Saskatoon is excited to re-enter the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) after the Wednesday press conference announcement of the expansion of the city’s baseball club, making a 10-year commitment to the league.
The expanded club will field a team for the summer of 2024, practicing out of Cairns Field and the Gordie Howe Sports Complex, which is currently undergoing renovations.
“We believe it’s been too long since Saskatoon has had a WCBL team,” said Sask. Entertainment Group vice-president Steve Hildebrand.
“We feel it’s super important for the baseball community and the City of Saskatoon to have somewhere to go on a beautiful summer evening.”
The last time Saskatoon played in the Western Canadian Baseball League, then known as the Western Major Baseball League, was over a decade ago, as the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets.
“It was a no-brainer for the league that this was the right time, right partner in the league and it’s time to move forward and bring baseball back at the WCBL level to Saskatoon,” said WCBL president Kevin Kvame.
“We look forward to taking the league to higher levels of fan excitement and engagement with the involvement of Saskatoon in the coming years. We have always felt the loss of a franchise in Saskatoon and enthusiastically welcome the City of Saskatoon, its fans, and partners back to our WCBL family.”
Hildebrand said this will be a great move for the city.
“I believe that this is a key market for the WCBL and am glad we could bring it back. This has been a missing piece of the Saskatoon baseball community ever since the Yellow Jackets left. I think it will be a great summertime event for businesses and community alike.
“We want to be a part of this community and we want to be a part of this game locally that has already grown exponentially in the last five or six years… I think that baseball is more popular now, and I also think our team is better suited to promote the game and to have fun fan experience at Cairns Field.”
The team is currently assembling a coaching staff and developing an online campaign so fans can weigh in on the new team’s name and colors.
“We will open up a voting campaign for a few weeks, finalize that and really just put it into the hands of the fans,” said director of business operations, Tyler Wawryk.
The new team will be owned and ran by the Sask. Entertainment Group, the same group that owns the Saskatoon Blades and the Saskatchewan Rush.
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