Much like the last several years, the Red Deer Riggers are trying to bring top-level national baseball to the province.
After a failed bid to host the 2019 and 2020 Senior Men’s National Championships, the Riggers are once again lobbying to play host for the 2021 tournament.
The 2019 tournament was held in Miramichi, New Brunswick and the 2020 tournament is set to be played in Sydney, N.S.
“We were told the last time around if we put in a bid (this time) we would kind of have an in. We’re hoping that’s a step in the right direction,” said Joel Peterman, a member of the Riggers who is helped put the bid together.
“We contacted many different people this time around, including some Baseball Canada reps to try and get an idea about where we could improve. We think we shored it up pretty good.”
The 2021 bid includes everything from letters of community support to information about the host city and the facilities.
Peterman said a few areas where the Riggers tightened up their bid was the mention of having an online stream for games as well as having a photographer at all the games. They always planned on having those things but overlooked them in the bid last time around.
“More just the finer details, stuff we took for granted the first time around. That’s something you learn in the process. We took for granted the stuff we had always become accustomed to,” he said.
Alberta hasn’t hosted the tournament since Red Deer held it in 1994, 25 years ago. The tournament was in the west in both 2017 and 2018 when it was held in Victoria, B.C.
Since 1969, the tournament has only been held in Alberta three times, two of those (1987 and 1994) were in Red Deer.
The Riggers were required by Baseball Canada to express interest as of June 1, then submit a bid by Sept. 30. The championship committee then makes recommendations by Oct. 21 and in November render a decision. The Riggers are also required to pay $1,000 to cover the bid process, a potential site inspection.
Peterman also noted that with the addition of locker rooms at Setters Place, as well as the improved pavilion at Great Chief Park and two diamonds in the same location – the setting is more than ideal for nationals.
“Red Deer is the perfect city for it. We’ve been at so many different nationals where you’re traveling half an hour between diamonds,” “There aren’t many amenities around the park,” he said.
“Just Great Chief Park as a whole, the city has put so much work into making it a beautiful facility.”