I love Cairns Field. It seats 5000 people which is small enough to feel cozy yet large enough to feel like an event. The best part of it is that if you are there, you are watching some pretty good baseball being played by the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets on a warm Saskatoon summer night.
The bad part about Cairns Field is it’s location. It’s tucked away between Holiday Park and the South Industrial section. It’s hard to get to and even hard to find. I have had more than one person that was going to meet us at the game text and ask, “now where exactly is this Cairns Field”.
Cairns Field represents Saskatoon’s best chance at professional sports. Professional basketball in Canada is the Toronto Raptors, we aren’t big enough for MLS or even NASL soccer, the CFL won’t put an additional team in Saskatchewan, and those that think that the NHL is coming are delusional (I’ve heard the arguments and they aren’t based in reality). Minor league baseball (and maybe an AHL team) is the one team that can thrive in Saskatoon but it’s going to be hard if it is stuck back in it’s current location.
So where do you put it? Well baseball needs to be close to downtown and close to amenities. That is going to be a challenge anywhere in Saskatoon unless we can put it in the North Downtown redevelopment where the city yards are currently located.
I am not saying it is ever going to happen but it would be an amazing place to walk down to and have dinner and then watch a game followed by a couple of drinks at a nearby pub. They have done it in Winnipeg and for 50 nights each summer (plus playoffs) up to 7481 people come downtown to enjoy The Forks and watch a game (and spend money while down there).
A cozy stadium of 5,000 seats in the heart of Saskatoon with affordable ticket prices? I can see that working. Especially if we can find a way to up the quality of ball being played to A or AA baseball.
If that fails, maybe the city can build a decent website for the field that makes it clearer that it exists and how to get there. That would be a good first step.