offered at the Rogers Centre during games. They’re also holding contests for chances to win Jays clothing.
The Ram in the Rye will pool all the ballots and give away a pair of Blue Jays playoff tickets, depending on the outcome of the playoffs.
“If you don’t have class, you’re going to be here,” Knapp said.
But he made sure to warn that he would never encourage students to skip class.
“I would never advocate somebody to skip class to watch a sports game but imagine there’s going to be folks who may, especially as we get further into the playoffs,” Knapp said.
Knapp remembers when he was in school and working at a University of Guelph pub as the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Series titles in the early 90s. He said he wants the atmosphere at his bar to emulate that nostalgia.
“It was madness, absolute madness. I kind of expect a similar vibe this year, especially given that it’s been such a long time,” he said.
Down on Front Street, closer to the action, general manager of The Loose Moose pub Mark Di-Giulio wants his establishment to be a playoff hub. He’s sporting no-cover and a live band following the game.
But despite the crowd of fans that will stream out of the Rogers Centre four blocks away, Di-Giulio isn’t worried about security.
“We’ll have security but we aren’t worried about that anymore,” he said. “We’ve got great clientele. They’re here because they love baseball and Toronto.”
The 29-year-old is confident that some Torontonians will skip work to catch the game.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of people calling in sick to their day jobs on Thursday,” he said.