It’s been a long time.
April is shaping up to be the busiest month for sports Vancouver has seen since the start of the pandemic.
A loaded calendar sees three special events come to town next month, beginning with Christine Sinclair and the Canadian women’s national soccer team playing their first game at BC Place in over four years on April 8.
Leylah Fernandez headlines the Billie Jean King Cup qualifying tennis at the Pacific Coliseum on April 15 and 16, as Canada takes on Latvia. Rugby returns to BC Place that same weekend, as the Canada Sevens tournament kicks off April 16 and 17.
Baseball returns to Nat Bailey Stadium
Have you missed going to the ballpark?
The Vancouver Canadians’ long-awaited return to Nat Bailey Stadium happens on April 19. It’ll be the first game back in Vancouver in nearly three years for the minor league baseball team, as the 2020 season was cancelled, and they were forced to play the 2021 season in Oregon.
The calibre of baseball will be better than what we last saw, as the Canadians now play at the High-A level. Their season is longer, too, beginning in April. The Class A Short Season team Vancouver last saw began their seasons in mid-June.
Vancouver hasn’t been treated to baseball in the months of April and May since 1999, when the Canadians were a Triple-A team.
Lots and lots of games
The Vancouver Canucks have eight home games scheduled in April, as the team attempts to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Vancouver Giants have five home games at the Langley Events Centre, while Vancouver Warriors lacrosse can be seen three times at Rogers Arena.
The Vancouver Whitecaps, meanwhile, have two home games scheduled in April at BC Place.
Yeah, it’s been a while
From March 2020 to July 2021, Vancouver went 16 months without fans being able to attend sporting events. Since then, there’s been a mix of capacity restrictions and masking requirements.
COVID isn’t over yet, but those are things of the past — at least for the time being.
Stadiums are allowed to be filled to capacity, and there are no masking requirements. And after April 8, proof of vaccination will no longer be required either.