How Edmonton’s summer sport scene is shaping up

Congratulations to the Edmonton Oilers for making the NHL playoffs. They might be our only summer sport this season.

The opening statement may channel as Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh but the Covid pandemic is once again wreaking havoc with what should be a lively Edmonton sports scene. Instead we talk about delays, cease and desist orders, and seemingly a tomorrow that never comes when speaking about “the end of the pandemic”.

BASEBALL

Since the March 25th announcement by the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) that they would be going “All-Canadian” with teams just in Alberta (typically the league also plays in Saskatchewan), our Edmonton Prospects have made zip, zero, no player announcements. Meanwhile the expansion Sylvan Lake Gulls have made 8 player announcements the past two weeks including one-time Edmonton Prospect Jake Lanferman.

What does this all mean? Presumably it means the glass is half full and the Club is planning a big day or week of announcements OR the glass is broken.

Reminder the new tenants of Re/Max Field, the Edmonton Riverhawks, have already cancelled their 2021 season.

LACROSSE

““If by May 24AHS has not provided guidance that would permit the RMLL to commence league play by the first weekend of June (June 4-6), the formal RMLL season will be cancelled and the RMLL Executive, in consultation with each of the Divisions, will explore the possibility of alternate forms of “Return to Play”.”

That was the RMLL statement released the first week of April.

As you can see in the above tweet Lacrosse Canada has cancelled many of their National Championships except for the President’s Cup. In a “normal world”, the Senior B Championship tournament is scheduled to be held in Alberta. June 1st has been set as decision day for this prestigious tournament.

FOOTBALL

If an individual football team re-naming itself is such a difficult process, imagine how difficult it is for a league to come back from a forced year off?

The following is from an April 21 CFL statement:

“We will play CFL football in 2021.

“Our revised target date to start our regular season is August 5. To facilitate a 14-game season, for our players, fans and partners, we are re-scheduling the Grey Cup to December 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.

“I say ‘target date’ because our plans are subject to the state of COVID-19 across the country. A so-called ‘third wave’ in some provinces is forcing us today to postpone the start of our regular season, which had been scheduled for June 10.

“So, what must be in place for us to kick off on August 5? Two things. 1.  The approval of public health officials across the country of our plans for protecting the health of our players, coaches, and ultimately our fans, so a 2021 season is safe. 2. Permission from governments to host a significant number of fans in the stands, in a significant number of venues at the start of the season, and in the rest of our venues soon after that, so a 2021 season is financially tenable for our clubs.”

SOCCER:

Seems FC Edmonton will start their season in a bubble like last season. Unlike last season, the league has not given up hope in playing in home stadiums.

Membership scarf in hand, the hope is to be able to attend the Impact WFC inaugural game on May 29th at Riel Park Stadium in St. Albert.

OVAL DIRT TRACK RACING

On May 4th Castrol Raceway released a lengthy statement of their Facebook page which I strongly suggest you read. For brevity sake, I’m only posting the first paragraph here:
We have just received notification from AHS to 𝗖𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗘 𝗔𝗟𝗟 𝗢𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 immediately as per CMOH Record of Decision – Order 12-2021 (alberta.ca), stating closure to Public as a “Racing Entertainment Centre”.

Ed Wiersma, the new promoter of the Dirt Oval Track at Castrol, has always stated that he might lose a scheduled weekend or two due to AHS rules. I bet he never figured it would be because they literally shut down the track. The May 29th opening weekend, barring a major turnaround, is seemingly cancelled.

BASKETBALL

Thursday June 24th is still tentatively scheduled as the Edmonton Stingers season opener. If fans are allowed in the Expo Centre Hall D aka “The Hive” remains to be announced. More on the delayed start to the CEBL can be found HERE.

And so we as sports fans all continue to wait…and wait…and wait.

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