The Buffalo Blue Jays will likely be back in MLB later this year. 

As Keegan Matheson wrote for the league’s official website, the Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, announced on Friday that they’re beginning the season in Trenton, N.J., while the Blue Jays renovate Buffalo’s Sahlen Field to prepare it for MLB action. 

The Blue Jays previously confirmed they’re hosting opponents at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., through May 24 because of the continued closure of the border that separates the United States and Canada to nonessential travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While Toronto wishes to return up north and play home games at Rogers Centre, parts of Canada are again embracing lockdowns due to virus outbreaks. 

There remains no official timetable for when the Blue Jays may be permitted back in Toronto, and club officials prefer to spend the summer in Buffalo because it offers better weather conditions during the hottest and most grueling portion of the season. 

Bison general manager Anthony Sprague said in a prepared statement:

“While temporarily inconvenient, the good news about these ballpark renovations is that the upgrades the Blue Jays and the Bisons are making will also have a long-lasting effect on baseball in Buffalo. Far exceeding the new required Major League Baseball Player Development League facility standards, Sahlen Field will once again become one of the premier locations for player training and performance amenities in Minor League baseball, ensuring high-quality baseball in Western New York for many seasons to come.” 

The Blue Jays notched a 17-9 record at Sahlen Field during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.