Edmonton Prospects for bright ‘prospects’


Canada Edmonton Prospects Ballpark Image: Gold Sports and Entertainment Group

The collegiate summer baseball team Edmonton Prospects of the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) based at Edmonton, Canada, will soon be heading to greener pastures in the form of a brand new Spruce Grove Park in Whistler for the 2022 season.

Lethbridge (Canada)-headquartered Western Canadian Baseball League is a collegiate summer baseball league based in Saskatchewan and Alberta that descends from leagues dating to 1931. It comprises 13 teams with 11 active.

The ballpark of Edmonton Prospects will feature an ambitious 360 degree wraparound concourse, a microbrewery, suite, party decks and a merchandise store. An amphitheater will sit on the opposite side of the brewery.

Pat Cassidy, President, Gold Sports and Entertainment, who is also the Prospects’ owner, said that the 2022 relocation to Spruce Grove would place the team a short distance from its old residence – the 9,200-capacity RE/Max Field (baseball stadium) in Edmonton, Canada.

For the Prospects’ 2021 season, the WCBL President Kevin Kvame had this to say, “They will split games among a few Edmonton-area parks, as well as play a couple ‘home dates’ in Sylvan Lake, Okotoks and Lethbridge. So, it will be a bit of a traveling road show for a year until they open their new stadium.”

The Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) has affirmed its support to the Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club as it navigates the 2021 season while a new home ballpark is being built in Spruce Grove.

The Prospects were compelled to look for a new home after former Edmonton ice hockey defence man for the Oilers team and physician Dr. Randy Gregg acquired a 10-year lease from the City to operate RE/MAX Field, which served as the Prospects’ residence for the 2020 season.

The Prospects too had submitted a bid when the City had called for a redevelopment of the ballpark site but Gregg’s proposal which de-emphasized baseball and stressed more on event dates by featuring a broader array of programing, including non-sporting events, was given the nod by City heads.

A press statement sent out by Cassidy stated, “While this move has been speculated by many for some time, it was never the official position of the company as Gold Sports continued to seek an agreement to keep the Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club at RE/MAX Field in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley.”

“While City of Edmonton officials both on Council and within Administration had indicated that they wanted to work with a new operating model for the ballpark they had also clearly conveyed their strong desires to keep the Edmonton Prospects and the Western Canadian Baseball League at RE/MAX Field. While this in the end did NOT prove to be the City’s priority – it does now provide the Corporation with an ability to focus its full attention and resources on an exciting opportunity in the Greater Metro Edmonton Region (GMER) and namely Spruce Grove, Alberta,” the statement added.

The state-of-the-art Spruce Grove Park will be constructed over 25 acres of land in Edmonton greater.

Added Cassidy, “We are excited to build a bold and extremely unique ballpark in Spruce Grove, Alberta. This design will allow us to bend the rules of a traditional ballpark and integrate into the surrounding neighborhood, or conversely and uniquely, allow us to build the neighborhood into the ballpark. We have spent the last six months engaging in community dialog with public officials, community-based organizations, residents, community leaders and fans of baseball and our desire for this project is to deliver real economic, civic, and cultural benefits, including job creation and economic diversification. We are also committed to delivering a baseball experience for our fans like no other as we see this ballpark, in partnership with the Western Canadian Baseball League, on the cutting edge of some very exciting times.”

The Prospects’ owner concluded, “The league likes the Province of Alberta’s push to grow the tourism market and is looking to position itself as a motivating draw or anchor for Canadian tourism in the summer months and in order to play any kind of significant role in that regard we need to ensure that we are a dynamic part of the ‘Canadian Prairie Baseball Experience’ for tourists coming to Alberta from North America and the rest of the world.”

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