Then there’s the joy of joining my teams on the road. This takes fandom to the next level, as a special bond forms between fans and teams when they meet in hostile territory. It’s also an excellent way to show off my squads' colours: Visiting fans tend to get more screen time, especially when outrageous dance moves, partial nudity and body paint are thrown in.
The Blue Jays may be in third place on my fandom depth chart, but they come in first for fancations. After all, no pro league is better for fan vacations than Major League Baseball. Away series include more than a single game, and give fans more time to explore enemy turf, which in most cases is very cool. Taking in a Jays game from atop the “Green Monster” left-field wall at Boston’s Fenway Park (pictured above), for instance, was a highlight of my sporting life, and not just because the Fenway Franks are ridiculous. My seat, one of 274, looked down on the oldest ballpark in the major leagues – it opened in 1912, and I could feel the history and memories – and the place is surrounded by a fun mix of eateries and taverns.
Between games there’s the rest of Boston, of course, which offers other opportunities to be “that fan” at NBA, NHL and NFL games, along with countless other big-city diversions.
You know what? I’ve talked myself into another trip. I know tickets to MLB road games are usually easy to nab via home teams’ official websites – 162-game schedule and all – but there’s more to fancations than tickets: When are the Jays in Boston this season? Where should I stay? What about getting there? And where can I buy non-permanent blue body paint?
This is where Expedia Canada steps in. The Jays’ long-time official partner takes the headaches out of planning a Blue Jays fancation with a dedicated hub that not only saves money and hassle by bundling hotel stays with airfare – all the better to buy more Fenway Franks – but lets fans browse by MLB city and only displays dates when the Jays are there. I select “Boston,” for instance, and instantly see when the Blue Birds are in town and can filter accommodations and flights based on ratings and price.
Now I’m hooked. My MLB bucket list also includes New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Seattle, Baltimore, Atlanta…OK, pretty much every American League city. Even Detroit! But in Motown, I’d prefer to book a hotel that hasn’t been used as a zombie-apocalypse movie set, and Expedia.ca helps with that.
Do you like New York in June? You should, although the Big Apple is notoriously expensive at that time of year. But with the Expedia.ca service I found a four-night stay in a well-regarded hotel, including airfare and taxes, for $600 a person (based on double occupancy).
If it’s good enough for Ace, as the video below shows, it must be good enough for me…