(Nanaimo's Serauxmen Stadium)

The Victoria Harbourcats will have a new Vancouver Island Rival after it was announced the West Coast League baseball is expanding to Nanaimo.

The team that has yet to be named is owned by the same company that operates the Victoria HarbourCats at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria since it debuted in the WCL in 2013.

Nanaimo will become the 13th WCL team in the summer collegiate baseball league, and will play out Serauxmen Stadium beginning in June of 2021.

The ownership group includes John Wilson (of Wilson’s Transportation), Richard Harder, and brothers Ken and Jim Swanson. Jim Swanson is the Managing Partner and will oversee operations in both Nanaimo and Victoria.

“This is an exciting day for us all. This has been in the works for a few years and it’s going to be a great new addition to the Nanaimo sports scene,” said John Wilson, the team’s Vice-President/Business, whose Wilson’s Group of Companies has operations based in both Nanaimo and Victoria, serving the entire Island.”

“The successful program that has been built in Victoria will now have an Island rival, to go along with the other natural rivalries already in place with, in particular, Port Angeles, Kelowna and Bellingham.”

The city of Nanaimo is working on installing lighting at historic Serauxmen Stadium starting this month, which will benefit all groups – the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association, the Coal Miners senior program, the Pirates of the BC Premier Baseball League, the VIU Mariners team, and of course the new Nanaimo WCL Baseball Club.

Along with the announcement, the Nanaimo WCL team has unveiled a new website, and it comes with a fun twist – they are currently holding a Name-The-Team Contest, so you could have your say in what the Island’s next greatest sports team will be called!

The Victoria and Nanaimo teams will be separately operated, with independent coaching staffs and independent recruiting processes, while completely competitive against one another.

The Nanaimo team’s name and coaching staff are expected to be unveiled this coming summer.