The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and border closures has batted away any hopes of summer baseball for Victoria and Canada’s other West Coast League (WCL) teams.
The Victoria HarbourCats withdrew from the WCL season on April 14, making it the second in a row spiked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right about now, what many people would like to do is something normal like having a burger and a beer and cheering on our home team,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “I respect the decision of the HarbourCats management and thank them for keeping our community safe.”
The Nanaimo NightOwls, who share the same ownership as the HarbourCats, also had its inaugural season cancelled. Along with the two Vancouver Island teams, the Kelowna Falcons, Kamloops NorthPaws and Edmonton Riverhawks will also lose out on the 2021 season.
“There are simply too many things working against us,” said Jim Swanson, general manager of both the HarbourCats and the NightOwls. “We certainly appreciate the efforts of the NorthPaws and Riverhawks in truly exploring all options for a 2021 season, they will be great additions to the WCL and the Canadian side of the league, now starting in 2022.”
The WCL’s 10 United States-based teams will play a 48-game campaign.
The league’s commissioner said the Canadian clubs will “remain foremost in our thoughts this season.”
“Obviously the league won’t feel complete without our Canadian members,” said Rob Neyer. “We’ll be honoring them in various ways throughout the summer, and we look forward to their returns to the field at full strength in 2022.”
Fans who already bought tickets for HabourCats and NightOwls 2021 season games will have those tickets rolled into the 2022 season.
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