April 21, 2021

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Blue Jays will play 2021 home games in Florida at least through May due to COVID restrictions

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The Toronto Blue Jays will play regular season home games at their spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, through at least the first two months of the season. Last month the club announced they will play their first two homestands in Florida. On Tuesday, they announced they will play their third homestand in Florida as well.

Here are the Blue Jays home series that will take place at TD Ballpark in Dunedin. A total 22 games have already been relocated, or 27 percent of the team’s home schedule.

  • April 8-11 vs. Angels (four games)
  • April 12-14 vs. Yankees (three games)
  • April 27-28 vs. Nationals (two games)
  • April 30 to May 2 vs. Braves (three games)
  • May 14-16 vs. Phillies (three games)
  • May 18-20 vs. Red Sox (three games)
  • May 21-24 vs. Rays (four games)

“No decision has been made on a Blue Jays home location following the first three homestands, but the primary goal remains returning to play on Canadian soil as soon as it is safe to do so,” the Blue Jays said in a statement. “The club has been actively working through plans for what a safe return to Rogers Centre would look like, while also scenario planning alternatives in Dunedin and Buffalo.”

The Canadian federal government recently reduced the mandatory quarantine period from 14 days to seven days for international travelers, so there is a little momentum for the Blue Jays to return to Toronto at some point this season. The Blue Jays have not played a game at the Rogers Centre since Sept. 29, 2019, though they did hold summer camp in Toronto last year.

If the Blue Jays are unable to return to Toronto for their fourth homestand, returning to Sahlen Field in Buffalo would seem likely. TD Ballpark is open air and the summer weather in Florida will become an issue (rain, heat, humidity, etc.). The Buffalo Bisons, Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, are scheduled to begin their season May 4. There would be logistic issues to work through.

TD Ballpark has similar dimensions to Rogers Centre, save for the right field power alley which spans 354 feet versus 375 feet at the Jays’ usual home field. The Blue Jays played their home games in Buffalo last year because of Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The Blue Jays open the 2021 regular season at Yankee Stadium on April 1. The club has a six-game road trip through New York and Texas before its first homestand. 

The NBA’s Toronto Raptors are playing home games in Tampa this season.

Mike Axisa
2021-03-30 16:51:04

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