This question is for you, a native and resident of Pittsburgh: How would you feel if you learned that the Vikings were trying to work out the logistics of playing their regular season games at Heinz Field in 2020?
If you were anything like some of my friends and family, you’d probably feel pretty darn excited. I say that because Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays, a team that hails from Canada, won’t be allowed to play their games at their home ballpark in 2020 because the country doesn’t want them traveling back and forth between Canada and the United States, where the Coronavirus is still a very big problem.
The Blue Jays need a temporary new venue for 2020, one located in America. Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, home of the Pirates, spent a few days as the leading candidate to host the Blue Jays’ home games this summer and fall. Actually, there was a point as recently as Wednesday when it seemed all but a done deal.
With all of that in mind, I was getting texts from friends and family whose enthusiasm for this possibility bordered on surreal.
“Pretty neat, don’t you think?” texted someone who shall remain nameless (my brother, Joey).
I kind of got excited about it, that is until I realized the Blue Jays had won 67 games last year—or two less than the Pirates. Besides that, even if the Yankees had to host their home games at PNC Park in 2020, there would be no fans in the stands.
I mean, I could get the excitement if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic. However, since we weren’t going to have thousands of Toronto’s finest citizens traveling to Pittsburgh on a weekly basis to infuse our great city with much Canadian capital (after conversion, of course), why was this a big deal?
Unfortunately for those who thought this was “pretty neat,” the state of Pennsylvania shut down this idea, and now the Blue Jays will have to find a new temporary baseball home in 2020.
Boo, I guess.
This is Pittsburgh. Since when did we get excited about things coming here? I know, like 1968 or something. But this isn’t 1968. Pittsburgh is now one of the cool cities. We no longer have braces and a mullet (well, there’s still the mullet in some jurisdictions). We now know how to dress to impress.
We’re from the town with the great football team. I’m talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that has hosted countless playoff match-ups, including 11 AFC title games since 1972. We’ve hosted the Stanley Cup Final six times. We’ve hosted the MLB All-Star Game a few times. Heck, according to folklore, Pittsburgh has even hosted World Series games.
Some media members suggested the Blue Jays coming here would have allowed for more international exposure for Pittsburgh.
Please. Where is your pride?
Pittsburgh is now the town where blockbuster movies get made on a regular basis. Even better, it’s where Netflix originals are often produced.
Those same media members also suggested the Blue Jays coming to Pittsburgh would have created more work for those in the service industry. Good point, and I think that would have been the only exciting thing to come out of it.
Other than that, Pittsburgh is a great catch and shouldn’t have been acting all “small town” about the possibility of a baseball team from Toronto playing its home games here.
The Toronto Blue Jays should have been excited to play in Pittsburgh, not the other way around.