RMWB Council Approves Expansion for Fort McMurray, Alberta Ballpark Project

Despite not having a league to play in with the dessimation of the indy pro North American League, Craig Tkachuk‘s ballpark project in Fort McMurray (AB) is moving forward.  The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo councilors unanimously approved a $127-million expansion to MacDonald Island Park that includes a professional baseball stadium.  Read more here.

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14 responses to “RMWB Council Approves Expansion for Fort McMurray, Alberta Ballpark Project

  1. Paul

    If you build it they will come. I think the cities of Saskatoon/Regina would need to build new ballparks for pro baseball to work. A 4,000-5,000 seat stadium would be perfect in either city, you can build a pretty nice stadium for under 15 million now a days. There is a reaon why the GBL/NAL never went to Saskatoon or Regina because the facilites right now are to old and don’t work for indy baseball. Saskatoon & Regina are major cities in Canada and would support a pro team. As I understand Saskatoon doesn’t have a professional sports team in that city right now.

  2. amar

    cairns field in saskatoon would be adequate to host indy ball. and regina’s current ballpark would only need minor expansion to make it work (something its WMBL team has been lobbying for for a while now).

  3. Paul

    Victoria is just to far away for the Alberta teams. I like Medicine Hat if they are looking for a quick fix, but the best location for a fourth team in the west might be Saskatoon or Regina. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rexall Sports is in talks with Saskatoon or Regina about the possibility of building a ballpark in either of those cities. Once you get four teams together that are close in distance to each other skies the limit on what you can do for a league. A all Canadian League, American Association or a Canadian Division within the American Association. I totally agree Rexall Sports operates in a proper manor keeping everything quiet until they have the right solution, unlike another indy league that’s trying to start up… cough cough AWBL

  4. Just Some Internet Guy You Dont Know

    Well there was a Canadian League…one not spoken of much due to their failure midway through the first season. But with the right cities and management, it could work. That Rexall seems like that really care about the team, image, business they associate with and have their act together. They don’t seem to put the horse in front of the cart.

    Victoria would have made a good fourth city until the WMBL thing. That was the city I thought might help them on their quest to join the AA since 4 teams might make it more financially viable vs. 2 far away teams.

  5. Nick Careatti

    Edmonton and Calgary are too big of a populace not to have either AAA or Indy baseball; it is amazing how Winnipeg has been doing correctly for sometime, but if you took these three cities, include Vancouver, Saskatoon and Regina (and a couple more), you will have a blueprint for a Canadian League. We just need a few modern ballparks in a few other Canadian cities to make this possible.

  6. Just Some Internet Guy You Dont Know

    Canadian League coming. Been saying this for months…

  7. Paul

    I just don’t see Fort McMurray joining the WMBL, they will go wherever Edmonton goes same for Calgary. It’s not like the people in Edmonton never supported the Capitals, it’s just that they were in a terrible league. Calgary has never had the proper people running the organization. All in all if done right indy ball could become something good for Alberta. Not to degrade the WMBL but over half those players will never play affiliated baseball or indy ball for that matter. Over 90% of players in indy ball have some affiliated or pro experience. If the three Alberta teams are looking for a fourth I would bet they are looking at Medicine Hat, great ballpark, and an owner/manager who has 7 years of independent baseball as a player. Should be interesting none the less.

    • amar

      See i tend to agree with you here. western Canada has a long history of baseball. And though some of the ballparks are a little old and could use some work i think with the correct ownership group in place (winnipeg’s group is a perfect example- they made indy league baseball successful playing in a football stadium before they got their current ballpark) it can be just as strong of an indy league as the American Association. I love the WMBL i’m a huge saskatoon yellowjackets fan but i think that given the fact that the WMBL franchises are not run as large market operations like the collegiate teams in the WCL are their is room for an indy circuit. Edmonton, Calgary, Med Hat, Fort Mac, Saskatoon, Regina and even Lethbridge could make for a very solid league. The two leagues could definitely co-exist. In my opinion the reason that a pro league has had trouble taking off in canada is simple the countries size and how spread out its population is. That is one of the major reasons why the CBL only lasted half a season; that and many other issues. keeping it contained to Alberta/saskatchewan and pockets of manitoba and BC will keep travel costs at bay and keep these teams successful.

  8. Spectator777

    Partially agree but you’re comparing apples and oranges – Ken Wilson and the WCL are focused on profits and have the highest of franchise fees (in the same league as the Northwoods League and the Prospect League) and the WMBL is not anywhere near that in terms of status – college coaches, parents of players and the market understand that. The Edmonton Team (the Prospects) moved into Telus field – home of the Capitals while they are dark this year. The point was Indy ball is ridiculous and to think a Canadian Prairie League would work is serving up the same Kool-Aid as many of these fly by night leagues – Summer Collegiate ball is far less risk; shorter season, lower overhead etc. Winnipeg seems to be the only market to get it right. Putting an Indy team in Med Hat/Lethy/Kamloops doesn’t make sense when they’re summer ball teams are only averaging 533-688 people per game. And purely as an FYI – the WMBL had 9 alumni drafted in the 2012 draft – sure nowhere near WCL but none the less. Errors are part of Summer Ball – its development, they’re using wood bats and these kids meet each other days before the whirl wind season – much different than their Collegiate seasons.

  9. Paul

    I don’t think that’s going to happen. Why didn’t the ownership group in Edmonton & Calgary field a team in the WMBL this season if they were planning on joining the WMBL down the road. Edmonton is planning something bigger in my mind, and it won’t involve collegiate baseball. The WMBL is not that great of baseball to watch. When you go to a game and see 5-6 errors on the scoreboard that’s really good baseball? How many players in the WMBL got drafted this year in the MLB Draft? I know the WCL collegiate league had 55 players selected, the WMBL is way behind them in talent.

  10. Spectator777

    i think it makes the most sense to provide an expansion to the thriving Western Major Baseball League (Summer Collegiate) who are in the above mentioned cities already – they are getting a lot of acclaim south of the boarder and are a well run league. Set the league up to become the Alaska Baseball League of modern times.

  11. Paul

    Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec, Trois Riviers, Montreal. I don’t know if western Canada has enough quality ballparks to support a indy league. Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and maybe Kamloops have the ballparks to house a indy team. Should be another interesting off season for independent baseball.

  12. amar

    I feel as though it might be best for the teams of in alberta Edmonton and whats left of the vipers (calgary) to think about the possibility of starting a circuit based in canada only much like what the former premier basketball league teams (quebec city, halifax and sain john) did when they started the National basketball league of canada down on the east coast just last year. There is potential to run a successful operation with teams in edmonton, calgary, fort mcmurray, saskatoon, regina and medicine hat.

  13. Nick Careatti

    270 miles north of Edmonton! Wow, the NABL is sticking their teams in the furthest regions of North America, what is next, expansion in Panama City; Panama; San Jose, Costa Rica; St. John’s and Chuchill Falls, Newfoundland?

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