Toronto Blue Jays: Examining best options to play home games

Colby Rasmus #28 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a grand slam home run at PNC Park. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Colby Rasmus #28 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a grand slam home run at PNC Park. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

After the Canadian Federal government denied the Toronto Blue Jays request to play their home games at Rogers Centre, new possibilities have emerged.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the Toronto Blue Jays anything, having a backup to the backup plan is essential and that’s exactly the situation they find themselves in.

As it stands, the team does not have a place to call home for the 2020 season after the Canadian Federal government denied their request to play in Toronto but there are options on the table. As it stands, Dunedin looks like a last resort with Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Baltimore all getting mentioned as potential venues.

More from Tip of the Tower

With no fans allowed in ballparks, the focus for the Blue Jays shifts to more crucial elements like health and safety, proximity for minor league players to be able to join if needed, facilities and scheduling. This is why the team is probably leaning towards a major league ballpark rather than Sahlen Field in Buffalo.

While the home of the Bisons is an ideal location because of how close it is to Toronto, it is a minor league stadium that would need upgrades to accommodate the necessary lighting, replay-review system, and broadcast facilities to fulfill MLB standards. Also, players expressed a concern with the lack of space in the clubhouses, making social distancing a challenge.

This is why PNC Park and Camden Yards have been brought up as the likeliest destinations and now there will be some discussions to see which one will be selected or if both get used. Of course, the clock is ticking with the team playing exhibition games against the Boston Red Sox and their home opener scheduled for July 29th.

As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi explains, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates has a hotel that is right near the ballpark which would be ideal for Toronto and the Baltimore Orioles have facilities and buildings that can offer possibilities as well.

PNC Park is definitely closer to Toronto and it’s certainly a nicer ballpark which is why most would probably like to see the Blue Jays play there. On the other hand, Camden Yards potentially offers more scheduling flexibility especially in the final month of the season.

Given the willingness from the Pirates organization to work out a deal with the Blue Jays and the team needing an option, it’ll be a sprint to get details done.

So as of now, it would seem like Pittsburgh is the likely destination but as we have figured out during this pandemic, it’s tough to sign off on anything being final.

Related Story. Best upgrade and worst downgrade in Blue Jays history. light

Where do you think the Blue Jays will play their home games this season? Is it a concern that there isn’t a plan in place yet? Let us know in the comments below.