REPORT: Blue Jays Will Not Play In Pittsburgh After Being Banned From Home Arena

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Nicholas Elias Contributor
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Health officials reportedly announced Wednesday that the Toronto Blue Jays will not be sharing an arena with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reportedly terminated plans to host the Blue Jays at PNC Park, located in Pittsburgh and home of the Pittsburg Pirates. Sources familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Wednesday morning that a majority of the Blue Jays’s home games would be played there if the state approved. (RELATED: Dr. Anthony Fauci Will Throw First Pitch As MLB Resumes Season Thursday)

“In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, said in a statement obtained by the AP. “To add travelers to this region for any reason, including for professional sports events, risks residents, visitors and members of both teams.”

Canada recently denied permission for the Blue Jays to play at Rogers Centre in Toronto due to the need for the teams to repeatedly cross the border.

Pirates President Travis Williams, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo and Pirates manager Derek Shelton all reportedly voiced approval of the teams joint residency. Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said that the team has five locations the team could play at, but did not name them, per the AP.

Akins reportedly said that the team preferred to be housed in a major league ballpark, but would likely host games at their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, New York, if that was not an option. Akins stressed that health and safety for all teams involved was a priority, according to the AP.

The Pirates are led by general manager Ben Cherington, a former Blue Jays executive. 

The Blue Jays are scheduled to open their season against the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida Friday. Their first scheduled home game is July 29 against the World Series Champion Washington Nationals. 

This post has been updated to reflect the Pennsylvania Health Department’s announcement.