Coronavirus: Toronto Blue Jays Still Determining Where To Play Their Shortened Season


The Toronto Blue Jays will return to the Rogers Center for a training camp after the Major League Baseball team was granted an exemption Thursday by the Canadian government, but where they will play their shortened COVID-19 regular season remains unclear.Since the border with the United States is closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21, anyone entering Canada must isolate themselves for 14 days.

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Under such restrictions, it would be impossible for the Blue Jays to enter the United States and return to their homes, and opposing teams would enter Canada for matches without government, public health approval at the municipal, provincial levels. and federal.

“There are a host of travel and logistics issues that create complexities that we still need to work out to satisfy Public Health Canada in particular,” said Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro at the meeting. ” a conference call. “We will try to do it next week.

“I think it’s probably pretty important that we get some clarity on where we are going to play our games in the next seven to 10 days. ”

Shapiro has made it clear that the club’s first preference would be to play regular season home games at the Rogers Center, but they are exploring other site options if they are unable to obtain the necessary government approvals.

The Blue Jays were in limbo as they gathered at their spring training base in Dunedin, Florida, one of the states that saw a dramatic spike in new cases of coronavirus.

The club said the players and team staff are completing admission control to Dunedin and will be taking private charter flights to Toronto this weekend.

Upon arrival in Toronto, the team will train at the Rogers Center and live in a hotel adjacent to the domed stadium.

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The MLB and its player association agreed on a shortened 60-game season last month.

Training camps started opening on July 1 and the season is expected to start on July 23 or 24.

Shapiro admitted that the MLB plan is not without risks, especially with the increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States, but that it is worth it.

“This whole plan would not be without risk, we all understood that coming,” said Shapiro. “I don’t think we could do it more safely than we do. ”

© 2020 Reuters


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