Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays were forced to play their home games in Buffalo, home of their AAA affiliate, because of the pandemic, and in particular, its impact on the ability of large groups to go in and out of different countries. That is to say, Canada wasn’t interested in having MLB teams from the United States going in and out of Toronto for a couple months. Understandable.
This year, the pandemic is still very much on everyone’s radars, but you have a complicating factor: the minor league seasons will be played this year, which means Buffalo is going to be largely occupied by the Blue Jays’ AAA affiliate playing its own games.
So, to start, the Blue Jays are going to have to open their season at their Spring Training site in Dunedin, Florida:
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) February 18, 2021
The Blue Jays do not, however, expect their stay in Dunedin to last all year, or even most of the year:
#Bluejays president Mark Shapiro said team doesn’t expect to be in Dunedin all season. “With all candor, the alternatives for our season lie with some combination of Dunedin, Buffalo and Toronto.”
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) February 18, 2021
Say hello to the Duneduffalonto Blue Jays!
A return to Toronto eventually will depend on how Canada-U.S. manage travel restrictions, as well as how the City of Toronto views the setup. And all of that, in turn, will depend on the state of the pandemic by summer, including the rollout of vaccines. Your optimistic case would widespread vaccine deployment/availability by June, so maybe the Blue Jays could resume being a Toronto team for the second half of the season.