Casavant provides update to City Council on Senior Men’s World Cup bid

Daily Herald File Photo Team Australia celebrates after winning the 2018 WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship at Max Power Ball Parks. The host committee for that event is now looking to bring the 2025 WBSC Senior Men’s World Cup to Prince Albert.

WBSC pushing tournament back to 2025

Prince Albert’s bid to host the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s Senior Men’s World Cup tournament at the Max Power Ball Parks is in a slight holding pattern.

During a presentation to Prince Albert City Council at an executive committee meeting Monday night, host committee co-chair Felix Casavant revealed that the WBSC had pushed the tournament back from 2024 to 2025, in addition to making other changes.

“Instead of 12 countries competing like there’s been in the past, there’s going to be three qualifying events in 2022, 2023 and 2024 that will determine the top eight teams that will come to the World Cup,” said Casavant, who is joined as a chair by Derek Smith.

“These changes will ensure that the very best in the world will be competing at the tournament and every game will have a championship like feel to it.”

Softball Canada informed the Prince Albert host committee last fall that they had been selected over a bid from St. John’s, N.L. to represent the organization in hosting the tournament.

While the WBSC has been impressed by Prince Albert’s bid, the announcement as to who will host the 2025 tournament has been pushed back.

“Part of the reason for that, in addition to the change of the amount of teams that will be taking part, is some changes that WBSC has made to the bid process so that they are more transparent and that they can also do things to help grow the game,” Casavant said.

“We’re moving forward with our bid. Softball Canada is going to review any changes we’ll have to make to our existing bid package before we resubmit it to the WBSC. We anticipate that they’ll look it over in July of this year and we should know this fall if we are successful or not.”

If the Prince Albert bid is successful, expanded seating will be added around the diamond at Rotary Field and on the sidelines at the Kinsmen Field.

“We’re confident of having the backing of the local business community and the community of Prince Albert to reach our goals in bringing another first class event here,” Casavant said. “We also expect to see more provincial and Western Canadian championship at the ball parks over the next four years.”

–With files from Jason Kerr