The West Coast League announced Wednesday it’s cancelling the baseball season for its Canadian division, which includes the Edmonton Riverhawks, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is disappointing but not surprising news,” Riverhawks managing director Randy Gregg said.
“We’ve worked really hard to be ready to take to the field this June but the health and safety of our fans and the players must come first.”
Travel restrictions will make it impractical to get players across the border to their Canadian teams from their American colleges, the Riverhawks said in a news release.
“The elite summer collegiate league, which is comprised of 15 teams and some of the best players from USA Division 1 college teams, faces too many logistical hurdles to get players from their American schools into Canada for a 2021 summer schedule,” the Riverhawks explained.
The team said it will continue work refurbishing ReMax Field and look at options to “safely active the facility” with other programming.
“We’ve been very busy overseeing the installation of new artificial turf and LED lighting to upgrade this iconic baseball stadium,” Gregg said.
“We are also installing a high definition LED scoreboard to enhance the fan experience, once we are able to open our home park to local baseball fans. We’re also overhauling the food and beverage operations and much more.”
The Riverhawks’ news release said the team is also considering other options for the field — as health measures permit — including local minor baseball, softball and slo-pitch organizations renting the space when AHS gives the OK.
The team said some high school officials have also expressed interest in using the large outdoor space as a potential site for Grade 12 graduations.
Last June, the Edmonton Prospects announced they would be moving to Spruce Grove. Gold Sports, which owns the Prospects, said it had partnered with Victor Moroz with Metro Horizon Corp. to privately fund a new complex to host the team.
The Prospects play in the Western Canadian Baseball League.
2021 was supposed to be the first season for the Edmonton Riverhawks at ReMax Field. They were set to play 27 games in Edmonton and another 27 on the road.