Vancouver’s Minor League Baseball team returns for the 2023 season

The Vancouver Canadians will be playing until September at the city’s Nat Bailey Stadium

Sam Ryan has been a pitcher for the Vancouver Canadians since 2021, the only Minor League Baseball team based in Canada. (Submitted/Mark Steffens)

Sam Ryan has been a pitcher for the Vancouver Canadians since 2021, the only Minor League Baseball team based in Canada. (Submitted/Mark Steffens)

The Vancouver Canadians have returned this summer to the Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. 

The Minor League Baseball team is the only MiLB team based in Canada, and tickets to their games start off at $20. Home games are played alternate weeks from Tuesday to Sunday, with games being played in the evenings and during the afternoons on Fridays and Sundays. 

A variety of food vendors and local craft breweries are also made available at the stadium and a firework show takes place on Sundays. 

“Our season starts in April and we play through the middle of September,” says Andy Dunn, president and partner of the Vancouver Canadians. 

“We have had baseball in Vancouver for over 100 years. We’re a member of the Toronto Blue Jay family, so all of our players are part of the Toronto Blue Jays. Baseball is a beautiful sport and a game of skill and teamwork,” he says. 

In the past, the season would start in mid-June, but it begins earlier now because Major League Baseball cut MiLB teams from 160 to 120 teams.  This has greatly affected the Vancouver Canadians. 

“We went from being a short season, Single-A team to a High-A team and our season went from 38 home games to 66,” says Allan Bailey, general manager of the Vancouver Canadians. 

The team has become a staple in Vancouver during the summer months, and people of all ages can enjoy watching a game. 

“We are proud of the fact that we keep it affordable and a family environment. I think we are the sports venue for the summer in Vancouver,” Dunn says. 

“Anyone who has not been out, I’d welcome them to come to the ballpark. If you come out once, I will guarantee, you will come back again.”

The game is also a great way for students to spend time outdoors and have fun with friends or family. 

“Especially for students, money is an issue, so being able to come to a game for a minimum of $20, is a pretty fun way to spend an evening or afternoon out in the ballpark. It is nice to get out of the house and go do something,” Bailey says. 

The COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on sports, including baseball, with leagues forced to postpone games and play without spectators watching. Dunn has noticed a change since 2022 with how eager people are to come out and watch a game than in previous years. 

“During the pandemic, we had to play in Oregon for a year while the border was still closed. One of the things we noticed when we came back last year was how much people want to re-engage. The great thing about us is that we are outside and we are the only sports venue in the city that plays outside,” Dunn says. 

“Fans love getting out in the great weather and that has played into our favour,” he says. 

Giveaways occur on Sundays during the A&W Family Fun Sunday event. Some items include a mascot beach towel, socks, and a lunch bag. 

“A lot of our giveaways are family and youth oriented. The giveaways change from year to year and we pick anything that is going to draw a crowd, whether it is a shirt, jersey, or a hat,” Bailey says. 

Sam Ryan is a pitcher for the MiLB team and has been playing for the Vancouver Canadians since 2021. Originally from Virginia, Ryan has been playing baseball since he was four. 

“I love playing the game and it is a unique sport. Once you get a lead, you cannot change your strategy [because] you are going up against the person 50 ft away,” Ryan says. 

“I have a lot of friends and family that are big baseball fans and have been very supportive in my career so far. I play for them as well, but I also love it.”

He encourages everyone to check out a game at least one time, even for those that may not be sports fanatics, because of the atmosphere. 

“It is a nice stadium. We have three-ft hot dogs, great pretzels, and there is everything for everybody,” he says. 

“We have a good time. We love playing for fans and it is an exciting environment to be around.”

Attending a game also helps support and cheer on MiLB teams. 

“It is fun to come out and be able to see those guys that are going to play for the Blue Jays and the big leagues,” Bailey says.

The team also prides itself as a community by employing local youth to work there. 

“A lot of the staff working here are youth from the community. That is what brings the whole thing together. They live within walking distance to the stadium and it is their first job. They go to work, watch a game, and then go home. It is pretty special,” Bailey says. 

Since Vancouver has been reputed as a “No Fun City” this past decade, the Vancouver Canadians are trying to turn that around, at least during the summer months. 

“Whether you are a baseball fan or not, you can come out and not have to worry about not being able to pay your rent or tuition. It is a social atmosphere and it is at one of the most iconic buildings and locations in Vancouver,” Dunn says. 

“Because of the history and nostalgia surrounding baseball, it is the most romantic of sports. It is a game of remembrance and memory for a lot of people and everyone can relate to what it is like to be on that baseball diamond. Whether you are eight or 80, everybody has a feeling of what it is like to play catch.”

To see the Vancouver Canadians’ game schedule and to purchase tickets, visit