On May 28 the Edmonton Prospects of the Western Major Baseball League will play their home opener of the 2016 season against a team that will also play their home opener at Telus Field in the Fort McMurray Giants.
The Prospects will welcome the Giants to call Telus Field home in wake of the fires up in Fort McMurray.
The Giants are in their inaugural season in the WMBL and were in danger of having their season postponed as a result of the fires.
The Prospects reached out to Giants Vice President/General Manager Dutche Iannetti about using Telus Field as their home base while the situation in Fort McMurray becomes clearer. Iannetti says it’s important for his team to play this year and not wait until 2017.
“I took a couple, three days and thought about it and talked to my family about it. Talked to the Regional Recreation Corporation because that’s who we have a lease agreement with in Fort McMurray for Shell Place,” Iannetti said. “There encouragement was we need to have this, we need to play baseball.”
Prospects Chief Operating Officer Craig Tkachuk says there has been a lot of work involved logistically to make this happen but says it’s the right decision.
“They wanted to make it work and we were wide open, obviously it’s more work but it’s more gates, more oppourtunity for baseball fans in Edmonton to be a part of this,” Tkachuk said. “It’s about the kids playing, these guys are committed to baseball in the summer and if they didn’t play they would have no place to play.”
The plan right now is for the Fort McMurray Giants to play as least half the season at Telus Field. Dutche Iannetti says it’s very likely that his team will playing at Shell Place in Fort McMurray before the season ends in August and he would like the Prospects to be involved.
“We would love to have the Prospects to come up there and play at Shell Place,” Iannetti said. “It’s a brand new facility, it’s a beautiful facility up there also. To have the Prospects come up there and play some games against the Giants and to give our community some entertainment. Our first responders who are all still there, our volunteers who are cooking for our first responders. To give them some entertainment and give them some Giants-Prospects baseball would be absolutely awesome.”
The Prospects and Giants will play their co-home openers on May 28 at Telus Field. 10 per cent of all ticket sales from the home opener and all games where the Prospects and Giants will play one another will be going to the Red Cross.