The Yorkton Cardinals are going to be back on the diamond this summer.
The Cardinals, a member of what will be known as the Western Canadian Baseball League starting this season, have been dealing with a substantial debt, one which was threatening the team’s ability to field a team in 2019.
But, when team director Mike Stackhouse was asked about the fate of the team Monday, he said they are expecting to field a team.
“I’m still nervous,” he said, but added there have been steps made that will allow the team to play.
“There was a league meeting in November,” he said, adding at the meeting the league said they were on-side with the Cardinals being back as long as past and present league fees were paid.
The league is owed $20-$25,000, said Stackhouse, an amount the Cardinals feel they can handle.
That said, Stackhouse said he personally feels the league could do more to help stabilize franchises such as the Cardinals, and the Melville Millionaires, who are also in the red. He said the league takes expansion fees when teams join, but that hasn’t seemed to flow to other teams.
“If they shared it with all the teams it would go a long way to help the Cardinals, (and Millionaires), get out of debt,” he said. “If it was spread around the league it would help all the teams.”
Stackhouse said he would also have liked to see the league take a backseat in terms of debt recovery, allowing teams to address paying debt to local creditors first. For example, he said there are people incurring costs in dealing with the Cardinals who need paid.
“My personal focus would be to get the bus driver paid,” he said.
Stackhouse, who hold Yorkton This Week last October the Cardinal debt was at $96,000, said obviously they won’t pay that down in one big chunk, but will work at it as they hold fundraisers.
And that will be a huge element of the upcoming season, raising funds to stabilize the Cardinals financially.
“I think this year is more about survival,” he said, adding they want to put a team back on the field and win back local community support from fans and sponsors, and in so doing add some money to the coffers.
“One of the things I want to do is explore some fundraising ideas that haven’t been explored before,” he said.