Fights in the stands. A shouting match in a sports bar. Spouses yelling at one another during a Super Bowl party.
It’s not uncommon for a game to take an unexpected (and unwanted) twist, and for spectators to react in – well, not the best way. But a Toronto sports bar thinks it has the answer: the rage room.
According to Yahoo! News, when patrons are, well, enraged by a questionable call, a bad play, a blown lead (or anything else that happens on the field of play that sends the universe out of whack), that patron can pony up $20 and spend 30 cathartic minutes destroying breakable property in a confined space on the bar's property.
See? We told you it was real.
According to Yahoo!, the premise is simple: Angry participants with fury to spare are suited up in protective gear (including gardening gloves and a paintball mask), handed a baseball bat and encouraged to go wild in a room full of breakables (purchased at yard sales) that they specify. As in: plates, glass vases, wooden chairs, etc.
The first five plates are on the house. The rest of the items are paid for in advance. Mirrors and any additional plates are $2 each, wine glasses are $3, a vase is $5, a chair is $20 and other specialty (mystery) items vary in price. It’s all on the Rage Room Smash Menu.
Smashers are forbidden from bringing their own items, so even if you really, desperately want to break memorabilia from an opposing team (or an ex, or other persona non grata), you can’t.
The Yahoo! article notes that one of the room’s co-founders, Timothy Cheung, told the Guardian that the idea was spurred by a similar service in Serbia. They figured it would do well in a work-focused town like Toronto.
Huffington Post notes the Serbian version was inspired by the Anger Room located in Dallas, Texas. (Oh, and by the way, the Anger Room accepts donations of breakable stuff. Just in case, you know, you weren’t able to bring your opposing team memorabilia or the hideous vase from your ex-mother-in-law into the Toronto rage room with you.)
The Toronto facility noted that it was challenging to find an insurance company to get on board (the liability waver is nothing to be trifled with), although eventually, they were able to secure a policy and then set up shop.
The website for the Anger Room in Dallas bears witness to the liability issues. Its disclaimer reads: Those who are under 13, expectant mothers, sufferers of severe to moderate health conditions including but not limited to heart or lung issues, mental health history or are a danger to themselves or others are not suggested or permitted to participate in the Anger Room activities.
At the moment, the Rage Room is not a widespread concept. But with the success of these facilities, it’s not unlikely other sports bars will follow suit. One can even envision franchises. And then, who can’t see stadiums wanting to get in on the action by installing their own rage facilities? It could be a whole new revenue stream. (Because obviously, there are profits to be made outside of concessions.)