Buffalo Bisons head to New Jersey to start season, opening door for Toronto Blue Jays

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bisons will relocate to Trenton, N.J., for the start of the 2021 season, clearing the path for the Toronto Blue Jays to return to the home of their triple-A affiliate.

The Bisons said Friday they are completing a joint renovation project with the Blue Jays to prepare Sahlen Field for Major League regular-season games during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blue Jays have said Buffalo, N.Y., is a potential temporary home this season after the team played most of its home games at Sahlen Field last year.

The 16,600-seat downtown stadium is minutes from the Peace Bridge, connecting Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ont. The state of New York is now allowing 20 per cent capacity at outdoor sports venues with 2,500 or more seats. No fans were allowed at Blue Jays games in Buffalo last year.

The Blue Jays are playing their first three homestands this year at their 8,500-seat spring-training facility in Dunedin, Fla.

With the weather heating up in June in Florida when their fourth homestand begins, the Blue Jays have said Buffalo is a possible option as they await border restrictions to lift for a potential return to Rogers Centre.

The upgrades at Sahlen Field include moving the bullpens off the field and behind the outfield walls, new batting cages, a new weight room, LED light bulb replacements and two additional temporary lighting poles.

Trenton lost its double-A team this year as MLB revamped its minor-league system.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press