Royal Athletic Park will remain without the familiar sights and sounds of the good ol’ ball game for at least one more season.
According to the teams’ ownership, the 2021 West Coast League baseball season has been cancelled for the Victoria HarbourCats as well as their expansion team, the Nanaimo NightOwls, due to COVID-19.
“It’s unfathomable this would happen for two consecutive seasons,” said Jim Swanson, managing-partner and general manager of both teams.
“There is no business plan for this.”
Both the Victoria and Nanaimo baseball clubs are operated by the same ownership group, and none of the 5 Canadian teams in the West Coast League will be operating this season.
For the HarbourCats, this will be the second season in a row with no baseball, while the NightOwls were gearing up to play their inaugural season in the league under at the brand new Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.
The Vancouver Island teams had no choice, says the team’s management, considering the Provincial Health Officer’s guidelines and current and possible future restrictions in both British Columbia and Alberta, along with the ongoing Canadian-US Border closure.
“There are simply too many things working against us,” said Jim Swanson.
Fans who have purchased tickets, or ticket vouchers for both HarbourCats 2021 games will receive full value for their purchases.
Season Ticket holders who have paid in full will automatically have their tickets rolled over into the 2022 season. Fans with 2020 or 2021 specific game tickets or 2021 flex pack vouchers will be able to redeem those for tickets into the 2022 season once that schedule is announced.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps also chimed in on the HarbourCats’ season cancellation, “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,” she said.
“I respect the decision of the HarbourCats management and thank them for keeping our community safe. In the meantime, I know we’ll all look forward with anticipation to the 2022 season.”