Despite approval from the city provincial governments of Toronto, the Toronto Blue Jays will not be gracing Rogers Centre in 2020. The team needed an exemption to the recent ruling by the Canadian government that anyone entering the country for non-essential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days.
— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) July 18, 2020
The Canadian government feels it is unsafe for players to travel back and forth between Canada and the United States. The latter is one of the most impacted countries by the Covid-19 pandemic. On Saturday, Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino denied the Blue Jays request. They will not play their 2020 schedule in the Rogers Centre.
This is quite frustrating for the Blue Jays organization. Before the Canadian government put the restriction in place, the team was able to be at their facilities in Toronto. The team was housed in a hotel attached to the Rogers Centre and with potential $551,000 fines on the table, planed to limit players to the hotel.
All 29 other Major League teams will play their games within their home ballparks. They will be doing so without fans during the shortened 60-game season which begins July 23. Mendicino told the Associated Press that surging cases in the United States was the biggest issue.
The Decision Handed Down
The tough decision to effectively kick the Blue Jays out of Rogers Centre for the season came to the team via a phone call. One option for the Blue Jays will be their Spring Training facility in Dunedin, Florida. Therein lies, a slight problem as Florida has recently become another hotspot for COVID-19. Their Triple-A complex in Buffalo, NY is also an option.
Not that it will matter much for Toronto, but they will be trading away quite a bit of stadium-size in the move. Rogers Centre houses 53,506 seats while TB Ballpark in Dunedin Florida holds just 8,500 seats and Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY seats 10,000.
All of this comes after the NHL received an exemption to the 14-day quarantine rule. From that, any NHL games played within the Canada border will be restricted to either Edmonton or Toronto.
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