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Blue Jays preparing to play home games in Florida if necessary, report says

The Blue Jays are making contingency plans within the occasion the Canadian authorities prevents them from enjoying residence video games in Toronto in the beginning of the 2021 MLB season due to COVID-19 issues.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday that the membership is its spring coaching facility in Dunedin, Fla., as a attainable alternate website and that the Jays and Dunedin officers have held preliminary discussions about holding regular-season video games at TD Ballpark.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced Jan. 12 that the Canada-U.S. border would stay closed to nonessential journey via a minimum of Feb. 21, and on Jan. 16 Ontario prolonged emergency measures throughout the province via Feb. 19 because the variety of coronavirus instances continues to extend.

MORE: New stadium to replace Rogers Centre in Toronto, report says

“We might welcome the chance in the event that they had been to open their season right here,” Vince Gizzi, Dunedin’s parks and recreation director, instructed the Instances. “It could simply be great for our metropolis, in the event that they had been restricted from going out and in of Canada, that they might play right here.”

The Jays had been pressured to play their total 60-game schedule final yr within the U.S. after Canada prohibited them from enjoying at Rogers Centre amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The group performed its residence video games at Sahlen Area in Buffalo, N.Y., the house of its Triple-A minor league affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, starting in mid-August. The Bisons’ 2020 season had already been canceled, making the stadium obtainable to the Jays full time. 

The Bisons are scheduled to renew enjoying there subsequent spring, though the precise opening date is unclear as a result of MLB remains to be deciding when to start the 2021 minor league season.

Dunedin can be residence to Toronto’s affiliate within the Single-A Florida State League, however the Instances speculated that any scheduling conflicts might be resolved by having the minor league group play on one of many fields adjoining to the stadium contained in the Jays’ advanced. The mum or dad membership’s residence opener is scheduled for April 8. 

MORE: Blue Jays’ free-agent moves assure AL East respectability

The Instances famous that MLB and the MLB Gamers Affiliation must approve transferring video games outdoors Toronto. 

The NBA’s Raptors are coping with an analogous prohibition. They’ve moved their residence video games this season to Amalie Area in Tampa, Fla., residence of the NHL’s Lightning. Dunedin is about half-hour west of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The Maple Leafs are enjoying their residence video games at Scotiabank Area in Toronto however aren’t scheduled to go away Canada within the common season. The NHL positioned all seven of its Canadian groups in a single division for the 2021 season and are having them play simply one another, with video games happening totally inside Canada.

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