You may know it as Lamport Stadium, but throughout the summer the Liberty Village-located venue transforms into “The Den” as it becomes home to the most unique and intimate sporting atmosphere in the city.
In 2017, the Wolfpack brought Rugby League to the city of Toronto, and the city has quickly fallen in love with the adrenaline-fuelled sport. The game day experience includes grown men in wolf onesies, a hot dog cannon and a chance to meet some of the toughest athletes in sports.
Before the Match
Plan to arrive an hour before kickoff in order to enjoy the full game day experience. Parking is available at the south end of the stadium off Fraser Ave., as well as nearby on Hanna Ave The area can be busy, however, especially if Toronto FC is also playing at nearby BMO Field. That makes public transit the safest bet. Lamport Stadium is accessible via the 509 King streetcar. The GO train is also an option, as the venue is located just a few minutes walk north of Exhibition station.
Getting a drink or “wolfing” down some food before the match is a breeze with plenty of bars and restaurants surrounding the stadium. Liberty Commons, located at the corner of Liberty St. and Jefferson Ave., is a pregame favourite. A spacious brewpub, fans of all ages can enjoy tasty pub style food such as fish & chips and cottage pie. Local Liberty Village, just two blocks east, is another great option with a roomy outdoor patio.
For fans looking to dress the part for the match, the Wolfpack team store is just across the street at 139 Jefferson Ave. There you can find everything from hats, scarves and official team jerseys to special edition items.
Inside The Den
Lamport Stadium provides a festival-like atmosphere on Wolfpack game days. Both end zones, where many fans remain standing for the entire game, have food and beer tents featuring Ontario craft beers. Either a DJ or live band will be playing, providing a great soundtrack for a memorable day of rugby.
When the game is about to begin, an air horn, traditionally called a “hooter” sounds and the action gets underway. Unfamiliar with rugby? No issue. The in-house announcer coaches fans through certain rules as the game progresses. When half-time rolls around, the Wolfpack’s dance crew, the SheWolves, perform. There’s plenty of food available in the stadium, but if you’re feeling lucky, stay in your seat and wait for the hot dog cannon. Yes, you read that right, one of the highlights of Wolfpack games is watching full sized hot dogs get launched into the stands for fans to enjoy.
Be sure to stick around after the game as Wolfpack players do a lap around the stadium, shaking hands with the audience. Then head over to the beer garden where players from both teams will be having a drink with fans. There’s no other professional sporting event where you can get this up-close-and-personal with the athletes.
About the Author
Mitchell Tierney is a Toronto-based sports journalist who covers the Toronto Wolfpack for League Express magazine and various other British media outlets.