Edmonton Prospects Officially Announce Move To Spruce Grove
Posted September 1, 2020
On September 1st, the Edmonton Prospects finally made it official, they are moving to Spruce Grove for the 2022 Western Canadian Baseball League season. The team’s announcement also alludes to big news coming with regards to their 2021 season, should the WCBL be able to hit the field. Many baseball fans have been left wondering where the Prospects would play next season should they be without a ballpark in Spruce Grove, Re/Max Field or another local field.
The statement from the Prospects, which you can read here, begins “Edmonton, Alberta: Gold Sports and Entertainment Group Corp (“Gold Sports”) today announced that it will be officially moving all baseball related operations to Spruce Grove, AB in conjunction with the development, construction and 2022 anticipated opening of the Spruce Grove Metro Ballpark, in Spruce Grove, Alberta.” So it is now officially official, despite many people speculating that it was going to happen given what has happened already and the Prospects even releasing plans for the new ball park back on June 16, 2020.
It is interesting to see Patrick Cassidy, President at Gold Sports and owner of the Edmonton Prospects state that “it was never the official position of the Company, as Gold Sports continued to seek an agreement to keep the Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club at Re/Max Field in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley”. Perhaps that means there were unofficial talks about staying at Re/Max Field although under the lease of the Edmonton Baseball Inc group, or perhaps despite the Edmonton Baseball Inc group saying they have offered a plan to the Prospects to stay at Re/Max Field, it was never an option once they lost the lease.
It continues, “planning and engineering is underway for both horizontal and vertical construction” at the new ballpark in Spruce Grove with Prism Engineering from Edmonton.
Cassidy goes on to say “The opportunity to design and develop a new ballpark that will anchor an exciting new Lifestyle Ballpark District in the Greater Metro Edmonton Region is a once in a lifetime experience and the citizens of this region really haven’t seen a baseball project of this scope since Telus Field was constructed in 1995. The vision for the project is outstanding and the effects and impacts this development will have on literally millions of lives over time is quite frankly both awe-inspiring and humbling at the same time”.
They are the right words to say in the initial phases of this plan for the Prospects and it will be interesting to see if this project hits it’s full potential in Spruce Grove and can actually fulfil the hopes of having a long term impact in the community like it is being sold.
The Prospects will continue to hold the WCBL rights for the Edmonton area, 100km from their home plate in Spruce Grove, unless a deal can be reached with another party such as the Edmonton Baseball Inc group and the WCBL. Two teams in the Edmonton area seems possible given the nearly 1,000,000 person population which is by far the largest centre in the WCBL.
Will baseball fans in St Albert, Sherwood Park, east Edmonton or Leduc for example travel around the city to Spruce Grove if they weren’t doing so for a downtown Edmonton team? That is something that the Prospects will undoubtedly be looking for to support the baseball interest in west Edmonton and the Parkland area for a successful run with the Prospects at their new home in 2022.
You can check out the Spruce Grove Metro Ball Park progress and find more information about the project on their new website sprucegrovemetroballpark.com
Both the Edmonton Prospects and the Okotoks Dawgs teased some potentially big news coming to the WCBL on September 1. There is a press conferece expected to happen on September 2 at 1:00pm MT where the announcement will be made. In the press release for the Prospects official announcement regarding their move to Spruce Grove for 2022, they mention "both Gold Sports and the WCBL have additional and very exciting announcements coming very soon regarding 2021 operations as a result of the changes in the Edmonton market and in line with the league's new initiative to develop and grow it's league-wide fan base through an exciting tourism initiative currently in the development stages".