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Blue Jays confirm return to Buffalo to play home games in Bisons' ballpark

Toronto Blue Jays

With the U.S.-Canada border still closed to non-essential traffic, it was expected earlier this spring that the Toronto Blue Jays would plan to again use Buffalo's Sahlen Field for many of its home games in the 2021 Major League Baseball season. The Blue Jays and Bisons confirmed Wednesday morning the big league team will return in June, and this year fans will be allowed to purchase seats.

(This story will be updated.)

The Blue Jays and Bisons issued a joint announcement revealing that the Blue Jays will begin playing home games in Buffalo beginning June 1, with a home series against the Miami Marlins.

“The Blue Jays returning to Sahlen Field to once again temporarily play their home games is a testament to the great working relationship the Bisons organization has with our Major League parent club,” said Mike Buczkowski, president of Rich Baseball Operations, owners of the Bisons, in a prepared written statement. “The only thing lacking from a successful MLB summer at Sahlen Field in 2020 was the ability to share that experience with our great fans. I know Buffalo is ready to get back to the ballpark and give the Blue Jays a ‘home-away-from-home’ field advantage that will propel them towards another postseason run.”

The Jays, unable to play in Toronto's Rogers Centre and unsuccessful in attempts to use another major league ballpark, played a majority of their home games in Sahlen Field last summer. The Bisons and all of Minor League Baseball, meanwhile, were cancelled in 2020. This year, to make way for the Blue Jays, the Bisons are playing their home games in Trenton, NJ as the Trenton Thunder.

Buffalo's ballpark, designed for use at the Triple A minor league level, was reconfigured last year to include a temporary visitors' clubhouse facility, additional lighting, new infield grass and the use of concourses normally accessed by fans for needs including weights and workout space.

This spring, in anticipation of more need to use Sahlen Field, the Blue Jays and Bisons invested in another round of renovations and reconfigurations including:

  • Moving the bullpens off the field to behind the outfield walls
  • New batting cages built beyond right field
  • Resodding the outfield grass, completing a full field replacement that began with the infield in 2020
  • New weight room and renovated clubhouse facilities
  • LED light bulb replacements plus two additional temporary lighting poles

Fans will be admitted this year, but at 24% capacity, as per state and local health guidelines. Tickets for the Blue Jays' first home series against Miami will go on sale May 13.

“The City of Buffalo is thrilled to once again be able to welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to Sahlen Field,” said Buffalo mayor Byron Brown in a prepared statement. “The Blue Jays and the Bisons have done a tremendous job preparing our city’s ballpark for Major League Baseball, and after embracing the Blue Jays as our hometown team in 2020, the ability to have the great sports fans of Western New York inside Sahlen Field this time around will no doubt make this summer at the ballpark an unforgettable one for our city.”

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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