The Blue Jays will play a majority of their home games this season in Buffalo, N.Y., the club officially announced Friday.
Per said statement, the Jays will be taking up residence at Sahlen Field, where the Buffalo Bisons, the club’s Triple-A affiliate, play.
This news comes two days after Toronto’s initial plan to play the majority of its 2020 home games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pa. fell through after the Pennsylvania Department of Health denied the club’s request to share the ballpark with the Pirates this year while citing the risks that would involve.
Baltimore’s Camden Yards, home of the Orioles, and Dunedin’s TD Ballpark, the Jays’ spring training home, had also been viewed as possible contingency plans for Toronto, but due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Baltimore County and Florida, those ideas were seemingly thrown out the window.
Instead, after the Canadian government ruled last week that the Blue Jays could not play at Rogers Centre this season, the country’s lone MLB team finally has a home for 2020.
The Blue Jays are scheduled to play the Red Sox 10 times during this truncated 60-game season, and three of those games will now take place in Buffalo from August 25 through August 27 if all goes according to plan.
Contrary to what was posted on here earlier Wednesday, the Red Sox will not be traveling to Pittsburgh for their lone road series of the year against the Toronto Blue Jays this season.
That being the case because, according to The Associated Press’ Marc Levy, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will not allow the Jays to play their home games at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This decision from the PDH comes despite the fact that the Blue Jays and Pirates had already reached an agreement to share the ballpark for this truncated, 60-game season, which for Toronto begins this coming Friday.
With no home ballpark at this point, the Blue Jays have quite a bit of work to do before their “home” opener on July 29 against the Nationals. As a matter of fact, it looks like that series could take place at Nationals Park seeing how the two sides play two games against each other in the nation’s capital right before then.
As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Mason, “It’s unclear where the Jays go from here. Hypothetically, they could play all 30 of their home games in road cities, but that would leave them at a massive disadvantage.”
Alternative venues the Blue Jays could use for their home games in 2020 include TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., the home of their spring training facility, and Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY., the home of their Triple-A affiliate that has been serving as the club’s alternate training site since Summer Camp began.
Baltimore’s Camden Yards has been thrown out there as well.
UPDATE: It looks like this could be falling apart as I am typing this, so there’s that.
The Red Sox were originally supposed to visit PNC Park earlier this month to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game, Independence Day weekend series.
Instead, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Sox will be limited to just playing regional opponents this year, but they will still be making a trip to Pittsburgh after all.
That being the case because, as of Wednesday morning, it looks like the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing a majority of their 2020 home games in the Steel City, barring a few exceptions against the Nationals and Yankees.
This all comes as the Canadian government ruled over the weekend that the Blue Jays would not be permitted to play regular season games in Toronto due to the pandemic. From the Associated Press’ report:
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Saturday the federal government had denied the Blue Jays’ request to play at Rogers Centre, confirming what an official familiar with the matter had told The Associated Press ahead of the announcement.
Ahead of this truncated, 60-game season, the Red Sox are scheduled to play the Jays 10 times in 2020. Three of those games were supposed to take place at Rogers Centre from August 25 through August 27, but it now looks like they will now take place at PNC Park, a venue the Sox last visited in 2014.