If and When Sports Return, How Do You Picture It? Eddies Version

Wednesday March 11th at 9:30ish PM the NBA suspended their season. Thursday March 12th the rest of the sports world followed suit. On Thursday May 14th, Edmonton commenced phase one of re-opening the economy. While major sporting events will not open up until phase three, what should we fans expect when the gates swing open?

Armed with the following presumptions – – fans will be allowed to attend games, social distancing will be mandated while thermal testing and masks are more than likely to be required – – I chatted with three of the biggest FC Edmonton supporters I know. Gord Walker, Nathan Terlesky, and Dallas Walker, all members of the River Valley Vanguard (RVV) which is the official supporters group of the Eddies, were each asked the million dollar question,

If & when the Eddies return, how do you picture it?

GORD:

For Big Blue and the west side: 2 aisle seats on every row taped off. Sec 101 103 105 & 107… gets odd numbered rows and odd numbered seats for fans to sit in. Sec 102 104 & 106 get even numbered rows and even numbered seats. The rest of the rows/seats are taped off. Family section North side gets even rows. SG on the South end gets odd rows.

Unfortunately, masks are required for all spectators…you wanna take a drink, either move the mask so you can, or use a straw. The Eddies usually only draw 3000-3500, and in Clarke, those measures would work to keep your spacing. My only issue would be with “heavy handed” security yelling “Watch your social-distancing” and threatening to throw us out if we don’t comply.

Temperature checks at the gate would also probably have to happen before entry to the grounds.

NATHAN:

Honestly I don’t think we’ll see much in terms of general attendance for a bit. I think (Coach) Jeff (Paulus) asked on a zoom call about who would be comfortable returning to a game pre-vaccine. I answered with I would be comfortable with a reliable and effective treatment pre-vaccine but wouldn’t go before that. When I say treatment i mean more something that would treat Covid 19 if someone catches it, rather than preventing it if that makes sense. With two kiddos at home I’m a bit more careful nowadays.

I think suggesting any kind of mass gathering for sports is quite a ways away from now. My guess is that we’ll see a singular location tournament for the CPL this year though. I just don’t see how they could enforce a supporters section to maintain social distancing to be honest.

DALLAS:

I picture an empty stadium for safety reasons depending what it will be like when it does. I’m OK with that as long as it helps slow spread.

Thermal testing and optional masks would likely be enough to make me go. I am high-risk so I do have to be extra careful.

Your turn fans, not specifically to soccer but spectator sports in general, to answer the question:

If & when the sports return, how do you picture it?

 

Will There Be Baseball In Edmonton in 2021?

Yesterday, May 20th, CTV News released a story announcing Dr. Randy Gregg and associates had won the battle to become landlord of Re/Max Field. Reading the story as just a baseball fan and not a business guy, this paragraph is all that mattered to me:

“He says he hopes the stadium’s current tenants, the Edmonton Prospects, will continue to play at Re/Max. And, his groups is looking to add a second Edmonton-based Western Canadian Baseball League Team.”

That implies that Dr. Gregg does not have a team. I understand you need a stadium before you go out and buy a baseball team but! If the story specifically drops the name of a league, surely then conversations have been had with the League. So using the credentials of my former website, I e-mailed the President of the WCBL.

His response was the league’s press release which is the cover photo to this article. It reads as follows:

“The WCBL has not been involved in any formal discussions regarding a second Edmonton franchise in our league in recent days. “I attended meetings with the city of Edmonton in February where the current situation of Re/Max Field was discussed. Since that time, nothing has changed on that front meaning that the Prospects have and will continue to have the territorial rights to the greater Edmonton area as provided for by unanimous consent of the WCBL Board of Governors” stated WCBL President Kevin Kvame on Thursday.

In the past months, the League has communicated the franchise and territorial information to both Mr. Gregg and the City of Edmonton to ensure they are both aware of these clauses.

The league values the prospects commitment and dedication to the WCBL and building a sustainable baseball product in the Alberta Capital. We hope that all parties continue to make this possible.”

Let’s review:

CTV says: ““He says he hopes the stadium’s current tenants, the Edmonton Prospects, will continue to play at Re/Max. And, his groups is looking to add a second Edmonton-based Western Canadian Baseball League Team.””

The WCBL says: “…the Prospects have and will continue to have the territorial rights to the greater Edmonton area as provided for by unanimous consent of the WCBL Board of Governors” stated WCBL President Kevin Kvame on Thursday.

In the past months, the League has communicated the franchise and territorial information to both Mr. Gregg and the City of Edmonton to ensure they are both aware of these clauses.”

It is long been believed that current Prospects owner Patrick Cassidy would not play tenant in a building which he is currently the landlord. A tweet by one-time Edmonton media icon John Short confirms this notion:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

One would be naive to believe this was not stated during previous meetings with the City and the League.

The title of this article is, “Will There Be Baseball In Edmonton in 2021?”. If Pat Cassidy’s Prospects won’t take a Gregg owned Re/Max Field, and Dr. Gregg does not have a baseball team, the answer to the question could be no.