HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Hartford has made its baseball venue available to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The shortened MLB season starts on Thursday and the Toronto Blue Jays have nowhere to play. Canada told the team not to play due to coronavirus concerns.
As a result, Hartford offered up Dunkin' Donuts Park.
Connecticut is one of the lowest when it comes to COVID-19 infection rates. The location is situated perfectly between Boston and New York, plus the park isn’t an average minor league stadium.
Hartford believes it has what is takes to be a good alternative and it’s ready for baseball.
Hartford trended on Twitter once the Toronto Blue Jays struck out in their quest to find a home for their upcoming season.
“It’s brutal. You want to call somewhere home,” said Rob Dibble, a former MLB pitcher.
Canada said it is worried that American teams would bring the virus into the country.
Pittsburgh was a backup plan until Wednesday night when Pennsylvania’s health department denied them.
Mayor Luke Bronin tweeted, “Hey Blue Jays, Hartford’s ready. And CT is just a better place to be.”
“For me and my family, I just want to get through these 30 homes games, possible the postseason, with as few changes of coming into contact with the coronavirus as possible,” Dibble said.
Dibble, A former MLB star and current Hartford sports talk host, said the only other option right now is Baltimore.
“Centrally located instead of going in and out of Baltimore and [they'd be] working around the Orioles schedule as well. This would be your ballpark,” Dibble said.
Even though no fans would be allowed, bringing professional sports to the capital city for the first time since 1997 would create a buzz and also a boost for the economy.
Max Restaurants tweeted, “We are ready.”
The pitch also received the endorsement of the Yard Goats President Tim Restall. He tweeted, “The Yard Goats would be honored to host the Toronto Blue Jays.”
“It’s baseball ready right now. Their lighting is perfect for television. That was a big drawback in Buffalo. They can accommodate, like the locker room at Fenway, they can move the locker room up to the luxury suites,” Dibble said.
There are some concerns about not having the statcast technology, which measures the speed and velocities of the ball, which are needed for a major league broadcast, but even with those hang-ups, time is not on the Blue Jays’ side.
“It may not be a major league ballpark, but it is a great, brand new ballpark and it can easily show well on TV,” Dibble said.
Channel 3 asked the team if it was interested in being the Hartford Blue Jays in 2020 and it responded by saying, it's “not weighing in on any specific options or offers.”
So, what will happen if the Blue Jays can’t find a home? They may find themselves in the same situation as the Yard Goats back in 2016, when they had to play all their games on the road.