Toronto mayor says talks underway with Blue Jays, Raptors on return to play

Toronto mayor says talks underway with Blue Jays, Raptors on return to play

Toronto Mayor John Tory said Tuesday that there have been preliminary talks with Major League Baseball’s Blue Jays and the NBA’s Raptors about a return to action as restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ease.

Tory said the city is working with the Ontario provincial government on decision-making regarding the Raptors, and that “things are moving forward quite nicely.”

He said he expects there will be some news to report, but did not go into detail. The NBA is currently planning to allow teams to open practice facilities starting Friday, though government clearance would be required.

Tory said he has discussed the possibility of the Blue Jays eventually being able to play games “here or elsewhere” at some point, but added the talks were at a preliminary level, and any plans would be dependent of the status of the Canada/U.S. border and the state of public health.

The majority of players on the Blue Jays and Raptors are currently outside Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said non-residents entering the country would “at a strict minimum” need to follow quarantine protocols.

A representative from the federal government could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Associated Press reported last month that baseball is exploring various options that could allow the season to start if the medical situation allows, including a plan in which the 30 teams might be split into three regional divisions.

Among the formats under consideration is one in which teams could be restricted to playing within their region.

Published at Tue, 05 May 2020 21:52:37 +0000