The Toronto Blue Jays announced Thursday the club is in active discussions with the province about expanding capacity at Rogers Centre for its final homestand.
The Blue Jays are currently capped out at 15,000 fans under the current public health measures.
“The Blue Jays are in the final days of a heated postseason Wild Card race and need fan support more than ever to create the home-field advantage that our fans deserve down the stretch,” the club wrote in a statement.
“The club has been working closely with the premier’s office, the chief medical officer of health, and Minister [Lisa] MacLeod’s office on increasing ballpark capacity safely in line with public health protocols.”
For the remainder of the regular season and postseason home games, each fan aged 12 and older must present a government-issued ID and receipt of complete COVID-19 vaccination. The club says a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted “except for individuals with a doctor’s note indicating they cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions.”
Asked if they’re going to allow for expanded capacity at Blue Jays games, a spokesperson for Ontario Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, provided 680 NEWS with the following statement.
“Dr. [Kieran] Moore will provide an update on his recommended changes to capacity limits in specific settings where proof of vaccination is required once they are finalized and approved by Cabinet.”
The #BlueJays feel there’s no time to wait for government approval to increase fan capacity at Rogers Centre. Extra seats beyond the approved 15,000 COVID limit are going on sale for the final six games before the playoffs. Refunds will be given if the gov’t says “no.” @680NEWS pic.twitter.com/vmxUeTIP73
— Mark Douglas (@Douglas680NEWS) September 23, 2021
The Blue Jays say they’re making additional tickets available for the team’s final six-game homestand when they play the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles (Sept. 28 to Oct. 3).
Toronto Public Health wouldn’t comment on the matter, only saying local health officials will follow the province’s lead when it comes to the Blue Jays selling tickets beyond the 15,000 seat limit at Rogers Centre.
“In the event that government regulations do not allow us to expand Rogers Centre capacity beyond 15,000 fans, impacted ticket purchasers will be directly notified of their ticket cancellation and issued a refund via their original method of payment.”
Those 11 years and younger are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test when they are with a parent or guardian who meets the entrance requirements.
The additional protocols will be enforced along with existing measures, including mandatory face coverings for fans aged two and older except when actively eating or drinking in designated seats or physically distanced areas.
The Blue Jays enter Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Twins half a game back of the Yankees for the second and final wild-card spot.