The Toronto Blue Jays announced on Thursday that summer training camp will take place at the Rogers Centre — this after receiving government and public health approval at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels.
We’re coming home 💙
Our Summer Training Camp will be held at Rogers Centre! pic.twitter.com/OPKIjVPUl9
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 2, 2020
Intake screening is currently being staged in Dunedin, Fla., and players and club personnel who test negative for COVID-19 during the intake process will board private charter flights to Toronto this weekend.
The news comes after the Jays shut down their spring training complex in Florida late last month after a number of Blue Jays players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Positives related to shutdown in Dunedin last Friday.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) June 24, 2020
Protocols will be followed to ensure standards of health and safety are met before and during travel, including requiring players and personnel who have travelled outside of Canada to enter a closed environment at Rogers Centre and specified areas of the adjoining hotel for 14 days.
In an email statement, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed with CP24 that if the Blue Jays host games, visiting teams would also need to quarantine at the adjoining hotel when not on the field.
While summer training will take place at Rogers Centre, no final decision has been made on a site for regular season home games. Although the club’s preference remains Rogers Centre, the team is pursuing this option with the health and safety of the public and the team at the forefront.
“We did not unilaterally make the decision, we made the decision with them,” Jays president Mark Shapiro said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday night, adding that he believes players feel better about the facility in Toronto. “They felt better about being here, they felt better about the transition into the season and better about our competitive chances to remain healthy if we were able to train here. So it was collaborative and co-operative from the start and they’ve been educated.”
To limit travel distance, the Jays would play a majority of games against their division opponents (40 games against their AL East opponents) and the rest of the games against their geographic counterparts.
The season is expected to begin on July 23-24. The MLB has submitted a proposed 60-game schedule to the MLBPA to review, although it hasn’t yet been finalized.
Check the Blue Jays 2020 Season Update page for further information