Organizers announced April 22 that the 2020 Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament has been cancelled. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Organizers cancel 2020 Grand Forks International baseball tournament due to COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that it is “unrealistic” to expect large events to go ahead this summer

Grand Forks won’t be hearing the crack of baseball bats or staring into the floodlights of James Donaldson Park this June, after all.

The Grand Forks International organizing committee announced April 22 that they’ve had to cancel the 2020 tournament as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The event was scheduled to run from June 29 to July 5.

“It is with heavy hearts that the GFI tournament committee has determined that we will be unable to proceed with the 2020 Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament due to the COVID 19 situation,” tournament chairman Steve Boutang announced on Facebook.

One after another, tournaments and festivals across the province have either announced postponements or cancellations after seeing the enduring threat of the virus that has spread around the globe.

““Realistically, we will not be having those big events where people gather together this summer,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a press conference on April 18. “This is a challenging time around our world and it’s not going to be easy for us to get out of it, but those those types of large, mass-gatherings where we have lots of people together, this is not the time for that.”

In his statement, Boutang said that the organizing committee considered hosting the international tournament later in the summer – even returning to the Labour Day Weekend like previous iterations of the competition – but they ultimately deemed that such a change wouldn’t work this year. In an email, Boutang said that pushing the tournament to September could mean fewer sponsors, fewer volunteers and difficulty drawing teams.

People who had already purchased tickets for the 2020 tournament can email gfi.ticketsandinfo@gmail.com or call 250-442-8323 for refund information.

The tournament is a significant economic boon for the city of roughly 4,000 as it attracts large crowds from all over North America.

The last time the GFI was cancelled was in 2018 when flooding inundated Grand Forks and the surrounding area, devastating residents, businesses, homes, and public institutions.

With files from Ashley Wadhwani and Jim Bailey

Read more: Summer events, parades, large weddings off the table this summer: Henry


@jensenedw
Jensen.edwards@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Baseball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

Roly Russell, the predicted MLA for the Boundary Similkameen, and his wife Christine Carlson celebrate on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Russell leads as election heads to mail-in counting

Russell is likely to replace incumbent BC Liberal Linda Larson

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Most Read