I love Cairns Field. Â It seats 5000 people which is small enough to feel cozy yet large enough to feel like an event. Â 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. Â It’s tucked away between Holiday Park and the South Industrial section. Â It’s hard to get to and even hard to find. Â 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. Â 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). Â 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? Â Well baseball needs to be close to downtown and close to amenities. Â 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. Â
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. Â 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? Â I can see that working. Â 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. Â That would be a good first step.
With Wendy working at Safeway and her shifts being all over the map, we need to plan ahead as a family if we are going to enjoy all of what Saskatoon has to offer this summer. While we wonâ€™t get to all of these events this summer, here is my list of why I think Saskatoon is a great place to spend the summer.
- June 24 and 25th :: Broadway Art Encounter :: This is done in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival so there will an interesting selection of art and some great jazz to see.
- July 10th :: Regina Red Sox vs. Saskatoon Yellow Jackets :: Wendy and I have been meaning to go to a minor league baseball game since the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets came to Saskatoon. They are a Western Major Baseball League team and I am told itâ€™s not bad baseball to watch. $8 per ticket.
- July 18th to July 25th :: Arlington Beach Family Camp and 50th Reunion :: I am taking the entire week off work and spending most of it at the cabin with the boys. Wendy will be out for part of the week while she works a couple of shifts at work.
- July 23rd and 24th :: Rotary Club Dragon Boat Festival :: Not sure if we will be back from the lake but if we are, we will take this in along with the Taste of Saskatchewan.
- July 20th to July 25th :: Taste of Saskatchewan :: I really like the idea of Taste of Saskatchewan but in reality, I donâ€™t really enjoy going. The food can either be good or mediocre, itâ€™s a really crowded event, the music is too loud to have a conversation, and parking can be brutal. My honest feeling is that it would be a better event with fewer (but better restaurants), a larger venue, and a sound stage that doesnâ€™t feel the need to blow out your ear drums.
- July 29th to August 7th :: Saskatoon Fringe Festival :: Good food, lots of stuff made of hemp, hundreds of people smoking pot while the police look the other way. I donâ€™t generally take in the plays but instead just enjoy myself on Broadway Avenue with the boys.
- July 31st :: Hamilton Tiger Cats vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders :: Itâ€™s the Riders Centennial which means like all Saskatchewan Roughriders fans, we must make the mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca and take in a game. We are choosing to see the Riders lay down a smackdown on the Hamilton Tiger Cats. There is a reason why we have a cabin that is only an hour away from Mosaic Stadium.
- August 4th :: NASCAR Canadian Tire Series :: 250 laps of NASCAR goodness at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway. Oddly enough, Pierre Bourque of Bourque Newswatch is also in the series. Sadly, the Conservative Party is no longer sponsoring his ride, maybe because NASCAR drivers only turn left.
- August 8th :: Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan :: I know it goes all summer but what could be a better way to spend a Sunday night than taking in some Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice) and then head to a place with a patio for coffee and dessert.
- August 10 – 15 :: Saskatoon Exhibition :: This is the highlight of Markâ€™s summer and is fun to go with Wendy and Oliver as well.
- September 3-4 :: Saskatoon Fireworks Festival :: After years of taking in really lame fireworks shows in Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Fireworks Festival changed everything. It is a world class, must see event that is perfect for River Landing. Letâ€™s just hope the Traffic Bridge doesnâ€™t collapse before that weekend is over.
- September 29 :: Calgary Flames vs. New York Islanders :: I know I broke up with hockey a couple of years (I said some things, hockey said some thingsâ€¦ you know how it is) but we have been checking out each other on Facebook and I may grab a thing of nachos and see how hockey is doing.
As you can probably tell by the links, I am a big fan and user of Yahoo!â€™s Upcoming service. Iâ€™ll keep adding events to my profile as I see them coming up.