Our broadcasting partner HomeTeam recently caught up with Gary Brotzel, the president of the Regina Red Sox, for a quick interview. Here’s what Brotzel had to say:
Tell us a little bit about the Regina Red Sox and what it’s like playing in the Western Canadian Baseball League?
The WCBL is a highly competitive college summer baseball league. We recruit college eligible players from all over North America, Canada and beyond. This year we have a player from Japan on our roster. The schedule is very hectic with 56 games being played between May 27th and Aug 17th, so the players don’t get too many nights off. There are a lot of hours spent on the bus with Fort McMurray being our furthest trip.
What are all the high priority items that go into running a baseball franchise?
The top priority for me is making sure we are stable financially. If you don’t have the necessary funds to operate properly it will show up in the on-field product, which ultimately affects the fan experience. Everyone wants to come out and watch an exciting baseball game that is played the right way.
How did you get into this work?
I started out coaching my son when he was young. I coached him up until he was in the 18U division. He left home to play college baseball and when he came home for the summer there was only beer league baseball for him to play. He played one season for Weyburn Beavers in the WMBL (Western Major Baseball League) and that is when I felt Regina needed to get a team back in the WMBL. We recently rebranded to the WCBL.
What was it like trying to navigate your franchise through the pandemic?
It was very frustrating. As a team and league we had almost bi-weekly meetings trying to navigate through all the protocols put on society. Issues like the border being closed and vaccination status, plus testing requirements made the decision to not play the correct one.
How excited is the community about the upcoming 2022 baseball season?
There is certainly a buzz around town. We had our gala dinner April 9th and ticket sales (went) well. Our season sponsorship sales are at an all-time high. I think people and the business community just want to get back to normal and enjoy themselves. A night out at the ballpark sounds pretty good now after what has been going on.
What are the main goals for the franchise this season?
Our main goal is to improve attendance by upgrading our gameday promotions. We are working on a promotion for all 28 home games this season. And our second goal is to always compete and win the WCBL Championship.
How can fans, sponsors, and the community get involved with supporting the franchise this year?
Anyone looking to volunteer or interested in season tickets should email Sharon at [email protected] and all prospective sponsors can email me at [email protected] and of course your always encouraged to go to our website at www.reginaredsox.com where all tickets and clothing purchases can be made online.
(This story was republished with the permission of HomeTeam, an online broadcaster that will be streaming all WCBL games this summer).