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The Toronto Blue Jays were the Pittsburgh Blue Jays for roughly 15 hours. The Pennsylvania government would not sign off on a plan to allow the Blue Jays to play home games at PNC Park in 2020, meaning the Blue Jays are still scrambling to find a place to play with a little over 24 hours until the 2020 MLB regular season begins.
With PNC Park no longer in consideration, the Blue Jays are reportedly starting to get desperate. It’s reached a point where the team might travel to opposing parks, but act as the home team, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The Blue Jays are looking at alternative options to Pittsburgh, including going to the city of each scheduled opponent and playing as the home team.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 22, 2020
In that scenario, the Blue Jays wouldn’t really play a home game the entire season. Sure, they would technically be considered the home team, but they would still be playing in their opponents’ parks. Do the Blue Jays truly have home field advantage if they are the home team against the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium?
That isn’t the team’s only option, though. The team may also look to play its home games in Baltimore, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Blue Jays could also explore minor league parks again, though that doesn’t seem likely. No minor league park has adequate lighting for MLB games, according to Baseball America.
Why did the Pittsburgh plan fail?
Though it appeared the Pittsburgh plan would work out initially, government officials balked at allowing more teams to enter the state. With MLB teams only playing regional opponents, the Blue Jays playing in PNC Park would have opened up the stadium to teams from both the Central and East divisions around the league. Teams from both East divisions will travel to Pennsylvania to play against the Philadelphia Phillies, however.
The Blue Jays planned to play at Rogers Centre in Toronto originally, but Canadian officials ruled against that plan Saturday due to the coronavirus pandemic. That left the Blue Jays with less than a week to find a new home before the 2020 MLB season begins.
While games will begin July 23, the Blue Jays have a few more days before they need to finalize their plans. The team isn’t scheduled to play its first home game until July 29.
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