By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Toronto Blue Jays had worked out an agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Major League Baseball to play at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Blue Jays were expected to play at least 28 of their 30 “home” games at the stadium.
However, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has blocked the Blue Jays move. The Blue Jays now have to look for a new home to play their home schedule.
“In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “To add travelers to this region for any reason, including for professional sports events, risks residents, visitors and members of both teams. We know that this virus does not discriminate, and can even make professional athletes very sick. We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians.”
The Pirates are disappointed that their efforts were blocked by health officials. Another option that is floating around is that the Blue Jays play a “home and home” series as the team would play a home series at their road opponent after being the road opponent for a series.
The Blue Jays begin their season on Friday. Their first “home” game is scheduled for July 29th against the Washington Nationals.
Toronto has just a few days to announce their next move.
“I am extremely proud of our staff’s effort, together with the support of Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, to very quickly present Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays with an option to host their home games here at PNC Park during the 2020 season,” Pirates President Travis Williams said. “This is an unprecedented situation and, therefore, we understand and support Governor Tom Wolf’s decision. We are in agreement that the safety and health of those in our region must remain paramount. We are confident that the great people within the Blue Jays organization, working with Major League Baseball, will secure another option very soon.”