After the Washington Nationals got the OK from Washington, D.C. officials to play their home games in the city, all eyes turned to Toronto where the Blue Jays were still unsure of their status. The AP reported this afternoon that the Canadian federal government is expected to deny the Blue Jays permission to play their home games in Canada.
The team had received permission from the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario, but needed permission from the federal government to play their home games at the Rogers Centre.
Canada's current restrictions require anyone entering the country for nonessential reasons to self-isolate for 14 days, which would not be possible in an MLB season. Teams would be coming in and out of Canada very frequently and would obviously not be able to isolate for 14 days each time they do so.
The NHL received an exemption from the Canadian government to restart its season, but its teams will be hosted in two Canadian cities, so there is not as much international travel involved.
Now the Blue Jays and MLB will either have to try to work a deal out with the Canadian government, or start looking elsewhere for the team to play its home games.
One option that comes to mind immediately is Sahlen Field in Buffalo, home to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, which are a Blue Jays affiliate. That stadium seems like it makes the most sense given the relationship between the teams and the relative proximity to Toronto, as Buffalo is just under two hours away.
The Blue Jays are scheduled to play their first home game on July 29 against the Washington Nationals.