EDMONTON -- Edmonton's newest baseball team will have to wait another year to make its diamond debut after the West Coast League cancelled the Canadian portion of its schedule Wednesday morning. 

The Edmonton Riverhawks were scheduled to play its inaugural home opener on June 1. 

But the West Coast League today announced its five Canadian teams were withdrawing from this season, citing "continuing, pandemic-related border and gathering limitations." 

“This is disappointing but not surprising news,” Riverhawks managing director Randy Gregg said in a news release.

“We’ve worked really hard to be ready to take to the field this June but the health and safety of our fans and the players must come first.”

The WCL has four other Canadian teams, all of them in British Columbia. The league's 10 U.S.-based teams will begin play on June 4. Teams draw their players from American college teams who are in their off-seasons during the summer months.

Gregg says the team will continue its renovations of Re/Max Field, including a new scoreboard and overhauled food and beverage options. The team says it's overseeing the installation of new lighting and artificial turf.

The Riverhawks say the local minor baseball, softball and slo-pitch organizations will be given a chance to rent the facility when public guidelines allow.  

It also says some high schools have expressed interest in staging their convocation ceremonies outdoors at the stadium.