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Toronto Blue Jays to play first two home stands at spring training facility due to COVID-19

The Blue Jays cannot return to Canada at the end of Spring Training. We break down their immediate plans.

Elvis Luciano #65 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch during the spring training game against the Minnesota Twins at TD Ballpark on February 27, 2020 in Dunedin, Florida. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays report to Spring Training on Thursday, with pitchers and catchers reporting to the team’s facility at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida. The regular season starts on April 1st, but rather than return to Toronto, the Blue Jays are going to remain at their Florida facility indefinitely due to COVID-19.

The Canadian government has imposed restrictions due to COVID-19 that prevent Canadian sports teams from flying back and forth to the United States. This has resulted in the Toronto Raptors playing their home games in Tampa, Florida and the NHL creating an all-Canada division for its 2021 regular season.

Now, the Blue Jays join the list of impacted teams. The organization announced on Thursday it will play its first two home series in Dunedin “with the hopes of a return to play at Rogers Centre as soon as possible.”

The team opens on the road against the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, then has its “home” opener on April 8th against the Los Angeles Angels. They face the Angels four straight days and then the Yankees for the next three before heading back on the road. Their next home series starts April 27th against the Washington Nationals. Things could change by then, but it seems unlikely. For now, they’ll remain in Florida for their home games.