The Toronto Blue Jays made it official: after two months to begin the 2021 MLB season at Dunedin’s TD Ballpark, the team will shift U.S. games to Sahlen Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A East).
This move was not a surprise: the Blue Jays had been telegraphing the move and moved forward with Sahlen Field upgrades while arranging for the Bisons to begin the 2021 season in Trenton. Still, the time came for the Blue Jays to make announcement, and announce they did:
Buffalo, we’re BACK!⁰⁰We’ll see you June 1st 👋 pic.twitter.com/LptYcKOAZD
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 5, 2021
The improvements to Sahlen Field include:
- Moving the bullpens off the field to behind the outfield walls
- New batting cages built beyond right field
- Resodding the outfield grass, completing a full field replacement that began with the infield in 2020
- New weight room and renovated clubhouse facilities
- LED light bulb replacements plus two additional temporary lighting poles
The Blue Jays will host fans in a limited 24 percent capacity at Sahlen Field. The team will comply with New York State social-distancing rules–tickets will be sold in four-person pods, with six feet between pods–and fans aged three years and older must present proof of full vaccination (received at least 14 days prior to the day of the game) or a negative COVID-19 test result (from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of the day of the game or a rapid antigen test taken within six hours of the game’s scheduled start time).
The commitment to Buffalo is open-ended: the team will sell tickets for the first three series in June on May 13–Miami Marlins (June 1 & 2), Houston Astros (June 4 to 6), and New York Yankees (June 15 to 17)–but will hold off on other sales until June 3. The ultimate goal, obviously, is returning to Rogers Centre at some point this season.
Image courtesy Toronto Blue Jays.
RELATED STORIES: Blue Jays to Buffalo, Bisons to Trenton; Blue Jays extend Dunedin residency through May; Canadian pro teams prep for border challenges; Blue Jays may displace Bisons in Buffalo; Blue Jays to begin 2021 MLB season in Dunedin’s TD Ballpark