VICTORIA, B.C. — The Victoria HarbourCats are pleased to announce that the organization has bid on a major event, intending to host more great baseball at Royal Athletic Park.
The HarbourCats have served application notice for the Baseball Canada Senior Championships in 2017 and 2018. The official national tournament for the best men’s amateur (senior) teams in Canada has never been hosted in Victoria, and had only been held in BC three times in the past 25 years (Kamloops in 2005, and Prince George in 2002 and 2012).
The nationals bid chair is Shawn Petriw, a member of the HarbourCats marketing team with extensive experience in bidding on and executing the hosting of major sports and arts events.
“Our local ownership group pledged to do all we can to bring the best baseball events possible to Victoria, as part of our mandate to build the game of baseball and support community growth,” said Jim Swanson, one of the partners of the group that took over ownership of the HarbourCats prior to the 2015 West Coast League season.
“This is a premium event, and we are hopeful the bid process will smile on awarding this tournament to Victoria,” said Swanson, who chaired the tournaments when they were held in Prince George. “It would complement our HarbourCats season nicely, and give our fans and the community something else to look forward to in those summers. More baseball is a good thing, and we know this great community will support it fully.”
The tournaments would take place in the third week of August, following the completion of the WCL season/playoffs. B.C.-based teams have won gold recently — 2013 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, 2012 in Prince George, and 2008 in Brandon when the Victoria Mavericks claimed the national title.
Ten teams from across Canada are expected to take part, adding to the sport tourism benefit for Victoria and the South Island. The tournament takes place Wednesday-Sunday with up to 25 games played.
The bid is being submitted with the support of the B.C. Senior Baseball Association, Baseball B.C., Victoria Mavericks Baseball League (which plays out of Lambrick Park), the Greater Victoria Baseball Association, SportHost Victoria, and the City of Victoria.
The bid is expected to be awarded by Baseball Canada in early November.