Toronto Blue Jays will play home games in Florida to start season

Feb 18 2021, 3:29 pm

The Toronto Blue Jays will have a new home for this season, at least to start.

The team announced that they will begin this season playing games at their spring training home of TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida.

“Like all Canadians, we had hoped to see improvements in the public health outlook as we neared the 2021 baseball season,” a team statement said. “With the ongoing Canada-US border closure, we have made the difficult decision to play the first two homestands of the 2021 regular season (through May 2) at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, with the hopes of a return to play at Rogers Centre as soon as possible.”

This shift in venue covers homestands on April 8-14 against the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees, as well as April 27-May 2 versus the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.

The Blue Jays said last week they will host a limited number of fans (15% capacity) for games at TD Ballpark. Protocols for those attending included tickets sold in pods of two or four seats, face coverings for entry, symptom screening, and hand sanitizing stations.

“Next to the health and safety of our fans, players and staff, the Blue Jays’ top priority is returning home to play on Canadian soil as soon as it is safe to do so. The club has been actively working through plans for what a safe return to Rogers Centre could look like, while also scenario planning alternatives.”

“We want to thank all Canadians for everything they have done to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. It is through these efforts that we can hope for warm summer nights under the open Rogers Centre roof, as your Toronto Blue Jays push for the postseason.”

Last season, the Blue Jays were forced to leave Toronto due to border closures and found themselves playing regular-season games in Buffalo, New York.

The team will wait to determine the status of the May 14-24 series with Philadelphia, Boston, Tampa Bay, and beyond.

The Blue Jays will open up their spring training schedule on Sunday, February 28, while their regular season schedule will begin on April 27.

Jacob WhiteJacob White

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