Blue Jays stadium security under review after rowdy Game 5
More than 30 fans kicked out of Game 5, 1 charged with mischief
The Rogers Centre security team will review how it handled a tense Game 5 that saw Blue Jays fans hurling beer cans from their seats, prompting police to flood the field three times Wednesday, the head of security announced Thursday.
Enraged fans threw dozens of cans following a controversial call, ratcheting up the tension in the do-or-die Game 5 of the American League Division Series that pitted the Jays against the Texas Rangers.
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Some fans told CBC News they worried the mob mentality will worsen as the stakes rise. And with the Jays returning to play their first home game in the American League Championship Series on Monday, some suggested the stadium should beef up its security presence.
150 security guards, 93 police officers
About 150 security guards and 93 police officers manned the Rogers Centre on Wednesday, and the stadium's vice-president of security said he plans to stick with those numbers for future games.
"We had ample police presence inside the building but when you have 49,000 people, if they misbehave, it's always going to be a challenge," Mario Coutinho told reporters. "And we also had a lot of people who were really upset at those individuals who were throwing things on the field. So, overall, our staff and our police will always look to try to maintain order."
Police officers and security threw 30 people out of Wednesday's game, and also charged a 33-year-old man with mischief after spray from his beer can allegedly soaked a baby.
On Wednesday, police called in officers stationed outside the stadium to try to calm the crowd.
'We got this'
After the game, the Jays superstar centre fielder Kevin Pillar told fans to tone it down and trust in the team.
"Keep the bottles in the stands," he said. "We got this – I appreciate the passion, but we got this."
Fans also worried that the rumpus would reflect poorly on Toronto.
"It's not good sportsmanship and people could get hurt," Sue Work told CBC News. "And it's not the way that Canadians or Toronto people want to be perceived by the world."
Vivek Parashar echoed Work in calling the incident "unfortunate."
Both said they found themselves worrying about what might happen if the Jays lost.
"It did have that sense of simmering and obviously I wanted them to win, but also I was just hoping it didn't go bad," Work said.