July 19, 2005
WWE-Jays promise entertaining tag team
Back when it was known as SkyDome, the Rogers Centre in Toronto hosted two WrestleManias. Wednesday night, its main tenant, the Blue Jays, revisit past wrestling glory with WWE legends Roddy Piper, Bobby Heenan and "Mean" Gene Okerlund on hand for a game versus the Seattle Mariners.
The trio of personalities will do more than just watch the game, however. They will be active participants in the entertainment aspect of the evening.
"Mean Gene Okerlund will be hosting the event, and he and the other legends, Roddy Piper and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, will be involved in the throwing of the first pitch," said Rob Godfrey, Senior Vice President of Communications & External Relations for the Jays. "Roddy will be singing Take me out to the Ballgame, and will also be hosting a live edition of Piper's Pit. Fans in attendance may win the chance to meet one of the legends in person."
Godfrey sees the marriage with WWE as a logical one, bringing more entertainment to the baseball fans.
"Demographically, WWE is largely male-skewed, which is somewhat different from baseball, which is more of an even male-female split. But it is incumbent on the Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre to reach out to fans who might not have been here in a while," Godfrey said. "We believe that WWE Day will get wrestling fans to the stadium, where they can see what the newly-renovated stadium has to offer."
The Jays and Rogers Digital Cable (having just announced the arrival of the specialty channel WWE 24/7 north of the border) are offering special $2 tickets in the 500 Level, 200 Level Outfield and 200 Family Zone seats.
Piper, Okerlund and Heenan will tape some vignettes for the bigscreen before the game, and conduct in-game hosting and contesting.
"Toronto has always been a very special place for me because it's been home to some of my biggest matches and to some of the greatest wrestling fans in the world," Piper said in the WWE press release announcing the event. "I want those fans to come out and take over Rogers Centre, they way we did twice before for Wrestlemania VI and X8. So the Hot Rod took it upon himself to pull some people aside and get a deal worked out for you."
Piper's Pit will run between an inning, but Godfrey isn't 100% sure what will go down. "I wish I knew what he has planned, but you never know what Roddy will come up with -- no doubt, it will be exciting."
Game time is 7:07 pm, and tickets can be obtained by calling (416) 341-1234 or 1-888-OK-GO-JAY, by logging on to www.bluejays.com or in person at the Blue Jays Box Office, Jays Shop locations and select Rogers Video locations.