With the cat already out of the bag, the good baseball news was finally confirmed for Sylvan Lake.
The city issued a press release Wednesday that the Western Canadian Baseball League had officially approved Sylvan Lake as an expansion franchise for the 2021 season.
Their application was passed at the league AGM in Weyburn, Sask. on the weekend.
“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 WCBL President Kevin Kvame in a press release.
“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.”
Early this fall, the Town announced that Pogadl Park would be the future home for the team and entered a memorandum of understanding for construction on a 2,200 seat stadium for the new team to play in.
Hard 4 Sports & Entertainment Group General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Aqil Samuel said the news from the AGM is exciting and the group is ready to get to work in anticipation of next season.
“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,” said Samuel in a press release.
“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.”
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).
Earlier this month, two WCBL franchises in Saskatchewan announced they were taking a one-year leave of absence of the league. The Yorkton Cardinals and Melville Millionaires will not participate this year and the league will go to two, five-team divisions, with Medicine Hat playing in the east.