This was the only way to solve the scheduling conflict between the G-20 and the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the end, one simple factor over-rode all else: however baseball re-worked the schedule of the three-game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Blue Jays - Roy Halladay's homecoming - the simple fact was that the possibility of protests meant there was absolutely no guarantee that, for example, the TTC Subway would not be shut down as a security measure. All jokes about Blue Jays attendance aside, the last thing the integrated security services wanted was 20,000-30,000 people coming out of the Rogers Centre to join a crowd of protesters. Or, as president and chief executive officer Paul Beeston said: "We would have been bringing people down into an area in which people aren't being asked to come to."
I'm told that a revenue-sharing arrangement has been worked out between the Blue Jays and Phillies that will mitigate the Blue Jays lost revenue. "We will be revenue neutral out of this," said Beeston. From the Phillies point of view, of course, the revenue generated from three dates in which Citizens Bank Park would otherwise be vacant is a bonus. But the revenue sharing still had to take into account the cost of opening and servicing the ballpark. "The might come out ahead a small amount," said Beeston.
The games will be Blue Jays home games, so the designated hitter will be in effect and the Blue Jays will bat last.
Beeston said season ticket holders who paid by cheque will receive a refund and that those who paid by credit card will be credited on their statement. In addition, all season ticket holders will receive a voucher for tickets to another Blue Jays game as will anybody who purchased single-game tickets.
Beeston also said that the Blue Jays have requested that the 2011 regular season schedule include a trip to Toronto by the Phillies in order to allow the Blue Jays to properly honour Halladay, who was traded by the club this winter. The commissioner's office is expected to go along with the request.
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