Canada Says No To Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are looking for a new home after the Canadian government announced that they would not be allowed to play in their home stadium.
The government in Canada does not think it is safe to have players and teams traveling back and forth between Canada and the United States.
The Blue Jays made an official request to the government in hopes of returning to the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Marco Mendicino, immigration minister, announced that the request was denied in large part thanks to a recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Toronto is set to begin their season on Friday in Tampa Bay, and their home opener is scheduled for July 29. This means that the Blue Jays have less than 10 days to find a new home ballpark, although there are several options on the table.
Dunedin, Fla., is the spring training home of the Blue Jays, and it could serve as a temporary home field for the 2020 season. The Blue Jays have also considered playing their games in Buffalo, NY, where their Triple-A affiliate normally plays.
The city and provincial governments had given the Blue Jays permission to play games in Toronto, but the federal government had the final say. The other 29 Major League teams will be playing in their home stadiums, but spectators will not be allowed.
Canada is allowing the National Hockey League to use a pair of cities as “hubs” for the restart of their season, but all of the teams and players will remain in these cities. The NHL applied for waivers to allow players and staff to travel to Toronto and Edmonton without being forced to quarantine for 14 days.
Canada has done a much better job than the United States of containing the coronavirus and limiting the spread. Their country has seen a decrease in positive tests, while the numbers are on the rise in the US.
Blue Jays Looking to Share Parks?
According to sources, the Toronto Blue Jays are seeking out other Major League teams in an effort to share stadiums during the 2020 regular season. The Blue Jays would prefer to play their home games in an MLB stadium rather than a minor league facility.
General Manager Ross Atkins acknowledged that the Blue Jays had reached out to several teams in the league, and stated that his team has at least five contingency plans in place. On Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates indicated that they were one of the teams that the Blue Jays spoke to.
Toronto does not feel comfortable playing its games in Florida as the state is one of the hotspots of the pandemic. The Blue Jays have also announced that Sahlen Field in Buffalo has several infrastructure problems that would make it hard to play Major League games at that facility.
Players in the Blue Jays organization have also announced a desire to play games at a Major League stadium. Expect an official announcement by the end of the week from the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball.
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