Nanaimo NightOwls. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo NightOwls. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo NightOwls cancel season due to COVID-19

Baseball team’s inaugural season in West Coast League will have to wait until 2022

The NightOwls won’t land in Nanaimo this summer after all.

The Nanaimo NightOwls and the Victoria HarbourCats announced Wednesday, April 14, the cancellation of the 2021 baseball season due to the pandemic.

The NightOwls said in a press release that the decision was made “with great sadness” and following “extensive” consultation with other West Coast League franchises in Canada. The press release cited the recent rise in COVID-19 case numbers and variants of concern as well as the potential for future health restrictions in B.C. and Alberta.

“There’s also significant logistics and partnerships and moving pieces in terms of putting on what we’ll put on at Serauxmen Stadium that needed to start to be enacted upon,” said Jim Swanson, NightOwls GM, speaking to the News Bulletin. “That window was really closing and kept on closing.”

He said he was still optimistic a month ago as B.C.’s mass immunization program started, and even after that, when the WCL announced schedule changes to remove international travel. But with gathering restrictions continuing, Swanson said it “would not be right” to try to proceed with baseball season in an empty stadium.

“We do this for the community. We do this for the fans,” he said.

They do it for the players, too, and the GM said announcing the cancellation of the season now gives players time to try to find alternative places to develop and play this summer.

Swanson said the NightOwls remain “100 per cent committed” to moving forward and bringing WCL baseball to Nanaimo next year, and will find ways to keep involved in the community in the meantime.

“This is not going to stop us…” he said. “The NightOwls are going to land in 2022 and it’s going to be like you guys have net seen that town before.”

Fans who have purchased tickets or vouchers for games will receive full value for their purchases and season tickets will be rolled over to the 2022 season. For more information, visit http://nanaimonightowls.com.

READ ALSO: Snuneymuxw artist creates alternate logo for Nanaimo’s new NightOwls baseball team



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Baseball

Just Posted

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested for allegedly spitting, yelling anti-Asian racial slurs at a mother and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

Victoria police said Wednesday that they continue to look for Belinda Ann Cameron, who was last seen on May 5, 2005. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police still looking for Belinda Cameron who was last seen 16 years ago

Cameron was reported missing on June 4, 2005, and her case is deemed suspicious

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

James Taylor, a Saanich resident and member of the Curve Lake First Nation, walked all over Greater Victoria on May 5 in honour of Red Dress Day and the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Devon Bidal/News staff)
Indigenous man walks Greater Victoria to honour missing and murdered women and girls

James Taylor’s march among many ways Islanders marked Red Dress Day

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,000 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

Victoria police is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying this suspect after they allegedly robbed a Douglas Street bank on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek identity of suspect who allegedly robbed Victoria bank

Officers were called to a bank in the 1000-block of Douglas Street just after 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday

Most Read