The franchise received Canada’s refusal to open its borders with the United States during the regular season. Dunedin and Buffalo are the options.
The Canadian government denied the possibility that Blue Jays can play in Toronto during the regular season of the MLB, amid concerns about the coronavirus.
The franchise had previously been given the go-ahead to play at the Rogers Center by city and provincial governments, but was not endorsed by Canada’s federal government on Saturday.
The border between the United States and Canada is closed to non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those entering Canada must isolate themselves for 14 days and Major League Baseball was trying to obtain an exemption from that requirement.
“Unlike preseason training, regular season games would require repeated cross-border travel by Blue Jays players and staff, as well as opposing teams inside and outside of Canada,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of immigration.
“Of particular concern, Toronto Blue Jays would have to play in places where the risk of transmission of the virus remains high,” the official added.
The Blue Jays are slated to open the season on Friday in Tampa Bay, with Florida a hot spot among coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the first home game is scheduled for July 29, against Washington Nationals, under the possibility of playing at the renovated spring training stadium in Dunedin, Florida.
Another scenario would be playing at Toronto’s Triple-A subsidiary in Buffalo, which is a two-hour drive from Toronto on the opposite side of Lake Ontario.
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