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Blue Jays denied permission from Canadian government to play season in Toronto

The Blue Jays have 11 days to find a new home for the 2020 season.

A general view of the Toronto Blue Jays playing the Baltimore Orioles in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 7, 2019 in Toronto, Canada Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Bob Nightengale is reporting a third option exists for the Blue Jays: sharing Tropicana Field with the Rays in St. Petersburg. Nightengale tweeted that the 2020 MLB schedule provided for that option.

UPDATE 3:23 p.m.: The Canadian government released a statement detailing the reasons for denying the exemption for the Blue Jays and MLB. They are concerned about the numerous border crossings that would be required, as well as the Blue Jays having to play in American locations that are seeing spikes in Covid-19.

The Toronto Blue Jays open the 2020 MLB season on the road on July 24th, and host their first home game on July 29th, against the Washington Nationals. The question has now become where that game will take place.

The Canadian government has denied the team’s request for an exception to the requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days, according to the Associated Press. Per the AP, the US-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least Aug. 21.

The Blue Jays have a spring training site in Dunedin, Florida, but there is concern about a spike in Covid-19 cases throughout Florida. Another option is Buffalo, where the Triple-A Bisons play at Sahlen Field. Buffalo is a two hour drive from Toronto. Either one will make home life a little more difficult for Blue Jays players.