Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bucket seats to be installed at RAP for 2014 season

Last season's RAP seating chart
The Victoria HarbourCats have only been in existence for one year, but they have already accomplished something that three of the most recent Victoria baseball teams (Capitals, Royals and Seals) have been unable to do – get seats with backs installed at Royal Athletic Park. On Wednesday, the HarbourCats announced that the City of Victoria will be installing 1,300 bucket-style seats in time for the 2014 season.

The seating in the grandstand (section 10) and the (General Admission) aluminum benches above the walkway will remain unaffected, but there will no longer be any of those back-breaking benches in sections 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 or 12. As most fans will agree, this long overdue upgrade is a huge step forward for the Grand Old Dame on Caledonia Street.

It’s worth mentioning that bucket-style stadium seats are quite different from those installed at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre or at Bear Mountain Arena, as bucket seats do not flip up and down and they don’t have armrests (see bottom right for a sample). Unfortunately, the new seats will not have cup holders either, but we can live without that small luxury.

Sample bucket seat
Once the bucket seats are installed, RAP will accommodate slightly fewer fans for baseball. That’s a small price to pay for a significant improvement in fan comfort, as it appears that the seating capacity in the affected sections will only be reduced by 5 to 10 percent.

The team also announced that they are reducing the number of pricing tiers for tickets to two. The single-game price of all reserved seats will be $14.50, while all General Admission (rush) seats will be only $9.50. Sections 6 and 7 have now been designated as General Admission areas, making it possible to sit in a bucket-style seat for less than ten dollars. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, so I’m expecting these two sections to be very popular this summer. Discounts for children, seniors and for buying online are still to be determined.

The HarbourCats will be announcing a number of player signings this coming Friday, so stay tuned for more information on the 2014 version of our team. Opening Day is only 172 days away!


  1. The worst thing about the games at RAP was the seats, I am looking forward to trying out the new bucket seats. Thank you taxpayers of Victoria.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Annie. Keep in mind that a small amount of every baseball ticket sold at RAP (I think it's roughly $1.00) has been going into a park improvement fund operated by the City of Victoria. Victoria Seals fans paid this improvement fee in addition to HarbourCats fans, so technically speaking the baseball fans of Victoria paid for the bucket seats.

  3. This is great news on the seats, and an interesting approach to ticket pricing.

    And I'd like to take this opportunity to suggest another seating improvement -- clearing up the labelling of the rows in the grandstand. At every game I attended last year there was at least 1 party -- and some times multiples -- who were seated in the wrong row and had to move. I'd be happy to provide details and some ideas on how to fix this! 8-)

    And on the subject of ticket prices, I saw some analysis somewhere that found that games on cool evenings in the middle of the week had the lowest attendance ... maybe they should institute a day-of-the-game weather forecast discount!

    (The Baked Cafe in Whitehorse has a discount on coffee when it gets cold ...