670 days… 670 days since our beloved Blue Jays have played in front of our fans. That, however, is set to change by the end of the month. July 30th to be exact, as they gained approval late last week to return. With Ontario entering stage 3 of their reopening plan, the fact that this happening is extremely exciting for not only Toronto, but for all of Canada. Finally, our Toronto Blue Jays are coming home.
Here’s What You Need to Know
The Blue Jays have been granted a National Interest Exemption, allowing the team to travel from their home in Canada, to the U.S. for away games. There are more extensive testing requirements for these frequent fliers, with even more significant restrictions for unvaccinated members of the organization.
The Blue Jays will start their 3-game home series against the Kansas City Royals on July 30th, after not having played a home-game since September 19, 2019. The team will then go on to play Cleveland and the Red Sox, all at the Roger’s Centre. With 15,000 fans approved for the Roger’s Centre with an open roof, I’m sure Torontonians around the city will be fighting for tickets for the rest of the season.
#BlueJays have been approved up to 15,000 fans at Rogers Centre this summer per team president and CEO Mark Shapiro
Jays will have the roof open “for every opportunity we possibly can,” Shapiro said.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) July 17, 2021
Support from Afar
Blue Jays fans continued to make their presence know, despite the team playing on the road for the last two seasons in Florida and Buffalo. Baseball fans also voted 3 Toronto Blue Jays starters for this year’s All-Star Game, including: MVP candidate and first basemen, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., outfielder Teoscar Hernández, and second basemen Marcus Semien. Shortstop Bo Bichette also makes an appearance as a reserve at the All-Stars.
Uncertainty didn’t stop the Blue Jays from acquiring some major free agents in the off-season. Not only Marcus Semien, but also George Springer, who only missed getting All-Star votes due to an injury he suffered at the beginning of the year.
The Final Pieces
Ever since the epic (and devastating) bat flip playoffs, the Blue Jays have been slowly gathering the pieces they need for a successful playoff run. With the return to The 6ix, and in-person, Canadian fans behind them, who knows? This could be the year.
I can smell the popcorn, hot dogs and feel the stick of beer under my shoes already. So let’s show this team how much we’ve missed them and welcome the new guys with open arms like Toronto does.