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Blue Jays to Play Home Games in Buffalo Starting in June Due to COVID-19

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays announced Wednesday they're planning to stage home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, beginning June 1.

Toronto Blue Jays @BlueJays

Buffalo, we’re BACK!⁰⁰We’ll see you June 1st 👋 pic.twitter.com/LptYcKOAZD

The Blue Jays have been playing games at their spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida. According to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, the franchise was hopeful of returning to Toronto, but that remains unfeasible amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blue Jays renovated Sahlen Field to make it more suitable for MLB games. Beyond cosmetic changes, updates to the weight room and clubhouse were on the list of alterations.

Those renovations have also forced the Buffalo Bisons to open the 2021 Triple-A season in Trenton, New Jersey.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in March the state was allowing professional sports teams to fill up to 20 percent of the capacity of outdoor stadiums. That number has since risen to 33 percent beginning May 19 with more New Yorkers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Shi Davidi @ShiDavidi

The Blue Jays announce the move. A few notes: <br>-- Capacity of 24% at Sahlen Field, tickets for first three series on sale May 13<br>-- Fans must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test<br>-- Blue Jays haven't ruled out Toronto later in summer, but non-starter right now https://t.co/ckrbXN5cf0

The Blue Jays sit fourth in the American League East at 14-14, though their plus-19 run differential is second in the division and fourth-best in the AL. Returning to Buffalo could prove beneficial since it will cut down slightly on travel to the majority of its division rivals.

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The Jays begin a 10-game homestand Friday, May 14, which will be their final series in Dunedin before their move north.

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