Although the West Coast League will plan to play a season during the summer of 2021, the Kamloops NorthPaws will most likely opt-out of participation.
The news comes after the league announced restrictions regarding crowd capacities in stadiums. These new rules would limit the NorthPaws to about a third of their total capacity, which would make out to be 500 people.
With all the upfront costs associated with starting a high-level baseball franchise, a filled crowd at Norbrock Stadium was essential for the business model of the new team.
Despite the pullback in momentum, there is still a chance that the league will change their restrictions before the start date on June 4. The team will not make an official decision to pull out of the league until mid-April. Technically, they could wait even longer to make the decision but the owners are being conscious of the players and making sure that they will be able to get out of their contacts and play somewhere else for the summer given that the season is postponed.
So far, the team consists of 25 players ranging from Vancouver to California and everywhere in between. Many of them are NCAA division one athletes and have experience playing at this high of a level. For now, everyone will be crossing their fingers and hoping that things improve and restrictions get lifted.
Starting next week, league owners will start having meetings to discuss COVID-19 updates around the league which consists of 4 different regions in B.C., Alberta, Washington and Oregon.
Stay tuned for more information on whether the league will get a green light for the summer of 2021 or whether we will have to wait for the 2022 campaign.