The Toronto Blue Jays announced Wednesday that they will resume playing home games in Buffalo, N.Y., starting on June 1 against the Miami Marlins.
The Blue Jays can’t play their home games in Canada because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions and have been playing home games this season at their Dunedin, Fla., spring-training complex while Sahlen Field in Buffalo underwent upgrades to meet MLB standards.
Their Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, are playing their home games in Trenton, N.J., to leave their stadium free for the parent club. They kicked off the season with a 6-1 win over visiting Worcester on Tuesday.
Toronto played 26 games at Sahlen Field last season, going 17-9. The Blue Jays have gone 7-4 in Dunedin, with 10 games still to be played there in May.
Those games in Buffalo were played without fans in attendance. Current New York state regulations allow for a third of the stadium to be filled, but Sahlen Field will be able to accommodate less than that — 24 percent and only about 4,300 fans — because of social distancing requirements.
“The City of Buffalo is thrilled to once again be able to welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to Sahlen Field,” Mayor Byron Brown said, per The Buffalo News. “The Blue Jays and the Bisons have done a tremendous job preparing our city’s ballpark for Major League Baseball, and after embracing the Blue Jays as our hometown team in 2020, the ability to have the great sports fans of Western New York inside Sahlen Field this time around will no doubt make this summer at the ballpark an unforgettable one for our city.”
Stadium upgrades under the Bisons-Blue Jays partnership include a new weight room and clubhouse facilities, new batting cages beyond right field and the relocation of bullpens behind the outfield walls.
–Field Level Media