Connect with us
[the_ad id="89560"]

Community

WCBL season cancelled ending the Edmonton Prospects run at Re/Max Field

Published

4 minute read

According to a contract held by the city of Edmonton, COVID-19 has ended the life of the Edmonton Prospects at Re/Max Field.

Until members of the Western Canadian Baseball League voted on Wednesday to write off what would have been a 2020 season, the Prospects were in line to play at the field in Edmonton’s Saskatchewan River valley until the end of the regular schedule or playoffs.

Now, since there will be no WCBL season, there will be no more Prospects in Edmonton unless a one-year agreement can be devised with other park operators that would bridge a one-year gap and keep his team here 2021. He has spoken often of work to be completed on a complex to be developed in the Spruce Grove-Stony Plain area slightly west of Edmonton in time for the 2022 season, by which time a group headed by Randy Gregg will have control of Re/Max.

“I think it would be mighty ambitious to promise a new park would be functioning in time to start a new season less than a year from right now,” Cassidy said in a telephone interview.

The Gregg group won its long-term contract although it has no team at present and has held no meeting with league president Kevin Kvame and other governors about obtaining one. Several involved citizens have advocated that the Prospects and a new team (perhaps the Capitals) ultimately could share playing dates, but Cassidy suggested such an arrangement is unlikely.

“A couple of deals have been presented for us to look at, but they don’t work for us,” Cassidy said. “We offered a deal to the Gregg group but they didn’t accept it, either.”

Evidently, those negotiations will continue into the future. In the meantime, all 10 teams face the necessity to operate with a 2021 start as their most optimistic possibility. Entry of a new Sylvan Lake franchise will add to the enthusiasm, as will the promising ownership and participation structure already taking shape for the Brooks Bombers.

“We had all been kind of hoping that we could start our season in a month or so and get maybe 20 home games for each team,” Cassidy said. “Always, the July 1 long weekend has been good for our league at the gate.” There also had been brief conversation about extending the season into August before starting playoffs – roughly a month later than usual.

“The problem is that every time we got some encouraging news (on lifting lockdown provisions), we got new and discouraging news a day or two later.

“There was not a lot of debate about how we could keep things alive with the information we had, so it was not a hard decision for all of us to make.”

President Kvame expressed regret on “a sad day for the WCBl, our 10 teams, 300-plus players and tens of thousands of fans in Alberta-Saskatchewan, adding that operational costs have been expanding as the league improves and shortening the schedule would only add to potential financial stresses. “We are a gate-generated league. We will mourn the loss of the season for a day or two and then we’ll get busy on 2021.”

The governors’ vote to discontinue plans for the coming season was unanimous, he added.

Our sports history has value

Read more of John’s stories here.

Follow Author

More from this author

Alberta

A Small, Important Opening

Published on

A Small, Important Opening

Chances are pretty good that all major-league sports and some of the lower-profile ones will manage to complete partial 2020 seasons despite growing signs that COVID-19 will not give up without a long and continuing fight for dominance over sports and all else in today’s world.

Experts and observers of all athletic and public disciplines agree, however, that nothing is certain: baseball players are opting to stay home; basketball players express discontent and confusion every day; the NHL waffles over naming so-called hub cities for a wacky playoff proposal that continues to raise more questions than answers.

In the midst of all this uncertainty comes one simple burst of optimism: the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the public on Thursday, 98 days after the rampaging coronavirus pandemic forced closure of the building on the edge of Red Deer on March 16. It is fair to concede that reopening a small-city building warrants little public interest when compared with the billions involved in professional sports, but it’s also reasonable to accept that every step of progress in this deadly world-wide struggle is worth recording.

Although none of the $302,000 committed to the Hall in the current provincial budget has been received – a $75,000 commitment has been made but no cash has appeared and a review is already promised for later this year – executive director Tracey Kinsella said some pleasant things have been achieved during the lockdown.

“We have been extremely busy giving our Hall of Fame an update,” she smiled. “Our goal is to improve the entire experience for our visitors from the moment they walk in the door.”

Cleanliness was, and is, essential in the reopening. Sanitizers, directional signs and plenty of obvious messaging are part of the opening, of course. There is no plan for an opening ceremony, Kinsells said. “We would like to do something of a celebration, maybe later in July.”

At one time, fingers were crossed that induction of the 14 members selected several months ago but “we had to decide (last week) that there will be no induction banquet in 2020. We’ve had to tell all the inductees that we’re having to wait until next year.”

The list includes four athletes: skier Deirdra Dionne, hockey player Chris Phillips, chuck-wagon racer Kelly Sutherland and snowboard-cross star Michael Robertson. Five builders – Jan Ullmark, figure skating; Terry Morris, curling; Ken Babey, hockey; Derek Douglas, soccer – were selected along with five Hall of Fame Award winners Nancy Southern and Ian Allison (equestrian broadcasters, Bell Memorial Award), John Currie (Western Canada Summer Games 1983, Achievement Award); Stan Wakelyn (1922 Canadian soccer champions 1922, Pioneer Award); Dennis Kadatz (coach of Edmonton Huskies national junior football champions 1962-64).

Those awards show clearly how broad is the effect of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Every winner spent years working and practicing toward the world’s most elusive goal: perfection. There is no suggestion that it was reached, just as there can be no hint that they have inspired thousands to follow them.

Discussing the government’s failure to live up to its contracted financial commitment, Kinsella was not especially critical: “We’re sad, disappointed, maybe a little alarmed.” During a lengthy discussion, she finally confirmed receipt of the government’s letter providing the limited amount and mentioned “I’ve asked for meetings, have not had a direct, face-to-face conversation with anyone in the area of culture.”

My unsolicited opinion: this is unreasonable. As the Hall opens its doors, perhaps a government department should also open up.

Learn more about the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Our sports history has value

Continue Reading

#EdmontonStrong

Local producer brings together some of Edmonton’s best musical artists to take on the challenge of isolation and music

Published on

June 26th, 2020

I’ve long been a fan of RJ Cui.

We met years ago – he doing something amazing in the community – promoting good causes using his talents in music and video, to engage and create good…. literally everywhere – me, running a TV station and being admittedly jealous of his ability to do first rate production work, both music and video.  And he and his equally-talented wife Rowena Manansala owned their own company, Planit Sound, and appeared to really be living their best lives in video production and music recording.

It was apparent that RJ and his team did really good work. Innovative and engaging campaigns like this one that I was fortunate enough to be a part of, were coming out of their shop with some regularity.

But I didn’t become aware of RJ’s musical history until he was chosen as one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2010.  There I learned about his band, Darkson Tribe and that they had toured Asia a few times, played in front of some big audiences at the X Games in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

So, it was with some interest that I listened when RJ told about a project he’d done recently with a group of award-winning Edmonton musicians, singers, and songwriters.  They created the song “Feel This” while being completely isolated. Turn it up and have a listen – and celebrate these amazing local artists.

Josh Classen from “Feel This”

Even if you’re not a local music officianado, you’ll recognize this guy … long a rhymer of words, meteorologist and deliverer of weather and song, Josh Classen makes a substantial contribution to this effort.

“We will rebuild, but how long ‘till we get back in the streets and how many people killed…hands up for the workers on the front lines” Lyrics by Josh Classen AKA joc.

The news release says this:

Covid-19 changed the lives of Edmontonians in a way we will never forget.  In the middle of this global pandemic, 8 local award-winning art ists found strength in isolation and brought inspiration to the community in the only way they knew how: Music.

Across the globe, people have turned to music to bridge the space between social distancing and songs have been the sounds of consolation for communities to keep us from feeling alone. In April, 8 local artists decided that they would collaborate by creating an original song and music video that reflected what they were feeling during this global pandemic in an effort to fill our Edmonton streets with the powerfully uniting sound of music.

The musical score, lyric writing, and recording of each artist’s verse were all produced while each person was completely self isolated.  Each artist utilized their own home recording studios, sending their “scratch vocals” to PlanIt Studios (RJ and Rowena’s studio) for final editing, mixing and mastering.

The music video was shot while social distancing at the PlanIt Studios, one artist at a time.

“I choose to be prepared but I don’t let it rule my mind, little 7 year olds with fear in their eyes.” Lyrics by K-Riz

“I ain’t used to driving around, nobody downtown, in the middle of the street as I’m pulling the camera out” Lyrics by Video Director / Artist R.J. Cui AKA Jing

The song is called “Feel This” by YEG Collective Artists:

Josh Classen AKA joc

Terrell Edwards

K-Riz

Arlo-Maverick

Riwo: lead singer of Melafrique

Oozeela

Deuce Fantastick

Jing (Artist and Video Director from PlanIt Sound Inc.)

“Feel This” by YEG Collective Artists song and music video is available on music streaming platforms everywhere.

#FeelThisYEG

Read more on Todayville Edmonton.

Continue Reading

Trending

X