BALTIMORE — Hours after the Toronto Blue Jays announced they will play the majority of their 2020 home games at the ballpark of their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, the Orioles — considered a possible host for their American League rival — issued a statement on the situation.
“The entire Orioles organization has been pleased to work with the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays to collectively explore alternative ballpark solutions for the 2020 season,” the statement read. “We are thrilled that despite the considerable challenges faced by our league under the circumstances of the pandemic and with short notice, our collective efforts in this initiative have favorably concluded with the Blue Jays finding a home for this season. We wish our friends at the Blue Jays good luck this season and the entire Toronto community and the Canadian population a quick return to normalcy and an end to the difficulties that COVID-19 has visited on both of our nations.”
Because of ongoing concerns with the coronavirus pandemic, officials in Canada said they would not allow the Blue Jays to play games in Toronto during the 2020 season. The club seemingly came to an agreement to play its home games at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the city of Pittsburgh eventually declined to let the Blue Jays play there, as well.
With the Blue Jays’ preference to play their 2020 home games at a major league park, the Orioles were among the candidates to host them, with the Maryland Stadium Authority, the owner of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, issuing a statement that it was discussing the possibility with the Orioles.
The issue was never brought to the state of Maryland for approval because Baltimore’s team doctors weren’t comfortable with two teams calling Camden Yards home, according to a source.
The Orioles begin their season Friday night against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Blue Jays begin the season on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays and will play as the home team against the Washington Nationals at National Park on July 29 and 30 while Sahlen Field in Buffalo is prepared to host them. The Orioles’ 60-game regular-season schedule features seven road games against the Blue Jays, including a season-ending three-game series Sept. 25-27.
The Baltimore Sun Jon Meoli contributed to this article.
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