This season has been another strong one for the Vancouver Canadians (Short Season A; Northwest League), as they continue to attract fans in solid numbers.
Originally opening in 1951, Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium has a long history with professional baseball, but the run of the current incarnation of the Canadians has been notable in several respects. Following the 1999 season, the Class AAA Pacific Coast League Canadians relocated to Raley Field in Sacramento to become the Sacramento River Cats. The void at Nat Bailey Stadium was filled by the Northwest League, with the then Southern Oregon Timberjacks relocating to Vancouver to become the Canadians in time for the 2000 season.
It took some time, but the Canadians have proven to be a model of stability under owners Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney since they acquired the team in 2007. The organization has sought to enhance its historic facility in recent years, and continues to draw fans at a solid rate. As an article from The Province, dated August 5, noted, the Canadians are in a position to achieve new attendance heights in 2017:
With the 2017 season beyond the midway point, the Canadians are on the verge of another franchise attendance record, according to numbers from MiLB.com, the website for Minor League Baseball.
So far this year, the Canadians have averaged 6,254 fans per game with a seating capacity of 6,413 at Nat Bailey Stadium, up from the 6,177 a year ago, and the 5,825 average in 2015.
“And I leaned over to Jake and said, ‘Well, if you hadn’t bought this team, no one would be singing that song right now. That’s when it resonated: Without Jake and Jeff, there would not be baseball in the city of Vancouver today.”
Some ballpark upgrades, including the addition of the hey y’all! Porch in 2015, have been notable developments for the Canadians in the recent past. The club also still appears to be placing a strong emphasis on customer service, something that has previously been identified as a strength of its operations.