The Toronto Blue Jayes are expected to play most of their home games at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park after federal officials in Canada refused to hold the games at the Rogers Center, they confirmed to ESPN.
An official announcement is pending from the state of Pennsylvania, according to Sportsnet, which first reported the news.
The Canadian government declined Blue Jay’s request to play in Toronto because the regular-season schedule required repeated visits 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.
The schedules of Pirates and Blue Jas match almost perfectly. Since July 29, they don’t have a home on the same date, unless the Sept 7. The Blue Jams are scheduled to host Washington – where they play their previous series – July 29, but they theoretically Washington can play inside its scheduled two-match home series.
The Blue Jams play 1-2 in September in Miami and 3-6 in Boston. Instead of 7-9 in place of scheduled home games against the Yatni – when Pittsburgh is at home – Toronto can move to New York and stay there for their scheduled home series sept 11-13 against the Mets. The Road Series against the Yankees and Phillies, and with Pittsburgh on September 21-24, the Blue Jackies can play their next home series against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Baltimore was also considered a potential host venue, outfielder Randall Grichuk said Tuesday, as the team’s Triple-A affiliate was in Buffalo, New York. However, Grichuk said the players wanted to play in a major league stadium.
The team was considering playing a home game at their Spring Training facility in Dunedin, Florida, but Florida is among the states that are hot spots for the virus.
Pirates president Travis Williams confirmed talks with the Blue JES on Monday and is ready to welcome the club if it can be done safely amid the epidemic.
ESPNs Jeff Pasan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.