Blue Jays will not be playing home games in Pittsburgh after all
Following the news that the Toronto Blue Jays won't be playing home games at the Rogers Centre — despite the fact that Ontario Premier Doug Ford seemed pretty certain they would be — fans have been wondering what city the team would select as a temporary home for the season.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Jays would likely be using PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as their home stadium for 2020 games, splitting it with the Pittsburgh Pirates — something people are finding amusing considering that as per the NHL's hub city plan, Pittsburgh's hockey team will be here in Toronto to play out their season.
*Pssst.....* Toronto people, did we just successfully trade the Blue Jays for the Penguins?— Rick (@Rick_City) July 22, 2020
The decision was still pending local and state officials' approval early Wednesday, but by the afternoon, the Pennsylvania Department of Health had in fact turned down the idea, to the surprise of many.
HARRISBURG _ The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced today that it will not allow the Toronto Blue Jays to play their shortened 2020 season at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. https://t.co/ofArj5fsws— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) July 22, 2020
Toronto is one of two cities that has been selected as a hub to host 12 of 24 NHL teams playing for the Stanley Cup this year (the other being Edmonton) — a model that health officials have lauded over the MLB's plan, which will see teams traveling to and fro between cities and over the Canada-U.S. border for games.
It was this part of the league's resumption of play proposal that caused the federal government to deem home games for the Jays in Toronto too risky for public safety.
So the Pittsburgh 🏒 team will be playing home games in Toronto...and the Toronto baseball ⚾️ team will be playing home games in Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/rq7ccKGneS— Jeff Verszyla (@Verz) July 22, 2020
While the Pittsburgh Penguins and other Eastern Conference hockey teams will live and play in a designated "bubble" campus in Toronto — which the Jays are likewise doing for Summer Camp training at the Rogers Centre right now — the Jays will have a total of 30 home and away games at multiple locations as part of an amended 60-game regular-season schedule.
I have see some more. Take a Look!!!👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/4zuCYJYj7H— The G.F. Liverpool™© (@gliverpool9966) July 22, 2020
The MLB does have a number of COVID-19 protocols in place, including reduced player pools and active rosters, social distancing, and regular temperature checks and virus testing.
It also developed a detailed 100+-page document outlining how the season would be run amid the pandemic, which Ford, Toronto Mayor John Tory and others thought meant gameplay in Toronto would be a sure thing.
This sums up sports in 2020;The Toronto Blue Jays will play home games in Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Penguins will play home games in Toronto @Sportsnet @thehazelmae @ArdenZwelling @MLB @nhl @tim_micallef @Sid_Seixeiro @JeffMarek @FriedgeHNIC @BlueJays @penguins #toronto #Pitt https://t.co/SmRRfpm1ru— Paul Zarnett (@paulzarnett) July 22, 2020
The Jays are due to play their home opener against the Washington Nationals on July 29, but now that PNC Park is out of the question, it is not yet known where the game will take place.
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