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Blue Jays to return to Toronto for home games, 15,000 fans to be allowed says team president

CA, 18 Jul 2021
Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro spoke Saturday about the team receiving permission from the Canadian government to return to Canada for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, adding that they had received approval from the Ontario government to be able to have up to 15,000 fans for games at the Rogers Centre.

The federal government announced Friday that it had given the team its approval for a National Interest Exemption for the team to operate in the country.

"My first thought upon getting the email last night that contained the national letter of exemption was, pretty simply, 670 days," Shapiro said. "That's how long it's been since we played a home game, a true home game."

Under Ontario's Step 3 restrictions, up to 15,000 people are allowed to gather for an outdoor event. Asked if the Rogers Centre would be considered "outdoors" as it has a retractable roof, Shapiro confirmed the team had received approval, adding they were comfortable leaving the roof open as often as possible. He said in inclement weather, where the roof would not be able to stay open, he did say there were other plans in place so they could still play even with the roof closed.

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