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Toronto FC officially allowed to start playing home games at BMO Field again

Sports fans in Toronto can finally look forward to getting to watch their favourite local team play on home turf again — when it comes to one sport, at least.

Toronto FC made the big, long-awaited announcement on Wednesday afternoon that they will be returning to BMO Field, and soon, too: their first match in the city in more than 10 months will be this coming Saturday, July 17, just one day after Ontario moves into the third and final step of its roadmap to reopen.

A total of 7,000 people will be allowed to attend the event in-person, which is surprisingly in line with provincial guidelines for events during Step 3, which permit outdoor sports fields to fill their stands to up to 75 per cent of their usual capacity, or 15,000 people, whichever is less.

Limits will be upped to the 15,000 for the team's next home game on July 21.

"The importance of this return home for our team can't be overstated," Toronto FC president Bill Manning said in a press release today.

"It has been a long, hard time on the road due to pandemic protocols and we have greatly missed the energy and support of our fans at BMO Field. Our return to Canada gave the team an incredible boost this week and we look forward to an emotional night at BMO Field with our fans on Saturday."

Manning had said at a press conference earlier this month that he was confident and hopeful that his team would be back playing in Toronto by the end of this week based on the stringent public health protocols the league and venue has in place.

Next up will be the Toronto Blue Jays, who Mayor John Tory said he is advocating be able to return to play games for fans at the Rogers Centre by September.

Lead photo by

Worrawat Engchuan

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