The stadium shuffle spurred by the Toronto Blue Jays' inability to play home games in Canada due to coronavirus restrictions has expanded to yet another state.
In preparation for potential Jays home games returning to Buffalo, N.Y., later this season, the Class AAA Buffalo Bisons will play their home games in Trenton, N.J., while a renovation project at Sahlen Field in Buffalo is completed.
The Blue Jays were forced to play their entire 2020 home schedule at Sahlen Field due to the virus-related closing of the U.S.-Canada border. This season, the Jays are playing their first 22 home games at their spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, with an expected move to Buffalo lasting until they are allowed to return to Toronto.
The Toronto Blue Jays played their 2020 home games at Sahlen Field, home of the Class AAA Buffalo Bisons. (Photo: Jeffrey T. Barnes, AP)
The Bisons and Blue Jays have partnered in a project over the past year to upgrade Sahlen Field to MLB standards. Among the improvements are a new weight room and clubhouse facilities, new batting cages beyond right field and the relocation of bullpens behind the outfield walls.
The Jays were able to play all their 2020 home games in Buffalo because there was no minor league season. However, with minor league baseball returning this year, the Bisons needed to find a temporary home once the Triple-A season begins in May.
Trenton was a logical choice after MLB reorganized the minor leagues this offseason and the former home of the New York Yankees' Class AA team was left without an MLB affiliation.
“We thank the Trenton Thunder organization for opening their doors and welcoming the Bisons so this renovation can be completed,” president of Rich Baseball Operations Mike Buczkowski said.
Sahlen Field is one of the oldest Triple-A ballparks, but once the renovations are completed, club officials say it will far exceed MLB's new minor league facility standards.
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