With an early morning snow squall descending on the city this morning, one might be forgiven if their thoughts weren’t on fastball.
And yet, there were a stalwart few at Spruce City Stadium today to announce the city will be hosting the Canadian Native Fastball Championships (CNFC), Aug. 1 to 3, 2020.
The event will feature over 80 teams from across the country, competing in five divisions: men’s open, women’s open, masters men’s, masters women’s, and junior men’s. Tournament games will be played on 11 baseball diamonds throughout Prince George on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation. The August tournament is expected to bring in about 2,500 visitors to the Prince George area and will have an estimated economic impact of approximately $3.5 million dollars.
The championship tournament has been held annually since its inception in 1974, and was successfully held in Prince George in 2016, 2004, and 1994. The tournament is overseen by the Canadian Native Fastball Association (CNFA), a non-profit volunteer organization with First Nation representatives across Canada. Locally, the bid to host the event was prepared jointly by the Spruce City Men’s Fastball Association, the PG Big Guy Lake Kings Fastball Club, Tourism Prince George, and the City.
“The CNFA is pleased to bring the Native Fastball Championships once again to Prince George,” said Randy Potskin, President of CNFA, in a news release. “We are honoured to continue the rich culture of native fastball handed down to us by our fathers and grandfathers.”
“The 2020 Championships will bring together the family and friends of the players, coaches and assistants, and many local baseball fans who enjoy the sport,” said Lheidli T’enneh Dayi (Chief) Clay Pountney. “It will have a very positive impact on our community and the City of Prince George.”
“Council recognizes the value of attracting these kinds of events to our community and we’re excited to see that Prince George will again be hosting this tournament,” said Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall. “There’s clearly an important economic impact, but these events are also a lot of fun and a terrific opportunity for everyone to enjoy the excitement of sports. On behalf of the City, we can’t wait to welcome these athletes and their families from across Canada.”
“Sport hosting in Prince George plays a major role in diversifying our local economy and driving the growth of the regional tourism industry,” said Sarah Kirk, Interim CEO of Tourism Prince George. “We are thrilled that Prince George will be hosting the CNFC in 2020. Tourism Prince George is committed to creating an exceptional and memorable experience for athletes, support personnel, and visitors.”
Prince George is recognized as one of western Canada’s premier sport hosting destinations. The 2020 CNFC is one of several high-profile sporting events to come to Prince George, including the 2019 World Para Nordic Championships, the 2020 Women’s World Curling Championships, and the 2022 BC Summer Games.
For more information or to sign up to volunteer or support the event, visit nativefastball.com.