The Toronto Blue Jays will lastly finish their prolonged keep in Florida, returning to a well-recognized place up north this summer season.
No, not Rogers Centre in Toronto, but Sahlen Field in Buffalo, their residence stadium throughout the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
After playing the first two months of the 2021 season at their spring coaching facility in Dunedin, Fla., the Blue Jays introduced on Wednesday that on June 1 they may shift residence bases, as had been anticipated, to Buffalo, the residence of their Class AAA affiliate.
“The club’s goal has always been to return to play on home soil as soon as it is safe to do so, and until then, the team will play its home games at Sahlen Field,” the staff stated in an announcement.
With new each day coronavirus instances and Covid-19 deaths nonetheless comparatively excessive in the province of Ontario, and the Canada-U.S. border remaining closed for nonessential journey, the Blue Jays didn’t have the possibility of returning to Toronto. The warmth and humidity in Florida will solely worsen in the summer season months, which performed a job in the staff’s determination.
To accommodate the Blue Jays, the Buffalo Bisons are enjoying their minor league season, which started on Tuesday, in Trenton, N.J. The Buffalo stadium, which underwent renovations earlier than final season, was additional upgraded to permit for followers to return to the stands this summer season. The Blue Jays stated that, in accordance with native and state pointers, they’d function at 24 % capability, or about 4,000 individuals. In Dunedin, they’ve been restricted to simply over 1,500.
Among the further adjustments to the Buffalo stadium, in accordance to the Blue Jays: The bullpens had been moved from foul territory to behind the outfield partitions, batting cages had been put in past proper subject, a weight room was constructed, the clubhouse amenities had been renovated and the lighting of the subject was improved with two further, momentary mild towers.
Last 12 months, the Blue Jays had been granted an exemption to maintain summer season exercises at Rogers Centre, but their plan to host regular-season video games was rejected by the Canadian authorities over fears regarding the pandemic and journey. The Blue Jays additionally tried to share a stadium with the Baltimore Orioles or the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In the finish, they wound up in Buffalo, the place they had been 17-9. They completed with a 32-28 report, which earned them a wild-card berth in the expanded playoffs. They misplaced their wild-card collection to the Tampa Bay Rays, two video games to none.
Expected to contend once more this season behind a younger core that features Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer, the Jays had been 14-14 getting into Wednesday’s video games, second to final in a muddled American League East. Springer has performed in solely 4 video games due to accidents, and different key gamers, reminiscent of Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., have struggled.