Nov. 2, 2015
Lethbridge, Alta. _ The Western Major Baseball League has a major development for the league’s footprint for the upcoming 2016 season. After months of work developing plans, presentations, and team details, an ownership group basing its new club out of Fort McMurray, Alberta has met all the criteria and was accepted by the Board of Governors of the WMBL to begin play this May.
Led by local businessman and baseball enthusiast, Dutche Iannetti, and joined by longtime
baseball loyalists Steve Avila (Seattle, Wash.) and Blair Kubicek (Digby, N.S.), the Fort McMurray franchise will be the lead tenant at the magnificent and recently opened Baseball Stadium at Shell Place .
“The WMBL is thrilled to see this expansion take place and know that Fort McMurray will be passionate about supporting their new hometown club,” commented WMBL President Kevin Kvame from the league office in Lethbridge. “The quality of the ownership group along with the outreach of support that we have been monitoring for months really made this decision no contest.”
The WMBL is Canada’s premiere summer college baseball league operating in Alberta and Saskatchewan with 11 other centers. Each team plays a 48 game regular season, 24 at home and 24 away with college baseball athletes who desire to hone their skills during their summer break from school. It is modelled after other summer college leagues such as the Cape Cod, West Coast, or Northwoods leagues.
“We continue to see parity in the league with six different champions over the last seven years including Lethbridge winning its first title about two months ago,’ said Kvame.
“On behalf of the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo (RRC) I would like to express our genuine delight at welcoming this opportunity to bring a new sport and entertainment option to the Wood Buffalo region,” said Annette Antoniak, chief executive ffficer of the RRC. “We look forward to working with Dutche, Steve and Blair as we partner to bring the excitement of WMBL action to Fort McMurray.”
With a seating capacity of over 1,700, the world-class Baseball Stadium at Shell Place will serve as an exciting new venue for the WMBL.
“Another facility that many will be envious of is now part of our longstanding and stable league,” said Kvame. ‘It will remain that way for many years to come. I look forward to seeing the stadium and visiting with the Fort McMurray fans at the Sports Dinner on Nov. 17, 2015.”