On Friday, May 8, the West Coast League and its member teams released the following statement regarding their 2020 season…
The West Coast League is closely monitoring the Covid-19 policies and announcements issued by federal, state, provincial, and local authorities in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Considering the latest information at hand, the WCL has postponed our scheduled June 5 opening, and we’re now targeting early July for the return of baseball to our member cities.
As we prepare for our sixteenth season, we’re constantly keeping two things in mind: the health and safety of our players, staff, and fans; and bringing back the Great Game of Baseball to our communities.
This week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said fans will likely not be allowed at sporting events until October; Wednesday in British Columbia, the announcement of “re-open guidelines” dimmed our hopes for league games north of the border. As a result of these and other governmental directives, we anticipate that the WCL’s Bend Elks, Corvallis Knights, Kelowna Falcons, and Victoria HarbourCats will soon join the Bellingham Bells in canceling their 2020 seasons, while not precluding the possibility of other events this summer. Meanwhile, the league’s other teams continue to pursue all their options, with the potential for attracting a great number of terrific collegiate-level players.
While the existing constraints make it clear that 2020 will not look like a traditional West Coast League season, all of our teams—whether playing this season or not—remain committed to bringing baseball to our loyal fans, both this summer and in 2021. To that end, we look forward to working together as a league, and also with local authorities and stakeholders, toward finding creative solutions for the many challenges our teams face. Each city and team have specific constraints, and interested parties may obtain information regarding games, players, coaches, host families, and other information on those teams’ websites.
Now more than ever, West Coast League baseball can and will play a valuable role in our communities, and we look forward to serving our fans the moment it’s safe to do so.
About the West Coast League: The West Coast League (WCL) is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi River. Situated in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with the best summer weather in North America. Ninety alums and current players of WCL teams were selected in the 2019 MLB Draft, including No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman. In 2019, 317 WCL alums appeared or were active in affiliated professional baseball, including 45 in the major leagues, such as 2019 MLB All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber; outfielder Mitch Haniger, hurler James Paxton; slugger Rhys Hoskins; and rising star pitchers Marco Gonzales and Matt Boyd. In 2019, overall member attendance increased to 497,050.