The Welland Jackfish and City of Welland have agreed to terms on a new six-year lease for the team to call Welland Stadium home, effective immediately and running through the 2026 season, announced Monday during a press conference at Welland Stadium.
The terms of the lease were approved by Welland City Council by a unanimous vote during the council meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Part of the lease is an option to extend for an additional six years following the 2026 season.
“The City of Welland is excited to sign a new 6-year lease with the Welland Jackfish,” said City of Welland Mayor, Frank Campion. “We are fortunate to have the Jackfish franchise in our City. Our residents and visitors look forward to an outstanding 2021 baseball season.”
The Jackfish, established in 2019 as a member of the Intercounty Baseball League, have called Welland Stadium home since the team’s inception. The team enjoyed strong, steady fan support in its Welland home since its first game, ranking at the top of the IBL during their first season.
“Welland Stadium or The Pond as our fans have come to know it is our home, and we’re thrilled to announce that it will remain our home,” said Ryan Harrison, Jackfish President and Majority Owner. “It’s a privilege to play in a first-class venue in front of the best fans in the league, and we are excited to show that we are here to stay and make a long-term commitment to the city and region. I would also like to thank the City of Welland for their hard work and support through this process.”
The new lease comes on the heels of upgrades the club and city have made since the end of the 2019 season including new paint throughout the stadium, new MLB quality dugout fencing, new infield, concession upgrades, new group areas, and more. With this new commitment, the Jackfish will also look to continue capital upgrades to the facility including hopes of bringing in a new scoreboard, VIP group sections and general updates to increase fan enjoyment.
The Jackfish also announced plans to bring non-baseball events to the facility including festivals, an annual cornhole tournament, yoga on the field, and more. Baseball events at the stadium besides Jackfish home games include the 2021 and 2022 Ontario Baseball Association U22 Elimination Tournament and the 2022 Canada Summer Games.
During the press conference, the Jackfish announced a new identity for the 2021 season. Starting with the 2021 season, the Welland Jackfish will play one game as the Welland Roses during their annual “City of Welland Day” at Welland Stadium. A new brand identity was revealed including the new logo, hats, and merchandise.
“We love the city that has taken us in with open arms and really want to celebrate everything that makes the Rose City special,” said Harrison. “Our uniforms worn during the game will be auctioned off post game with the proceeds going to local charities.”
“The City of Welland looks forward to a long-term relationship with the Jackfish and the Welland community has welcomed the team with enthusiasm; our community loves baseball and we’re happy to have the Jackfish playing in our Stadium and offering a great spectator experience to the community and visitors” said Richard Dalton, City of Welland Manager, Recreation & Culture.
The Welland Jackfish are a member of Canada’s best league, the Intercounty Baseball League. The over 100-year old summer league is one of the oldest baseball leagues in the world, with the league established in 1919, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. For more information, visit www.wellandjackfish.com or follow the Jackfish on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @wellandjackfish.