July 20, 2020

So ... Where Are The Blue Jays Going To Play?

As Kaitlyn McGrath reported on July 18, the Canadian government denied the Blue Jays' request to play their 2020 home games in Toronto.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino:
Based on the best available public health advice, we have concluded the cross-border travel required for MLB regular-season play would not adequately protect Canadians' health and safety. As a result, Canada will not be issuing a National Interest Exemption for the MLB's regular season at this time. ...
We understand professional sports are important to the economy and to Canadians. At the same time, our government will continue to take decisions at the border on the basis of the advice of our health experts in order to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.
The Blue Jays' first home game is scheduled for Wednesday, July 29. The main options are TD Ballpark (the team's training facility in Dunedin, Florida) and Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York (home of the Jays' AAA affiliate).

The Blue Jays recently upgraded the lighting system at TD Ballpark to meet MLB standards, but with SARS-CoV-2 raging out of control in Florida, playing in Buffalo would be less risky. But Sahlen Field is not equipped with major-league-quality facilities and its lighting system is not up to MLB standards for night games.

The team said they have been discussing additional options, but did not elaborate. Rochester, New York (home of the Twins' AAA team) might be one possibility. The Pirates and Rays both have offered to share their parks, though in both cases, the teams' schedules might need some fiddling.

No comments: