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Easing of outdoor crowd restrictions too little, too late for HarbourCats and NightOwls.

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If only things were where we are now six months ago. Even two months ago.

 

The Province today announced that after July 1, outdoor gatherings in British Columbia can have up to 5,000 people in attendance, or up to 50% capacity, whichever is greater.  While that is great news for many, and for all of us in British Columbia moving forward, unfortunately, it is too little, too late for sports teams like the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls, who had to make critical business decisions two months ago regarding the 2021 West Coast League Baseball season.

 

 At that time, with the border still closed – and it is still slated to be closed until July 21 – and with the vaccination levels then nowhere near what they are right now, with COVID cases still high, the HarbourCats had to make the tough decision to forego playing the 2021 season, the second-straight lost season due to the pandemic.

 

It also meant at the time, the HarbourCats had to release all the players they had signed, so that they could find somewhere else to play this year. So for fans hoping to see the HarbourCats rapidly put a team together and start playing games, it is not going to happen.

 

There may be an opportunity though for the HarbourCats to put together some sort of exhibition game or series with their sister team the Nanaimo NightOwls later this summer, and Managing Partner for both teams, Jim Swanson, is starting to explore that possibility.

 

 “With our U.S. teams in the West Coast League already well into their 2021 WCL season, and with the border still closed, it will be impossible for us to ramp up any kind of regular season,” said Swanson. “But we are exploring some kind of exhibition series between our two teams, albeit altered from what we’ve been proud to put on the field for so many years. If something is able to be done, we will let everyone know any plans at a later date.”

 

On a longer term, the news today means that the HarbourCats and NightOwls can both proceed full speed ahead for a full season of West Coast League baseball season in 2022, the eighth for the HarbourCats and the inaugural first for the NightOwls, with fans in full attendance.

 

While the 2022 West Coast League schedule is not expected to be released until October, fans should be warned now that tickets for 2022 will be in high demand.  With four new teams in the league – the NightOwls, the Kamloops NorthPaws, the Edmonton Riverhawks and the Springfield (Oregon), Drifters, and the fact that fans will be itching to get to a game after a two-year absence, it could be a record-setting attendance year at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria, and close to a sell out for every game, in the smaller Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.

 

“With many fans having vouchers to exchange from both 2020 and 2021 and the demand for tickets for people who will just want to see a game again, we are suggesting that if you have been sitting on the fence about getting HarbourCats season tickets, now is time to act,” said HarbourCats Assistant GM of Ticketing and Media Christian Stewart.  “Season tickets are by far the best value for your money, and we have plenty of options available for Victoria in all seating areas, except our field level Diamond Club seats.”

 

Fans can also purchase 10-game flex pack vouchers now, but will have to renew them, along with all fans holding 2020 and 2021 vouchers, once the schedule is released in the fall. Flex-pack vouchers are also available as a “season ticket equivalent,” whereby for the same price as a season ticket, fans get 35 vouchers to use in any combination and for any regular season game that they wish.

 

“We can’t wait to entertain fans back at the ballpark again,” added Stewart. “Hopefully we can get something together for a game or two in July or August, but either way, 2022 is going to be amazing and we want as many fans as possible to be there with us when we celebrate the full return of HarbourCats baseball and the inaugural season for the NightOwls in Nanaimo.”

 

For more information on tickets for both teams, please visit or contact:

 

Victoria HarbourCats
https://harbourcats.com/ticketinfo/
Contact: Christian Stewart  chris@harbourcats.com
Phone: 778-265-0327

Nanaimo NightOwls
https://nanaimonightowls.com/tickets/
Contact: Raymond Kirk ray@nanaimonightowls.com
Phone: 250-709-2882

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Two key returnees among three Canadians signed for 2024

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Green (above), Hall and former Canadian junior team star Chee-Aloy join Cats

September 20, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C. — The reloading of the 2023 North Division champion Victoria HarbourCats has started — not surprisingly, given the team’s history of finding local and Canadian talent — with three players who have maple leaf passports.

Returning infielders Brandon Green of the Victoria Golden Tide and Tyrus Hall of Bossier Parrish JC are joined by prized Illinois recruit Cameron Chee-Aloy of Toronto as the HarbourCats, who have posted just one sub-.500 record since 2014 and have made the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, get ready for the 2024 campaign.

Hall, primarily a shortstop, is a Victoria product who came through the Eagles program, while Green, who can play any infield position, is in his third year with the Golden Tide, hailing from Olds, Alberta. Both played with the HarbourCats in 2023, part of the team that set a WCL record with 25 home wins in 27 home regular season games — 27-2 counting playoffs.

HarbourCats infielder Ty Hall will return to the HarbourCats in 2024 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

“Ty Hall has tremendous potential and a pro-level arm, with blazing speed — and we saw so much improvement with him under WCL coach of the year Todd Haney,” said Jim Swanson of the HarbourCats. “He will get better yet in college and being back with us next summer. And Brandon, he was one of the great stories of our season, unceremoniously dumped before the season by a summer team in another league in Alberta and given a chance to stay in Victoria at the WCL level, and all he did was earn the trust of Todd and the staff. He had the summer of his life, and he’s not done.”

Green became the first product of the third year Golden Tide program to have a notable impact on the WCL club, part of the mandate of the CCBC entry.

In 24 games, Green had two doubles, two home runs and drove in 10 runs, batting .222 and earning stretches of time at second base, with just one error. Hall got into 26 games, his speed of great value off the bench, and hit .250 with 13 stolen bases — caught just once. Hall was a featured part of a league record 150 stolen bases as a team.

Chee-Aloy (pictured right), a product of the Ontario Terriers, is best described as a plus-speed outfielder who plays the game hard, getting the most out of his 6-0/180 pound frame. The right-handed hitter with a right fielder’s arm had two stints with Team Canada, where he was teammates with Hall.

“We are exited to add Cameron to the 2024 team,” said Head Coach Todd Haney. “His speed will be an asset both offensively and defensively.”

The HarbourCats 2024 schedule in anticipated to be released in late October or early November 2023.  Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for news on that once it becomes available.

Season tickets are now on sale and can now be renewed for the 2024 season of HarbourCats baseball!  Lock in and renew your existing seats, or purchase new seats by October 31, 2023 to guarantee Early Bird Pricing at the 2023 rates:

  • General Admission – $375 ($385 after October 31)
  • Premium Reserved (Sections 6-9 and 11-12) – $475 ($495 after October 31)
  • Grandstand Reserved (Section 10 Rows E and up) – $525 ($550 after October 31)
  • Campbell Real Estate Club Seats (Section 10 Rows A-D) – $675 ($700 after October 31)
  • Diamond Club Field Level – $750 (WAIT LIST – CALL FOR AVAILABILITY) ($775 after October 31)

Season tickets offer the best per-game value per seat and come with the following benefits:

  • Includes all regular season WCL league home games, and all pre-season and exhibition games
  • Incudes FREE PLAYOFF TICKETS
  • Season ticket holders get first right of refusal to purchase tickets for other special events (eg. concerts)
  • Season-ticket holders do not pay additional Fireworks Game pricing
  • Service fees and all taxes included in above prices

Please call the office at 778-265-0327 or e-mail chris@harbourcats.com to renew, or to purchase new seats.

You can also stop into the office to take care of this at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.  We are open in the off-season Tuesday – Friday from 10AM to 5PM.

Cats merchandise is also on sale now at the office at The Cat Shop, or online at https://victoria-harbourcats-official.myshopify.com/

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2023 Fan Experience Survey – Kamloops NorthPaws

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Photo by: Allen Douglas

The Kamloops NorthPaws wanted to thank our fans for another great season at Norbrock Stadium – THANK YOU ‘PAWS FANS!!!

The organization is looking to fans to share their experiences in order to make improvements for 2024. Fans who choose to include their email will be entered into a draw for a 2024 10-game flex plan, the winner will be contacted on October 6, 2023. All anonymous users will not be entered into the draw. The NorthPaws thank you for your reviews and support of our team, we look forward to improving our operations and welcoming you back to the ballpark in 2024!

You can complete the form below:

https://forms.gle/YBfFHvp6eDyRuoUR6

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Top player in 2023 returns for third season as a NightOwl

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Marsh the first NightOwls’ signing for 2024 WCL season

An original NightOwl is coming back for a third season at historic Serauxmen Stadium.
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Infielder Aaron Marsh of the UBC Thunderbirds, who shared the 2023 player of the year award with keystone partner Elijah Ickes, will be the key offensive piece that Head Coach Greg Frady will build his lineup around in the summer of 2024.
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The Nanaimo product, a former Pirate, has been the picture of consistency for the NightOwls for the team’s first two seasons in the West Coast League. In 2022, Marsh batted .309 and was among team leaders with 38 hits and 20 runs driven in, and followed that up in 2023 with 39 more hits, 24 RBIs, and batting .287 while playing both second and third. He hit two home runs both seasons.

“Aaron is a tough out, gives the team gritty at-bats and is so reliable on defence,” said Jim Swanson, GM of the NightOwls. “He brings so many intangibles to UBC and to the NightOwls, is a leader and you can tell he loves to play the game, and loves to play in front of our great crowds in Nanaimo, in front of people who watched him grow up in our city. He’s the ideal player to have as our first signing for the 2024 season.”

A left-handed hitter with extra-base power, a valuable asset with the exciting fence configuration at Serauxmen Stadium, the 5-10/185 Marsh has played 73 games as a NightOwl, so will be looking to become the first player to play in 100 games for Nanaimo’s young WCL franchise.
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“Recruiting is very much underway, between myself and the coaching staff, looking to build a team that can get us to the playoffs and be the first Canadian team to win the WCL title,” said Swanson. “Our 2023 team played everyone hard, one game below .500 — and known for being scrappy and playing the game the right way, with the right approach of effort and sportsmanship. We are building future pro players here, we are also building young men who will be successful in whatever they advance to in life. Aaron is definitely one of those people.”
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Season tickets are now on sale for the 2024 campaign — renewals and new fans, the best seats at the park available for as low as $400 for the season (roughly $12.50 per seat per game). Included in season tickets are gratis playoff tickets, with the NightOwls in the hunt for a post-season spot until the final week in both of the team’s initial seasons.
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“If you haven’t yet made it to a game — you’re missing out on a great spot and a special energy that only Serauxmen creates,” said Swanson.
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For information on season tickets, email tina@nanaimonightowls.com
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Team merchandise is also in hot demand, find the shop site at nanaimonightowls.com for a variety of offerings from hats to hoodies to shirts and miscellaneous items.

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