The Blue Jays fly south for the summer, but the flight won’t be too long.
The club makes Buffalo, New York its nest for the 2020 MLB season after the Canadian government announced that it would not allow the US-Canada border to travel back and forth.
The Jays say they will play the “majority” of their home games in 2020 in Sahlen Field, home of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
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The pirates originally said they would make the Blue Jays feel at home in Pittsburgh, but the Pennsylvania government was not a fan of the idea. On Wednesday, the state health minister Dr. Rachel Levine (according to The Associated Press) said the club would not be approved.
“The number of COVID-19 cases in southwest Pennsylvania has increased significantly in recent weeks,” Levine said in an AP statement. “To accommodate travelers to this region for any reason, including for professional sporting events, residents, visitors and members of both teams are at risk.”
The plan to play in Pittsburgh was the next best bet after Buffalo appeared to have been eliminated at the start of the process. The removal was obviously only temporary. Due to the cancellation of the MiLB season, the building in Buffalo was not used.
With MLB’s regional schedule, the Pittsburgh plan would have had four divisions – NL Central, AL Central, AL East and NL East – playing in Pittsburgh this year.
The Orioles and several small league cities also wooed the Jays before Toronto finally chose Buffalo.
Toronto’s enforcement of the Blue Jays, which remain in the house during summer training, was very strict, with severe penalties when players leave their hotel or stadium bubble. If players were seen outside the Rogers Center, they would have been fined $ 750,000 and possibly jailed.
The Jays were originally scheduled to play their first home game on July 29th. Planning updates have yet to be published.