Nat Bailey Stadium: 4 things you may not know
Vancouver Canadians open the 2014 season tonight with home game against Spokane Indians
The Vancouver Canadians are set to open up another baseball season in Vancouver's Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium tonight.
The iconic 5,157-seat venue, which is located on the eastern side of Queen Elizabeth Park, has been the home of baseball in the city for the last 63 years.
While thousands of Vancouverites flock to the hallowed ground each year, here are four facts you may not have known about the Nat:
1. It was the Cap before the Nat
After being built in 1951, Nat Bailey stadium was originally called the Capilano Stadium as it was home to the Vancouver Capilanos. It wasn't until 27 years later, in 1978, that the stadium was renamed after Vancouver restaurateur Nat Bailey.
2. More than just for baseball
While the stadium is first a baseball diamond, it also functions in some other unique ways . Whether it be a place for voters to cast their ballot during an election, or a winter's farmer's market, the Nat is without doubt one of the more versatile stadiums. In 1955, Vancouver icon and hockey superstar Fred 'Cyclone' Taylor even hoped to turn the stadium into an outdoor skating rink during the winter.
3. The sushi run
The Fourth Inning Sushi race is one of the more unique traditions in all of sport. The race pits three mascots dressed as different Japanese cuisine elements against each other. Each game Ms. B.C. Roll, Mr. Kappa Maki, and Chef Wasabi vie for the title of faster sushi racer.
4. A place that matters
Last year the stadium received a significant honour from the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. It was given a 'Places that Matter' plaque to commemorate its stature in Vancouver. This year, the Vancouver Canadians, which are affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays, hope to make it a stadium that matters even more by winning their fourth straight Northwest League title there.