Guesstimate: May Long Weekend will disappoint local sports fans

May Long Weekend, May 22nd through May 24th, is a weekend of such promise for so many walks of life. If you are an avid gardener, that’s the weekend earmarked for your planting. If you are a camper, whether for the wilderness or the wobbly pops,  your friends already know that you plan to leave town that weekend. If you are a fan of local sport teams (the premise of this website), that weekend promises to disappoint you unless there is a very quick turnaround on this third wave of the pandemic.

Here’s your Edmonton sports calendar that is in dire jeopardy of being delayed or cancelled for a second consecutive season. Their proposed starts all hover around May Long Weekend.

BASEBALL

  • The Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) recently announced that the league was going “All-Canadian” with only Alberta teams competing in an attempt to play a 2021 season. The Edmonton Prospects, without a home ballpark this summer, were scheduled to begin their “travelling roadshow” on Thursday May 27th. Here is a glimpse to what was, key word was, their original schedule. Stay tuned for their new schedule.
  • The new tenant of Re/Max Field, the Edmonton Riverhawks, have had their league also pivot on their schedule as they recently announced an All-Canadian division to avoid travelling across the Canadian/American border. Will the players be able to cross the border or will the Western Coast League also be forced to follow the All-Canadian model? Originally the Riverhawks were set to take flight on June 1st. Their league has not released their reformatted schedule yet.

LACROSSE

  • The Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) has set Victoria Day as a “drop dead date” for the formal 2021 season. As explained in the League’s press release, Alberta would need to be in “Step 4” to avoid cancellation.

FOOTBALL

  • The Edmonton Football Team is scheduled to host a preseason match against the Calgary Stampeders on May 29th. There has been no official word from the CFL regarding the 2021 season. The presumption by the masses is that the league requires fans in the stands to stay alive and somewhat healthy so delaying the season seems logical. The presumption of this fan is that all the XFL/CFL merger talks are born of the nature of the CFL’s dire financial situation.

SOCCER

  • “Our plans call for the start of play this Spring – while recognizing that a major factor will be our nation’s progress against this pandemic… if health authorities say it is safe to do so, we are focused on targeting a start date of the Victoria Day long weekend (May 22, 2021) – Canada’s “unofficial start of summer” for a full 28 game season.” That is a quote from the Canadian Premier League (CPL) Commissioner regarding the upcoming season. FC Edmonton had previously released a “health and safety survey” about bringing fans back. The league played in “a bubble” last year they called “The Island Games”.
  • The inaugural season of the Impact FC UWS is scheduled to begin on Saturday May 29th. The game is scheduled against the only other Canadian team in their division commencing the “Al Classica” tradition with the foes from down south. The 2020 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) League did not play in 2020.

OVAL DIRT TRACK RACING

  • “Allwest Powersports looks to proceed with the dirt oval track schedule at Castrol Raceway this summer. It will be wait and see what the government protocols are. We might lose some race dates but keep May 29th and 30th circled on your calendars. Phase 3 would have allowed race teams in the pit area and 200 fans following social distance rules like last year.” We know exactly where Ed Wiersma, the new promoter of the dirt track oval at Castrol Raceway, stands in regards to his season.

BASKETBALL

  • The Edmonton Stingers title defense was scheduled to begin on June 5th against the Fraser Valley Bandits. The team they defeated in the Championship Final. The Bandits are also the opponents in the Stingers first scheduled home game on June 10th. If and when the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season begins, will they being playing at home arenas or will the league once again play in “a bubble”?
There is a fine line between being a realist and a pessimist. This article straddles that line so to finish on an optimistic note…Canada Day seems like a logical day on the calendar to believe all the listed sports above will be in action.

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