For years and years I have been heading to the dome to watch the Jays. For the majority of those years I have made my home in the 500 Level, a sucker for cheap tickets with a good view of the field.
I have probably been to at least 80 games in the upper deck, maybe even 100, and in all of those games there had always been one thing that had eluded me, one 500 Level curiousity that I had never laid eyes on. It was a phenomenon, like Bigfoot – though there were rumours of its existence, I wasn’t quite sure if it was true.
But a few weeks ago, I found it, saw it with my own two eyes. It does, indeed, exist.
I’m talking about section 520 – The Non Drinking Zone.
Even though I found it, I remain confused as to its purpose. In theory I can see the point of the section. Parents can take smaller children there without sitting beside drunks who swear and slur. But in reality, it is useless. The same drunks that you want to be protected from are still sitting one section over. You can still hear the swearing and the slurring. You are only a few feet away from any potential drunken brawls.
But it exists and it is monitored quite heavily by Rogers Centre security. Step one foot inside the section while carrying a beer and a blue jacket will start walking up the stairs to remove you.
The staff does a fine job of keeping the section clear, but sometimes can be a bit slow to the punch.
It is times like these when this man steps up:
The 500 Level Fan of the Game for June 14th – the Non Drinking Zone Enforcer.
He sat in the aisle seat, all the better to make sure not a single drop of alcohol crossed his path. His eyes were constantly on the lookout for scoundrels trying to smuggle a $10 beer into his section, almost like a Prohibition era cop looking for bootleggers. I’m not even sure he even watched (or cared about) the game.
On three separate occassions moves were made, daring young souls encroaching on his territory with a beer in hand. Determined to press forward and penetrate the Zone, the drinkers placed one foot, then a second into NDZ (No Drink Zone) territory. But they were destined to fail from the start, as the Enforcer would not be fooled or intimidated.
One look was enough to freeze anybody in their tracks, make hairs on the backs of necks stand up. But it was the voice that really sent them scurrying, the stern “Excuse me! This is a NON DRINKING SECTION!”.
The Enforcer was also armed with a camera around his neck – at least we thought it was a camera. Equipped with a long zoom lens, the camera was NEVER ONCE USED! I never saw a photo taken of the field, never even saw him peer through the viewfinder. There was speculation that it might actually be a sniper rifle, giving the Enforcer weaponry against intruding drinkers.
Though he ended up leaving early, the Enforcer was effective. So deep was the fear that he placed on those around him, that even after his departure not a single beer drinker tried to sit in the NDZ.
A job well done, and a fan of the game award well deserved.