The Toronto Blue Jays are looking at alternative options on Wednesday after Pennsylvania State refused a request to play their 2020 home game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
“In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levin said. “To add travelers to the region for any reason, including professional sporting events, at-risk residents, visitors and members of both teams.
“We know that this virus does not discriminate, and can even make professional athletes very ill. We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all healthists.”
The decision again leaves Blue Jay in search of a home. One option involves going to each scheduled opponent’s city and playing as a home team, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The Canadian government denied the Blue Jays’ request to play at the Rogers Center in Toronto because the regular-season schedule required frequent travel from the United States, where COVID-19 cases are increasing. The other 29 major league teams plan to play an epidemic-shortened, 60-game season at their home ballpark, without their fans.
Toronto began the season on Friday in Tampa Bay.
Blue Jears manager Charlie Montoyo said he was excited about the option of PNC Park, and Pirates manager Derek Shelton said he would have no problem running with the Blue Jays.
Baltimore is also under consideration as a potential host site, the organization’s Randall Grichuk said Tuesday, as did the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, New York. However, Grichuk said the players wanted to play in a major league stadium.
The team was considering playing home games at their Spring Training facility in Dunedin, Florida, but Florida is one of the states that are hot spots for coronoviruses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.