The Toronto Blue Jays will officially be playing home games in Buffalo this season
The Toronto Blue Jays have had a rough time in recent weeks trying to find an American city from which to play home games this unprecedented MLB season.
First, Canada's federal government barred the team from playing at its longtime home in Toronto, the Rogers Centre, on the grounds that letting players travel back and forth across the American border was too risky amid the ongoing global pandemic. Fair.
Then, on Wednesday, rumours started spreading that the Jays would be playing out of PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The state's department of health axed that plan promptly, however, leaving Canada's only professional baseball team without a home once again.
Hartford, Connecticut Mayor Luke Bronin took the opportunity to invite the Jays to come set up shop in his city instead.
That didn't work out either, apparently, because this afternoon — with just hours to go before the team's season opener in Tampa Bay, Florida — the Blue Jays announced that they'd found themselves a new home in nearby Buffalo, New York.
Blue Jays To Stage Majority Of 2020 Home Games In Buffalo. pic.twitter.com/BxlV7cgieJ— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 24, 2020
The Jays will be playing the majority of their home games for the 2020 season at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, just two hours from Toronto (though it doesn't really matter for fans, who can't cross the border anyway.)
"We are extremely grateful to have a home in Buffalo this season, thanks to the openness, creativity, and partnership of the Buffalo Bisons, Major League Baseball and Blue Jays staff, who have worked tirelessly to prepare us for games at Sahlen Field," said Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro in a statement Friday afternoon.
"This process has no doubt tested our team's resilience, but our players and staff refuse to make excuses — we are determined to take the field on Opening Day today, and for the coming months, with the same intensity and competitiveness that our fans expect."
The Jays are still preparing their new stadium home in Buffalo for regulation MLB play, and will thus host their first two home games on July 29 and 30 against the Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C.
Noted the team in its announcement today: "As the timelines for the changes to Sahlen Field are finalized, the Blue Jays will decide between hosting their new home opener either July 31 against the Phillies or August 11 against the Marlins."
Join the conversation Load comments