Blue Jays offer $1 tickets to show Toronto is safe

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2003

TORONTO (AP) In an effort to show that Toronto is safe despite the SARS outbreak, the Toronto Blue Jays' parent company is offering $1 dollar tickets for Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.

Rogers Communications Inc., which owns the Blue Jays, said Sunday it had bought all unsold tickets for the game and would bring the community together at SkyDome ... to show its support for the city of Toronto.''

The offer came four days after the World Health Organization warned against travel to Toronto because of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

We encourage everyone to attend the game on Tuesday evening and show the world that Toronto is safe, Toronto is dynamic and Toronto continues to be a world-class city,'' company president Ted Rogers said.

While some visiting players have been nervous about traveling to Toronto, fans haven't been reluctant. The Blue Jays drew 16,417 spectators Friday and 17,197 on Saturday, their second and third-biggest crowds this season.

Kansas City Royals first baseman Ken Harvey didn't let Toronto's SARS outbreak bother him. Harvey said the only precaution he took while in Toronto was washing his hands frequently.

I went out to the mall yesterday,'' Harvey said Sunday. I wasn't going to sit in my hotel room and sulk.''

Catcher Brent Mayne said he enjoyed his weekend in Toronto.

It was fine. I enjoyed the city and it was a good time,'' Mayne said.

Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey said the U.S. ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, accepted an invitation to attend Tuesday's game.

We know that there are so many Torontonians that are scratching their heads and wondering how can the world say that we're an unsafe place,'' Godfrey said. If you didn't read a newspaper or didn't turn a television on and you came to Toronto for the first time you would see a very active city.''

Godfrey estimated SARS already has cost the club the sale of 10,000 tickets and said inquiries for group sales have dropped substantially.

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