Blue Jays May Be Nesting at Home SoonJake Cooper | 19 Jul 2021
Dr Howard Njoo, the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer for Canada seems to think the Blue Jays will be coming home to roost on Canadian soil again in the near future.
He reports that there’s been a lot of positive communication between the Baseball team’s organisation and the government regarding their application for a National Interest Exemption. This NIE applies to the travel restrictions put in place to manage the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
Announcement Date TBC
Speaking at a virtual news conference on Thursday 15 July, however, Dr Njoo said that he was not yet able to give a date regarding the final decision’s broadcast. He explained that the last details were currently under review and that while there doesn’t seem to be anything to derail the plan, he could not discuss it any further than that.
An unnamed government employee familiar with the negotiations let it be known that it’s possible that the Jays will know by Monday the 20th whether they can play at Toronto’s Rogers Centre soon. And a spokesperson for the club has reported that they’re hard at work with the federal government regarding their move from their temporary Buffalo, New York base.
The plan is to start home games by the end of July.
The Story Up ‘Til Now
The Rogers Centre last hosted the Blue Jays on the 29th of September 2019, where they saw a win of 8 - 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays in the 49 000-seater venue. While the government permitted the Jays to host their summer training camp in the city in July 2020, just before the shortened season, their request to play in the area was denied.
The team was thus scrambling to make a plan mere days before they were scheduled to open last year’s season. They ended up playing on the road for over two weeks before settling down in Buffalo where their triple-A affiliate is based.
The Blue Jays began the 2021 season playing in Dunedin, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, at their spring training facility. They then returned to Buffalo on June 1st. They have just got back from an All-Star Break and are about to begin a series of three games with the Texas Rangers.
They are scheduled to open a three-game home series with Kansas City on the 30th of July, but the venue has yet to be confirmed.