The Buffalo Blue Jays will officially be back next month.
Reports surfaced in early April that the Toronto Blue Jays, currently hosting opponents at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., because of the continued closure of the border that separates the United States and Canada to nonessential travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would be moving back to Buffalo’s Sahlen Field after their final homestand of this month ends on May 24.
The Blue Jays confirmed that news on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s update comes as no surprise, as the Blue Jays had already begun renovations and upgrades to make Sahlen Field feel more like an MLB home. Such changes include relocating bullpens to behind outfield walls and adding an improved weight room and renovated clubhouse facilities.
Toronto tallied a record of 17-9 at Sahlen Field last year when fans were prohibited from attending regular-season games. This year, however, the Blue Jays intend to welcome patrons at 24% capacity starting with the June 1 matchup against the Miami Marlins. Similar to guidelines enforced by the New York Mets and New York Yankees, fans wishing to attend Blue Jays games in Buffalo must present proof of full vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test within the required time frame and also follow all health and safety guidelines, such as wearing permitted face coverings while inside the venue.
It’s believed the Blue Jays will be able to increase that capacity at some point during the summer.
The Triple-A Buffalo Bisons had already relocated to Trenton, N.J., in anticipation of the Blue Jays’ arrival to New York State.
Per ESPN and the Associated Press, the Blue Jays last played a home game in Toronto at Rogers Centre on Sept. 29, 2019. It’s unknown if they’ll be allowed to host teams in Canada this season.