As you may be aware, the City of Victoria and the Canadian Football League (CFL) have agreed to host a regular season football game at Royal Athletic Park on August 31, 2024, featuring the BC Lions. Due to the apparent requirements for the stadium set-up (e.g., adding additional bleachers and grassing over the baseball infield), the HarbourCats have been advised we must end our use of Royal Athletic Park this summer following our final regular season game on August 7. The WCL playoffs can run until August 16 at the latest.

This means there will be no home playoff games at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP this 2024 season.

We know you may have questions about this. We will try to answer some of those here and add more information as it becomes available.

Question: Is it true that 2024 HarbourCats Playoff Games will NOT be played at The Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park?
Answer: Yes. Due to stadium/field preparations for the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) special event game (August 31), the stadium in unavailable for HarbourCats playoff games this year. This may impact up to 4 home playoff games. The HarbourCats organization will work with the West Coast League to establish a suitable alternative arrangement, as needed, for this year. The HarbourCats organization will continue to work with the City of Victoria to ensure the HarbourCats’ season and playoffs are not impacted in this way by any future special events at Royal Athletic Park.

Question: How can the City/CFL change your season and impact playoffs in this way?
Answer: The City of Victoria is the owner of the stadium and has claimed the authority to make decisions on the use of Royal Athletic Park. The CFL game is seen as a large national event and it is being supported by the City and hosted at Royal Athletic Park.

Our schedule was released in early November and the CFL game was announced at the end of November, and the HarbourCats were told in writing by a City official this would not impact our season. The HarbourCats openly and publicly supported the event – communication from the City throughout this situation has been lacking, we will leave it at that.

The HarbourCats organization tries to maintain a good working relationship with the City to ensure the best possible situation is maintained for HarbourCats Baseball. On occasion other events require the HarbourCats organization to modify things. We try to work to the best of our ability with the City to limit potential impacts.

This is the first time this has happened, not only in Victoria, but in the West Coast League and its nearly 25-year history. We pledge it will be the last time this happens in Victoria.  Yes, the Victoria HarbourCats have a lease, and those terms need to be revisited.

Question: Why can’t the CFL move their game to another day or venue so the HarbourCats playoffs are not impacted?
Answer: The CFL game in Victoria game is seen as the “kickoff” to the Labour Day weekend and is envisioned as a festival event on par with the Grey Cup, or similar to the recently completed Hockey Day in Canada event held in Victoria in January. There is not another suitable playing facility in the South Vancouver Island area to host WCL level games, in terms of size of field or seating capacity. There are misconceptions about some other area facilities and their field length and/or seats inventory.

Question: Will this CFL game be done every year or is this a one-off event?
Answer: The HarbourCats are not able to answer this question.

Question: Why does the CFL need to grass over the baseball infield/Why can’t they play on a dirt infield like the NFL used to do back when mixed use stadiums were common?
The CFL, like every sporting league, states its field specifications and standards. It appears that they want to maintain current specs/standards for this game and do not want to play on the dirt surface. We disagree with the position of the CFL and BC Lions, and are concerned with the cost to taxpayers on this item. The Toronto Argonauts play on a part grass/part artificial surface and the Grey Cup has been played at that venue, so a mixed field is already a standard in the CFL.

Question: How will you address playoffs?
Answer: the HarbourCats organization is considering options. Two options currently being considered include using another suitable stadium (such as the one in Nanaimo) or holding all playoff games at the opponent’s field. Of key importance is that a suitable field (meeting WCL specifications/standards) is found.

Question: Can I get a refund for playoff games?
Answer: HarbourCats ticket prices for Season Ticket holders (who receive playoff tickets) are set based on regular season games. Playoff games are a bonus for season ticket holders, as it is never a certainty that the team will make the playoffs. Hence, there is no refund to Season Ticket holders for playoff game tickets not used. We are proud that the HarbourCats have been regular participants in the WCL playoffs (since 2015, every season except 2018 and the Covid non-play summers).

For single game tickets and exchangeable vouchers, single game tickets would not be put on sale for playoffs anyway until such time as the HarbourCats know their dates and location for playoff games. And in the case of vouchers, these are NOT eligible to be exchanged for playoff games and as such can not be refunded.

Question: I have more questions and concerns in regards to the impact this event is going to have. Who should I contact?
Answer: We welcome all feedback from our fans and stakeholders, and ask you to please provide any such comments to the email address ““. We ask people to use this method rather than bombarding members of City Council, or staff, with emails, as Council was on the pay raise issue that was walked back. Those comments will be shared with the City of Victoria.