Toronto Blue Jays Will Not Play in Hartford

NBC Universal, Inc.

The mayor of Hartford was willing to put out a welcome mat for the Toronto Blue Jays to play their home games at Dunkin' Donuts Park this season, but the major league baseball team will play in Buffalo, New York instead

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Thursday that Hartford "would be thrilled" to host the team to play at Dunkin' Donuts Park.

"In these extraordinary times, we think it could make a great home for the Blue Jays," Bronin said.

The Blue Jays were looking for a new home location after Canada denied the Blue Jays' request to play in Toronto because the regular-season schedule would require frequent travel back and forth from the United States, where COVID-19 cases are surging.

On Friday, the team announced that it's home stadium will be at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, which is home to the team's AAA affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons.

The Hartford Yard Goats Tweeted that they were proud to have been considered.

The team was considering PNC Park in Pittsburgh to fill in for the Rogers Centre as the Blue Jays' home stadium, but the state of Pennsylvania won't allow the Toronto Blue Jays to play there amid the coronavirus pandemic, health officials announced Wednesday.

Governor Ned Lamont said Thursday he would be ready to welcome the Blue Jays to Connecticut.

"I think it'd be a nice thing," Lamont said. "I think it'd be good to get Yard Goats stadium to life and maybe we'll be able to get some people in there in the fall if things get better."

Lamont said he reached out to the team "about a week ago and early on there." The governor said he has not had any conversations with the team yet but believes there has "been some contact between them and the Yard Goats."

The Yard Goats tweeted on Saturday a subtle nod to the Toronto Blue Jays posting a photo of a blue jay with the caption: "You're my boy Blue."

"Given the State of Connecticut and the City of Hartford's diligent work in combatting the coronavirus, the availability of the award-winning Dunkin Donuts Park, and our centralized location in the Northeast, the Yard Goats would be honored to host the Toronto Blue Jays, if given the opportunity," Tim Restall,
president of the Hartford Yard Goats, said in a statement to NBC Connecticut.

There is no professional baseball at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford after Minor League Baseball cancelled the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

Instead, the Hartford Yard Goats have been making use of the park and the field by offering “Dinner on the Diamond” and “Rent the Field.”

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