As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world, the sports industry has not been exempted. From postponed seasons to cancelled events, the sports world has been greatly affected by this global crisis. One of the most anticipated events in the sports world, the MLB season, was also not spared from the effects of the pandemic. And as the Toronto Blue Jays prepare for their home opener tonight, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the event.

The Blue Jays were originally scheduled to play their home games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, but due to Canada’s strict travel restrictions and quarantine protocols, the team had to look for an alternative venue. After exploring various options, the Blue Jays finally settled on Buffalo, New York as their temporary home for the 2020 season.

This sudden change of plans has raised a lot of questions and concerns from fans, players, and league officials alike. Will the team be able to adjust to their new home? How will the lack of a home field advantage affect their performance? Will the players and staff be safe from the virus in their temporary home? These are just some of the questions that have been circulating as the Blue Jays gear up for their home opener tonight.

In this article, we will delve into the main concerns and question marks surrounding the Blue Jays’ home opener tonight. From their new temporary home to the safety measures being implemented, let’s take a closer look at what the team and fans can expect from this highly-anticipated event.

1. The Buffalo Experience: Adjusting to a New Home Field

After calling the Rogers Centre in Toronto their home for almost three decades, the Blue Jays will now have to adapt to playing in Buffalo’s Sahlen Field. This transition is not only a big change for the team, but also for the fans who have been used to watching games at the Rogers Centre.

The Logistics of Playing in Buffalo

One of the main concerns surrounding the Blue Jays’ move to Buffalo is the logistics of playing in a new venue. The team will now have to get accustomed to a different playing field, different locker rooms, and different facilities. Even though Sahlen Field is a Triple-A ballpark and has hosted some Major League games in the past, it is still not equipped to handle the needs and demands of a professional baseball team.

Moreover, Buffalo is more than 1500 kilometers away from Toronto, which means that the team will have to travel longer distances for their road games. This could potentially lead to fatigue and jet lag, both of which can greatly affect the players’ performance on the field.

The Impact on Home Field Advantage

Another factor to consider is the lack of a home field advantage for the Blue Jays. Playing in front of a home crowd and in a familiar environment has always given teams an edge in sports. However, with the team playing in a new stadium and without their loyal fan base, will they still be able to maintain that advantage?

It’s also worth noting that Sahlen Field has previously been used by the Toronto Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. This could potentially give the opposing teams an advantage as they are more familiar with the field and its quirks.

The Players’ Perspective

The sudden change of plans has also affected the players mentally and emotionally. Many of them have families back in Canada and were looking forward to playing in their home country. Being away from their loved ones and adjusting to a new city can take a toll on their mental health, which can ultimately affect their performance on the field.

Another concern is the team’s chemistry and camaraderie. With the players being separated from each other due to COVID-19 safety protocols, it may be challenging for them to build rapport and team dynamics, especially in a new environment.

To address these concerns, the team has been taking steps to make their temporary home feel more like their own. They have brought in murals of Toronto landmarks and added Blue Jays branding around the stadium to create a sense of familiarity for the players and fans alike.

2. Safety Measures: Protecting Players and Staff from COVID-19

With the pandemic still ongoing, the safety and wellbeing of the players and staff are of utmost importance. The Blue Jays organization has been working closely with health officials and MLB to ensure that strict protocols are in place to protect everyone involved in the upcoming home opener.

The Bubble Concept

One of the measures being implemented is the creation of a bubble concept, similar to what the NBA has done for their season restart. All players, staff, and essential personnel will be required to stay within designated areas that are approved by the league. This includes the hotel where the team will be staying, the ballpark, and any other necessary locations for work or essential needs.

This bubble concept aims to limit the exposure of the players and staff to the outside world, thus reducing the risk of contracting the virus. It also includes regular testing and daily temperature checks for all individuals within the bubble.

The Mandatory Mask Rule

Another important measure being put in place is the mandatory use of masks at all times, both on and off the field. This rule not only applies to the players and staff, but also to the media and anyone entering the ballpark. The league has made it clear that they take the safety of everyone involved very seriously and will enforce this rule strictly.

The Impact on the Game

These safety measures may also have an impact on the game itself. Wearing masks while playing can be uncomfortable and may affect the players’ breathing. It could also affect communication on the field, as masks can muffle voices and make it harder for players to hear each other.

However, these measures are necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to prevent any potential outbreaks within the league. As the saying goes, “safety first”, and that is exactly what the Blue Jays organization is prioritizing for their home opener tonight.

3. COVID-19: The Unknown Factor

Despite all the preparations and safety measures being implemented, there is still an element of uncertainty surrounding the home opener tonight. With the virus still prevalent in the United States, there is always the risk of a player or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

The Risk of Infection

Even with strict protocols in place, there is still a risk of infection, especially with the recent rise in cases in the United States. The team will be playing against other teams from different cities, some of which have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases. This increases the chances of exposure to the virus, and ultimately, possible infections within the team.

The Potential Impact on the Season

If one or more players were to test positive for COVID-19, it could potentially halt the Blue Jays’ season. The league has set guidelines for dealing with positive cases, including isolation and contact tracing, but if multiple players were to test positive, it would greatly affect the team’s roster and their ability to compete.

This is a risk that the entire league is facing, not just the Blue Jays. Major League Baseball has already seen postponements and cancellations due to positive cases, and it’s something that teams and fans must be prepared to deal with as the season progresses.

4. The Absence of Fans: A Different Atmosphere

One of the biggest differences between this year’s home opener and previous ones is the absence of fans. With the home games being played in Buffalo, fans from Toronto will not be able to attend the games due to travel restrictions. This means that the Blue Jays will not have the support of their loyal fan base, which has always been a driving force for the team.

The Impact on Player Performance

Playing in an empty stadium with no fans cheering them on can greatly affect the players’ performance. The lack of energy and atmosphere can be demotivating, especially during crucial moments in the game. It also means that the opposing teams will not have to deal with the noise and distraction from the home crowd, which could give them an advantage.

The Financial Impact

Another aspect to consider is the financial impact of playing without fans. With no ticket sales, merchandise sales, or concession stands, the team will miss out on a significant amount of revenue. This could potentially affect the team’s finances and their ability to invest in players and facilities in the future.

To make up for this loss, the Blue Jays organization has been exploring different avenues for generating revenue, such as selling virtual tickets and fan cutouts. While these may not fully replace the income from physical attendance, it’s a creative way to engage fans while supporting the team financially.

5. The Hope for Normalcy: Looking Towards the Future

Despite all the challenges and uncertainties surrounding tonight’s home opener, there is still hope for normalcy in the future. The Blue Jays organization, along with the rest of the league, is constantly monitoring the situation and making adjustments accordingly. There is still a possibility that the team may be able to return to Toronto later in the season if travel restrictions are lifted.

The Potential Return to Toronto

As the pandemic situation in Canada improves, there is a chance that the Blue Jays may be able to return home. However, this decision ultimately lies with the Canadian government and their assessment of the risks involved. The team has been working closely with government officials to ensure that they are prepared to move back to Toronto as soon as possible.

If all goes well, the team could potentially be playing in front of their home crowd in Toronto before the end of the season. This would not only be a huge morale boost for the players, but also a much-needed respite for fans who have been eagerly waiting to support their team in person.

6. The New Normal: Adapting to Changes in the Sports World

The global pandemic has brought about many changes and challenges in the sports world, and it’s something that we will have to adapt to for the foreseeable future. From virtual fan engagement to new safety protocols, the way we experience sports events has drastically changed.

The Rise of Virtual Fan Engagement

With physical attendance greatly limited or even banned in some cases, teams and leagues have had to find creative ways to engage with fans. This has led to the rise of virtual fan engagement, where fans can participate in games and activities from the comfort of their own homes. It may not be the same as being at the game, but it’s a great way to keep fans involved and engaged with their favorite teams.

The Importance of Safety Protocols

The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of implementing strict safety protocols in the sports industry. While it may have been challenging at first, it has now become a necessity for any sport to continue operating amidst the pandemic. These protocols not only protect the players and staff, but also set an example for the public on how to stay safe during these times.

The Future of Sports Events

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, so will the way we experience sports events. It’s possible that we will see more changes and adaptations in the future, especially when it comes to large-scale events like professional sports. However, one thing is for sure – sports will always find a way to bring people together, whether it’s physically or virtually.


Tonight’s Blue Jays’ home opener may look different compared to previous years, but it doesn’t make it any less exciting or important for the team and their fans. While there are still a lot of questions surrounding the event, we can be sure that the Blue Jays organization has taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety and success of the home opener.

From adjusting to a new home field to implementing strict safety protocols, the team has been working hard to make their temporary home in Buffalo feel as much like Toronto as possible. And while there may be challenges and uncertainties, the hope for normalcy and the return to Toronto is something that we can all look forward to.

The pandemic may have brought about changes and challenges, but it has also highlighted the resilience and adaptability of the sports world. As we navigate through these uncertain times, one thing is for sure – sports will always find a way to bring people together, no matter where we are in the world.