West Coast League baseball is coming to Nanaimo.
A press release sent out by the Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club announced that their ownership group will be adding a “to-be-named” club starting June 2021.
The Nanaimo squad, set to play out of Serauxmen Stadium will become the 13th summer collegiate team to join the West Coast League (WCL).
“What an amazing addition to our Third Street sport zone! said Mayor, Leonard Krog. We are so pleased to welcome the West Coast League to Nanaimo and can’t wait to hear cheers from the big crowds watching this level of baseball at Serauxmen Stadium.”
Although the two teams will be separately operated, they will be owned by the same group that runs the Victoria HarbourCats, which includes brothers Ken and Jim Swanson, John Wilson (of Wilson’s Transportation) and Richard Harder. The coaching staff, recruitment personnel and the team name for Nanaimo is expected to be announced this coming summer.
“This is an exciting day for us all, it has been in the works for a few years and going to be a great new addition to the Nanaimo sports scene,” said John Wilson, the team’s Vice-President.
Some construction will be required to get Serauxmen Stadium, including the installation of lights, but according to the release, the upgrades will benefit Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association, the Coal Miners senior program, the Pirates of the BC Premier Baseball League and the VIU Mariners team. An update on the improvements to the stadium is expected from Nanaimo City Council in the near future.
“We have so many people to thank, beginning previous and current council members and the entire board led by Lorne Goodall and Dan Rogers, guiding the transformation of Serauxmen Stadium” said Jim Swanson. “Mike Holyk and minor baseball, the people with the Coal Miners,the leadership of VIU and the Pirates have all been instrumental and are excited to see it moving ahead. We look forward to reviewing great ideas submitted by the community on what to name the team, and to having people select their seats for 2021 and beyond. As a group, we’d love nothing more to see Nanaimo’s WCL team and the HarbourCats meet in the playoffs.”