TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays still don’t know where they’ll play home games when baseball resumes.
Speaking on a conference call Thursday, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said he hopes the team will be able to play north of the border this season, but acknowledged “hurdles” that could prevent games at Rogers Centre.
The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel because of the coronavirus pandemic. The current closure deal expires June 21 but is likely to be extended. The U.S. has more confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any other country.
“I will remain hopeful and optimistic that we are united,” Atkins said. “There’s not a member of this organization that doesn’t want that.”
If playing in Toronto isn’t viable, the Blue Jays have considered a range of alternatives, including games at their newly-renovated spring stadium in Dunedin, Florida.
“The options are either playing in Florida, playing in another major league stadium, or playing in a minor league facility,” Atkins said. “There could be other alternatives. Those are the ones that we have considered.”
Toronto’s Triple-A team plays within sight of the border in Buffalo, New York. Atkins declined to say whether the Blue Jays had considered games in Buffalo.
“It’s not in our control completely,” Atkins said. “Major League Baseball will be involved, potentially other major league baseball teams will be involved. We know that we can play in Dunedin. We just want to make sure that we exhaust all of our alternatives.”
The U.S.-Canada border is the world’s longest between two nations.
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