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Seaman Stadium seat expansion put on hold ahead of season opener

Click to play video: 'Seaman Stadium seat expansion put on hold ahead of season opener' Seaman Stadium seat expansion put on hold ahead of season opener
WATCH ABOVE: The Okotoks Dawgs are about to start their 11th season at Seaman Stadium. The popular summer league team averages over 4,000 fans per game but a proposed seat expansion won’t happen this season as expected. Kevin Smith has more – May 31, 2018

The Okotoks Dawgs are set to start their 11th season at Seaman Stadium. The Dawgs play in the Western Major Baseball League and are one of the most-attended collegiate summer league teams in North America.

This summer, they will surpass 800,000 fans in the history of Seaman Stadium and they average over 4,000 fans a game. In the off-season they agreed on a deal with the Town of Okotoks to add another 120 seats along the first base line but the province said it won’t meet building code until a couple dozen more toilets are added at the stadium.

“We’re very, very disappointed,” Dawgs vice-president Will Gardner said. “We hoped and made the promise that it would be here for opening day – it is not.

“Having these conditions come at us really set us back so we’re appealing that for now.”

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The Town of Okotoks is in agreement with the baseball club and said the proposed seat addition shouldn’t change capacity and require additional toilets.

“We’re not increasing capacity, we’re staying at the exact same capacity,” Okotoks town councillor Tanya Thorn said. “All we’re doing is moving some seats now into fixed chairs from sitting on the grass, so it shouldn’t change the infrastructure that’s here.”

The team is appealing the province’s building code decision but said no matter how long that decision takes, any upgrades will start this fall at the earliest.

At a press conference Thursday at the Duvernay Fieldhouse at Seaman Stadium, this year’s team and staff were unveiled. Homegrown talent, along with dozens of American college players, fill out the roster.

The team will be led by new head coach Mitch Schmidt who’s coming to Alberta this summer from Bellevue University in Nebraska.

New Okotoks Dawgs Head Coach Mitch Schmidt at the Seaman Stadium Duvernay Fieldhouse in Okotoks. May 31st, 2018. Global News

The Dawg’s season opener is Friday in Edmonton with the home opener going Saturday at 7 p.m. at Seaman Stadium, hosting Medicine Hat.

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