Discouraged as always, last week, Michel Laplante and René Martin discovered the hope of finally being able to introduce the Frontier League to baseball fans in Quebec and Trois-Rivières by the end of the season.
They even believe that a favorable decision could be announced this week by the Public Health Agency of Canada. If that were the case, Team Quebec’s return would take place on Friday 30. July, as part of a three-game series against the New York Boulders.
“Boulders were very nice to us, they give us until Friday to confirm if the July 30 series can take place in Quebec. Otherwise, the three matches will take place at home, but they need to know quickly enough, “explained René Martin, general manager of Trois-Rivières Eagles, on Wednesday.
The Frontier League is also awaiting such confirmation for the rest of the season. If the federal government allowed vaccinated players and coaches to cross the border between Canada and the United States, 21 matches would take place at Canac Stadium in Quebec (10) and Quillorama in Trois-Rivières (11) until the end of the regular schedule. September 12.
“My level of optimism is higher than last week. We feel that things have been moving for a few days. We have already submitted the documents we were asked for, such as the authorization of the two cities, and we will do the same with the provincial government. Admit it, there is hope. The people we talk to are aware of how urgent the situation is, “said Laplante, who continues to postpone the deadline with his Frontier League partners.
Capitals and Eagles are not the only organizations knocking on the door of the Canadian government to get the green light. And the faster the better. The Toronto Blue Jays also hope to get permission to let foreign athletes into the country soon. In football, CF Montreal (Impact) and Toronto FC learned on Wednesday at the end of the day that they could present matches from the weekend. In tennis, we unveiled the identities of the players coming to the National Bank Cup in Montreal in August, and tickets are on sale. Again, 5,000 spectators per day and evening session will be recorded at the IGA Stadium.
“It’s good news that Impact and Toronto will be able to present games this weekend, it encourages us even more. We will follow the protocol closely which allows Impact to do so. Our request is not of the same height as, for example, the Blue Jays, who also want exemptions for players who have not been vaccinated. We, they are all, it was mandatory in our league. And if there was one who was not, it just would not come. For the rest, the teams would travel in their hired coach, stay at their hotel and show up on the field. And if it was banned that double-vaccinated players can not go to restaurants, we will comply with this request, “added Laplante.
If Impact is to be able to accommodate 5,000 spectators, Laplante believes that the number allowed in Quebec and Trois-Rivières is not important at the moment.
The stadiums of Quebec and Trois-Rivières [construits en même temps à la fin des années 1930 sous le régime du premier ministre de l’époque Maurice Duplessis] is perfectly configured to meet the standards imposed by public health. What matters most right now is that we can present games. I do not think we have much trouble selling baseball return tickets. Imagine, it’s been almost two years since there was one, it can be crazy if we can do it, “he added.
A positive decision would also be an important factor in injecting a dose of energy into Team Quebec, which has been in the United States since mid-May.
“If we could tell the players in the next few hours that they will be able to come and play in Quebec City and Trois-Rivières, it would motivate them even more. As much as we had the impression of being in a hole and that we were not able to get out of it, last week, I can say that we are not working in a vacuum at the moment “, René Martin, who multiplies daily contacts with the Cabinet of Minister François-Philippe Champagne.