Canada won’t let Blue Jays play home games in Toronto

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Baseball’s plan for a truncated season has hit an unexpected hurdle.

Canada’s lone MLB team won’t be permitted to play in Toronto this year, because Canada has declined to allow it.

“Unlike preseason training, regular-season games would require repeated cross-border travel of Blue Jays players and staff, as well as opponent teams into and out of Canada,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said, via ESPN.com. “Of particular concern, the Toronto Blue Jays would be required to play in locations where the risk of virus transmission remains high.

“Based on the best-available public health advice, we have concluded the cross-border travel required for MLB regular-season play would not adequately protect Canadians’ health and safety. As a result, Canada will not be issuing a National Interest Exemption for the MLB’s regular season at this time.”

That’s a semi-tactful way of recognizing that the United States has become a COVID-19 clusterfudge, with an outbreak sufficiently severe and unchecked to prompt Canada to decline to allow the Blue Jays to invite Americans teams to Ontario or to play in Canada after playing in the U.S.

“The safety of the broader community — our fans — and the team remained the priority of everyone involved, and with that, the club completely respects the federal government’s decision,” Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said in a statement, via ESPN.com. “Though our team will not be playing home games at Rogers Centre this summer, our players will take the field for the 2020 season with the same pride and passion representative of an entire nation. We cannot wait until the day comes that we can play in front of our fans again on Canadian soil.”

The Blue Jays are exploring alternative sites for their home games, including the team’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida and the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. Via ESPN.com, the lights at the Buffalo park may not be acceptable for Major League games.

26 responses to “Canada won’t let Blue Jays play home games in Toronto

  1. A strong majority of Canadians have said they would like to see the border closed to non-essential travel until the New Year.

  2. I do not blame them at all. The United States is the laughing stock of the world with all these cases of the virus. Why you say, most do not want to wear a mask. Simple answer.

  3. This could have been avoided. Poor leadership from the very top, from the very beginning. And still no National policy???

  4. Can’t the Blue Jays just play all their games on the road – there’s no fans at the games anyways – so wouldn’t be at much of a disadvantage anyways.

  5. This is huge news. It’s more than a team playing on the road all year. The team has to choose between playing in covid hot spot, a non major league facility or at another team’s stadium. Any of those options are beyond a hardship to all while managing their individual health.

    The broader message is most countries are flattening the curve and they don’t want American visitors. Wake up!!! Like Faucci said a bubble is only way.

  6. Canada is a stupid socialist country. Why can Toronto be a hub city for NHL hockey but the Blue Bays cannot play in their own city? Politicians in both the United States and Canada are losing their minds. Maybe the Blue Jays can play in the Expo’s old stadium. A dumb gutless move by the leaders of Canada. Absolutely pathetic!

  7. mdintino1420 says:
    July 18, 2020 at 8:38 pm
    Canada is a stupid socialist country. Why can Toronto be a hub city for NHL hockey but the Blue Bays cannot play in their own city? Politicians in both the United States and Canada are losing their minds. Maybe the Blue Jays can play in the Expo’s old stadium. A dumb gutless move by the leaders of Canada. Absolutely pathetic

    We have socialized medicine. Taxes are high..but you don’t lose everything if you get sick. And Montreal is still in Canada. The only part you got right is we have a complete moron rich kid for a prime minister

  8. Flo if the NFL does proceed, could an NFL team say Miami or a Cali team be impacted in a similar manner or would they just shut everything down?

  9. Ontario health officials recorded 111 new cases of COVID-19 for the second straight day, as well as a slight increase in deaths.
    Officials confirmed on Friday that nine more people have died of the novel coronavirus. On Thursday, the province recorded that five people had died.

    The Florida Department of Health reported 156 new coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, the most yet in a 24-hour period. Plus an increase of 13,965 cases from the previous day.

    Case closed – Blue Jays going to travel and play in Tampa Bay and Texas – and then come back to Canada – NO WAY. Hockey is only in a bubble in Toronto or Edmonton – no travel – wise move there.

  10. mdintino1420 says:
    July 18, 2020 at 8:38 pm
    Canada is a stupid socialist country. Why can Toronto be a hub city for NHL hockey but the Blue Bays cannot play in their own city? Politicians in both the United States and Canada are losing their minds. Maybe the Blue Jays can play in the Expo’s old stadium. A dumb gutless move by the leaders of Canada. Absolutely pathetic!

    The teams in the NHL will be in a bubble and not travelling over the border multiple times. That’s the difference and that socialist country is handling the pandemic a lot better than this one is.

  11. Will Toronto’s NFL team have the same issue? Oh, I forgot, no NFL team in the city that doesn’t support football at ANY level.

  12. “Yes Yes Very smart move because the mask wearing public in Canada demands it.”

    LOL, they didn’t consult the public.

    And yeah, if you’re under the impression everyone in Canada is wearing a mask, you are very, very mistaken.

  13. The last thing we need here are citizens of a country who can’t handle this pandemic coming over at free will. Thankfully they’re doing the right thing by not letting them in. The USA is a third world country dressed in an Armani suit.

  14. This is not unexpected. Canada has limited travel from the outset of the pandemic. I assume that the Blue Jays will play in a park in New York, probably at a minor league park.

  15. The NHL did the right thing by playing all their games in Canada and Canada is doing the right thing with the Bluejays. Our country is an absolute mess and distancing oneself from the US is the right move.

  16. The Blue Jays should immediately begin looking to move out of Canada after this. Screw Canada, plenty of cities like Charlotte that would love a MLB team.

  17. Buffalo fans will embrace this team very well. Just a great city and great group of people.

  18. Buffalo built their stadium with the idea that it could be quickly upgraded to support a major league team should they be able to acquire one through relocation or expansion. Obviously, that never happened, but they could probably upgrade the lighting if needed and focus on playing day games until the additional lights are added.

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