BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Toronto Blue Jays will call Buffalo's Sahlen Field "home" for the second summer in a row, the team announced Wednesday.
Buffalo, we’re BACK!⁰⁰We’ll see you June 1st 👋 pic.twitter.com/LptYcKOAZD— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 5, 2021
The Blue Jays will return to Buffalo June 1 as COVID-19 continues to restrict travel between the U.S. and Canada. In a statement, the Blue Jays say the team's goal is to return to playing home games at Rogers Centre in Toronto "as soon as it is safe to do so and until then, the team will play its home games at Sahlen Field."
The Buffalo Bisons announced in April that the team would begin its season in Trenton, New Jersey as a renovation project was completed to prepare Sahlen Field for Major League Baseball regular season games. The Bisons started the season in Trenton Tuesday.
Officials say due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel between the U.S. and Canada the renovation project at Sahlen Field, a joint project between the Bisons and Toronto Blue Jays, prepares the facility for MLB regular season home games under COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The main upgrades include:
- Moving the bullpens off the field to behind the outfield walls
- New batting cages built beyond right field
- Resodding the outfield grass, completing a full field replacement that began with the infield in 2020
- New weight room and renovated clubhouse facilities
- LED light bulb replacements plus two additional temporary lighting poles
The Blue Jays have played their "home" games to this point at their spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida.
In accordance with local and state COVID-19 guidance, the Blue Jays will host fans in a limited 24% capacity at Sahlen Field.
Tickets for the first eight home games vs. the Miami Marlins (June 1 & 2), Houston Astros (June 4 to 6), and New York Yankees (June 15 to 17), go on sale to the general public on May 13 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets for the June 24 homestand vs. the Baltimore Orioles will go on sale to the general public on June 3 at 10:00 a.m. Future on sale dates will be announced at a later time. You can buy tickets here.
Health and safety protocols will be in place for fans and include but are not limited to:
- Tickets sold in pods of up to four seats, spaced a minimum of six feet apart
- Fans aged three years and older must present proof of full vaccination (received at least 14 days prior to the day of the game) or a negative COVID-19 test result (from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of the day of the game or a rapid antigen test taken within six hours of the game’s scheduled start time); complete information on documentation and timing for proof of testing and vaccination available at bluejays.com/healthandsafety
- Mobile ticketing only to limit fan touchpoints; the ticket purchaser for the seating pod must transfer individual tickets to each guest in their seating pod for gate entry
- Symptom screening and temperature check prior to entry
- Face coverings required at all times for fans aged two years and older, except when actively eating or drinking in their designated seats
The Blue Jays played 26 games at Sahlen Field in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, without fans in the stands.