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Blue Jays will play first 2 homestands in Dunedin

The city serves as the team's spring training facility.
Credit: AP
A sign outside TD Ballpark tells fans the spring training baseball games have been suspended, Friday, March 13, 2020 in Dunedin, Fla. Major League Baseball has suspended the rest of its spring training game schedule because if the coronavirus outbreak. MLB is also delaying the start of its regular season by at least two weeks. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DUNEDIN, Fla. — It’s official! Another major sports team will call Tampa Bay home—temporarily.

The Toronto Blue Jays announced Thursday the team would start its season at their spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida. 

"With the ongoing Canada-US border closure, we have made the difficult decision to play the first two homestands of the 2021 regular season(through May 2) at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, FL, with the hopes of a return to play at Rogers Centre as soon as possible," the team said in a statement on Twitter.

The Blue Jays added that they would continue to work through a safe return plan and consider alternatives after the first two homestands.

The Blue Jays played in Buffalo, New York, last season after the Canadian government didn’t allow the team to play in Canada because of the COVID-19 risk of frequent travel throughout the U.S. 

The border remains closed to nonessential travelers who are not Canadian citizens; Canada requires those entering the country to isolate for 14 days.

The Blue Jays will be the second Canadian sports team to "rent" Florida and call it a temporary home base. The Toronto Raptors have called Amalie Arena in Tampa home this season. 

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