A Sylvan Lake expansion team with the Western Canadian Baseball League has officially been approved by the league.
The baseball team will be housed in a stadium built into the new Pogadl Park, and is expected to have the first pitch thrown for the 2021 season of the WCBL.
Kevin Kyame, president of the WCBL, says the approval for the expansion was an easy one to come to.
“We are thrilled to have such a quality and dedicated group come forward and put a proposal before the League that really was an easy decision,” Kyame said.
He believes the population and the businesses in Sylvan Lake and surrounding areas will “appreciate the level of baseball” coming to town.
The Western Canadian Baseball League a summer collegiate league. The teams are made up of players from North American colleges and universities.
The league plays from late-May to mid-August in a 56-game schedule.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre says the expansion team, which has yet to be named, is “another opportunity for residents come together, celebrate, and engage.”
“We’re particularly excited, as the leagues presence contributes to the provision of enhanced amenities for our residents,” McIntyre said in a press release.
The approval for the Sylvan Lake expansion team came during the WCBL’s annual general meeting in Weyburn, Sask. at the end of October.
“We have some exciting plans in place that we will be looking to execute on to get ready for the first pitch in the summer of 2021!” said Aqil Samuel, general manager and president of baseball operations with Hard 4 Sports & Entertainment.
Samuel said Hard 4 Sports & Entertainment will be working with stakeholders to build a successful franchise in Sylvan Lake.
He hopes the new baseball team in Sylvan Lake will be one the town and its neighbours will be “proud of for many years to come.”
The Sylvan Lake team will join 206 expansion teams Fort McMurray Giants and Brooks Bombers in the league.
Other teams in the WCBL include: the Lethbridge Bulls, Medicine Hat Mavericks, Okotoks Dawgs, Edmonton Prospects, Swift Current 57’s, Moose Jaw Miller Express, Weyburn Beavers, and Regina Red Sox.
More information about the team will come in future months, including potential names for the future team.