BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Toronto Blue Jays announced the team has made the decision to play its first two homestands in Dunedin, Florida due to the ongoing U.S.-Canada border closure, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released on Twitter the team said in part:
"Like all Canadians, we had hoped to see improvements in the public health outlook as we neared the 2021 baseball season. With the ongoing Canada-U.S. border closure, we have made the difficult decision to play the first two homestands of the 2021 regular season (through May 2) at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, with the hopes of a return to play at Rogers Centre as soon as possible."
The team said next to the health and safety of fans, players and staff its top priority is returning to play on Canadian soil as soon as it is safe to do so.
Blue Jays Update On 2021 Home Location: pic.twitter.com/b2Eu5iknjs— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 18, 2021
The Blue Jays became "Buffalo's team" in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S.-Canada border closure. The Blue Jays were unable to play in Toronto and were in need of a place to play. The team would go on to play the majority of its home games during the shortened 2020 MLB season at Sahlen Field.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted the following, regarding the Blue Jays potentially playing some "home" games at Sahlen Field.
The Blue Jays implemented several stadium upgrades to transform Sahlen Field to meet Major League Baseball standards. The team finished the season with 32-28 record, with a 17-9 record in games played at Sahlen Field. They were eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Rays.