For the second consecutive year, at least for the time being, the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing south of the border, the team announced on Thursday.
As first reported by Sportsnet's Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith, Toronto will begin the 2021 season in Dunedin, Florida, home of the Blue Jays' Class-A affiliate Dunedin Blue Jays.
They will play home games in Dunedin through May 2. From there onwards, the Blue Jays will re-evaluate the situation based on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing U.S.-Canada border closure.
Attendance in Dunedin will be limited to 15 percent capacity, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Dunedin has served as Toronto's spring training home since the franchise's inaugural 1977 season.
Last year, the Blue Jays were in a similar situation when the Canadian government rejected a proposal in July for the team to host games in Toronto. The club eventually found an alternative, playing its home games out of Buffalo's Sahlen Field, host to the team's Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons.
It's shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons in recent Blue Jays memory after the team acquired 2017 World Series MVP George Springer and infielder Marcus Semien, adding to an already strong young core that includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. Fans will get their first look at this year's Blue Jays when the club holds its first official workout for pitchers and catchers on Thursday.
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