The Toronto Blue Jays won’t return to their up-north home anytime soon.
On Tuesday, the Blue Jays confirmed that their third homestand of the upcoming MLB regular season has been relocated to their spring training facility of TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., due to the continued closure of the border that separates the United States and Canada to non-essential travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), the Blue Jays announced on Feb. 18 that their first two homestands would be played in Florida. To date, Toronto now has 22 of 81 home games scheduled to occur at TD Ballpark rather than Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays won’t return to Toronto until May 31, an off day, at the absolute earliest.
For the pandemic-shortened 2020 regular season, Toronto temporarily relocated to Buffalo and compiled a 17-9 record there. The Blue Jays could again host games in Buffalo later this spring or summer if they fail to receive clearance from Canadian government officials to return to Toronto for homestands.
Last week, multiple outlets reported the Canadian government was willing to decrease quarantine periods from 14 days to seven for NHL players traded from American clubs to Canadian sides ahead of the April 12 trade deadline. Seven-day quarantines would drastically interfere with MLB schedules and prevent the Blue Jays from welcoming opponents to Toronto under current guidelines.
The Blue Jays hope to fill TD Ballpark to 15% capacity for home games that begin April 8. Typically, the venue seats approximately 8,500 fans.