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Coronavirus: Blue Jays hope to play in Toronto, examining other options

June 12 2020 12:56 AM

The Blue Jays may play home games this season in either Toronto or Florida, or maybe somewhere in between. 

Ideally, the Blue Jays would play at their home, the Rogers Centre, but general manager Ross Atkins admits that might not be possible. 

"I think there's certain hurdles that need to be passed [but] I certainly hope so," Atkins said on a conference call on Thursday when asked about games being staged at the Rogers Centre.

"I will remain hopeful and optimistic. There’s not a member of this organisation that doesn't want that. We certainly hope so."

The decision of where they will play their home games is somewhat out of their hands. 

The border between the United States and Canada is closed to non-essential travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, and those that enter Canada must quarantine for 14 days.

The travel restrictions into Canada from the United States expire on June 21, but are likely be extended. 

One possibility is playing at their newly-renovated spring training stadium in Dunedin, Florida. Another could be playing at Toronto's Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, which is a two-hour drive away from Toronto on the opposite side of Lake Ontario. 

"The options are either playing in Florida, playing in another major league stadium, or playing in a minor league facility," Atkins said. "There could be other alternatives. Those are the ones that we have considered."

Atkins did not mention Buffalo by name, acknowledging that ultimately Major League Baseball will be included in the decision-making process. 

"There's a reason I can't comment further," Atkins said. "It's not in our control completely. Major League Baseball will be involved and the other Major League teams will be involved. 

"We know that we can play in Dunedin. We just want to make sure we exhaust all our alternatives and we need to do that in partnering with Major League Baseball."

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