The Toronto Blue Jays will be calling PNC Park home for the upcoming 2020 season.
According to Hazel Mae of Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their home games in Pittsburgh out of the friendly confines of PNC Park this season. The team became homeless earlier last week when the Federal Government would not sign-off on the Blue Jays playing home games north of the border due to the outbreak of the pandemic in the United States.
The cross-border travel and fear of opposing teams entering the country were too insurmountable for the Government to approve. It was initially speculated the team would land in either Buffalo or Dunedin, however, the need for an MLB stadium became prevalent in the past week.
Pittsburgh and Baltimore appeared to be the front runners according to industry sources. The Pirates and Blue Jays only have seven scheduling conflicts and six of them are in September which made the move possible.
The franchise may not want to return to the concrete centre in Toronto after playing a season in the beautiful confines of PNC Park. Pittsburgh is definitely a better outcome for the players than the Triple-A facility in Buffalo.
Buffalo has limited space and it was rumoured the lighting was not up to snuff in terms of MLB quality. The newly renovated spring training facility in Dunedin also seemed like a viable solution initially, however, Florida has been annihilated with an uptick in COVID-19 cases and it was not a best-case scenario in terms of player health.
MLB games are still going to be played without spectators so the location of Jays games is not really paramount in that respect. Fans won’t be missing out on seeing their team and games will still be broadcasted back home to Canada on Sportsnet.
The team has been in stadium purgatory since the beginning of their Summer Training Camp in Toronto. Players and their families had no idea where they would call home for the 2020 season so a favourable outcome is undoubtedly appreciated.