A summer-collegiate Western Canadian Baseball League expansion team in Sylvan Lake, AB is on tap, as team ownership and league and city officials announce plans for a 2021 launch.
The Sylvan Lake franchise will be backed by Hard 4 Sports Entertainment Ltd., whose principal is Graham Schetzsle of Veteran, AB. The group, along with the Town of Sylvan Lake, are currently developing a new regional park that will have a ballpark as a centerpiece. The team is expected to compete in the WCBL 2021 season.
“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,” said Kevin Kvame, President of the Western Canadian Baseball League. “They have a major population base surrounding them that will appreciate the level of baseball coming to their area as well as a large business base that can invest and partner with the new team in town.”
“We [Hard 4 Sports and Entertainment Ltd.] are elated that the Western Canadian Baseball League accepted our expansion franchise proposal and business plan this weekend at their AGM in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.,” said Aqil Samuel, General Manager and President of Baseball Operations, Hard 4 Sports & Entertainment. “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! We look forward to working with all stakeholders and building a WCBL franchise that will make the Town of Sylvan Lake and our neighbours in Central Alberta proud of for many years to come!”
“For many Sylvan Lakers, participating in, and enjoying outdoor recreation is a way of life, and I’m grateful for the opportunity a WCBL franchise brings to our community – in that this is another opportunity for residents come together, celebrate, and engage,” said Town of Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre.”We’re particularly excited, as the leagues presence contributes to the provision of enhanced amenities for our residents.”
Sylvan Lake joins 2016 expansion teams Fort McMurray Giants and Brooks Bombers, as well as long standing members from Alberta, the Lethbridge Bulls (1999), Medicine Hat Mavericks (2002), Okotoks Dawgs (2003), and Edmonton Prospects (2005). Teams in Saskatchewan include the Swift Current 57’s, Moose Jaw Miller Express, Weyburn Beavers, and Regina Red Sox. The Western Canadian Baseball League is a strictly summer collegiate league featuring players from North American colleges/universities who showcase their talents for local communities in a 56 game schedule from late May to mid-August.