Vancouver Whitecaps to start season in Sandy, Utah, due to border restrictions

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VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps will start the Major League Soccer season in Utah.

The club confirmed Wednesday that it will play out of Real Salt Lake's home, Rio Tinto Stadium, in Sandy, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City.

Border restrictions forced all three Canadian MLS teams to relocate to the U.S. midway through last season and the 'Caps finished out the year in Portland, Ore., sharing a stadium with the Portland Timbers.

Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster says in a release that the club's main objective is to return to Vancouver as soon as possible.

The 'Caps will kick off the season on April 18, hosting the Timbers in Utah.

Toronto FC will play out of Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla., to start the year and CF Montreal will begin the season at Inter Miami CF Stadium in Miami, Fla.


CANADIAN TEAMS IN THE U.S.

A look at where Canadian pro teams have called home during the pandemic:

Toronto Blue Jays (MLB): Buffalo, N.Y. (2020), Dunedin, Fla. (2021)

Toronto Raptors (NBA): Tampa, Fla. (2021)

Toronto FC (MLS): East Hartford, Conn. (2020), Orlando, Fla., Tampa (2021)

Toronto Arrows (Major League Rugby): Marietta, Ga. (2021)

Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS): Portland, Ore. (2020), Salt Lake City (2021)

CF Montreal (MLS): Harrison, N.J. (2020), Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (2021)

Many Canadian teams have also competed in protected "bubble" environments during the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press