Blue Jays return home to roost July 30

Empty stadium at Rogers Centre. (Photo courtesy of Toronto Blue Jays via Twitter.)

The Toronto Blue Jays will, at long last, return to Canada.

The Major League Baseball club announced Friday that it has been granted an exemption by the Canadian government, paving the way for the team to resume playing at its home stadium, Rogers Centre, on July 30.

The Jays had been playing away from Toronto for most of the past two seasons because of border restrictions made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team began playing home games this season at its winter home in Dunedin, Florida, then moved to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, the home of its Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons.

The club has pledged that utmost attention to the health and safety of fans, players, and visiting teams is its top priority.

“First and foremost, the Blue Jays wish to thank Canadians for their unprecedented public health efforts and support for the team. Without you, Blue Jays baseball would not be coming home this summer,” read a statement on the Jays’ official website. “In addition, the organization wishes to acknowledge Blue Jays staff and players for their tireless efforts and dedication during a franchise-defining chapter of team history, and whose resilience never wavered through immense challenges and times of uncertainty.”

The Jays have not held any baseball-related activity at Rogers Centre since their 2020 training camp, which began a shortened season. The club was ultimately told it could not play home games in Toronto due to concerns about border crossing. The Jays ended up playing the 2020 season at Sahlen Field.

Toronto’s first opponent at Rogers Centre this year will be the Kansas City Royals on July 30. Complete information on attending games at Rogers Centre can be found on the team website.