Page 42 - 04-June-2024
P. 42

 River, Brendan Loeppky, Halen Knoll and Liam Bilodeau-Minty
After the Edmonton Trappers
left the city at the conclusion of the 2004 Pacific Coast League season, we lost professional baseball that was just one step away from the Major Leagues. And the stadium now known as Re/Max Field became a white elephant in the river valley.
It was a fabulous park for baseball, offering postcard views of the city. Walterdale Bridges both past and present highlighted the look towards right field. It was a park with unique characteristics, including the “Other Green Monster,” the 30-foot tall fence that sits at the edge of centre field, 420 feet from home plate.
The problem was, after the Trappers, it didn’t have a home team that could stick. There were the Cracker-Cats and the Capitals. Both didn’t last.
But Randy Gregg, the former Oilers defenceman with five Cup rings, had an idea. He wanted to bring baseball back in a way that would last. He had 30 friends, family and acquaintances from the community on board. In 2020, they formed Baseball Edmonton, a group whose goal wasn’t really to make big wads of money, but to make the sport sustainable.
The Edmonton Prospects of the Western Canada Baseball League had played in Re/Max Field since 2012, but weren’t drawing huge crowds. It was frustrating for the City, which owns the stadium. Gregg recalls a meeting he had with then-mayor Don Iveson, whom Gregg says warned him that the City would not continue to operate a stadium with attendances of 1,500 people a night. It wasn’t worth it — and, if that was the case, demolishing this gem of a ballpark might have to be the nuclear option.
42 EDify. JUNE.24

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