Oriole Park at Camden Yards could be a dual-occupancy ballpark this season after the Orioles home was reportedly listed among the possibilities for the displaced Toronto Blue Jays.
With the Blue Jays not allowed to play in Canada after the federal government decided not to allow travel to and from the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said Monday that his team has more than five contingency plans and was in talks with other teams. He declined to name them.
According to Sportsnet, which cited unnamed industry sources, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is one of the sites “earning active consideration” to host the Blue Jays’ home games.
The Orioles declined to comment.
Another team connected to hosting the Blue Jays, the Pittsburgh Pirates, issued a statement immediately offering their support to the idea.
“In an effort to help in the return of the game we all love, we continue to have active discussions with Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays organization regarding the possibility of hosting home games for the Blue Jays at PNC Park this season,” Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement. “This will be a monumental challenge for our staff, but leaning in to help others is what Pittsburghers do best.”
Williams’ statement also noted the jobs and revenue hosting 30 additional games could bring to local businesses with two teams in town even when the Pirates are away.
The same would be true for the Orioles and Baltimore, where the team prides itself on its role in supporting the economy in downtown Baltimore.
The Orioles’ and Blue Jays’ schedules align well for a time-share at Camden Yards, with only two conflicts — July 29-Aug. 2, and Aug. 14-16. There are no overlapping home dates in September. Also, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro, a Gilman graduate, is the son of Ron Shapiro, a prominent former Baltimore attorney and sports agent.
Atkins said that if the Blue Jays can’t find a major league park, their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, New York, would be their most likely site for home games. The team had been considering playing at its training facility in Dunedin, Florida, which is among the states that are virus hot spots.
But based on what the players want and the collaboration they are getting from other teams and Major League Baseball, Atkins said the Blue Jays are focused on major league parks, as long as they can be safe.
Toronto begins the season at Tampa Bay on Friday and is scheduled to play its first home game July 29 against defending champion Washington.
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The Associated Press contributed to this article.