Chemical concerns halt fireworks at BC Bombers’ games

Calhoun County

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Fireworks displays will no longer be permitted at the Battle Creek Bombers baseball games because of city concerns about potential drinking water contamination.

Bombers general manager Tyler Shore says while he understands the concerns, the displays are small and the chemical in question has never been discovered in well test near C.O. Brown Stadium.

“We’re very disappointed obviously for ourselves, for our fans, for the city of Battle Creek,” Shore said.

Battle Creek Director of Public Works Carl Fedders says the possibility of perchlorates getting into the drinking water is just too big of a risk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says perchlorates have been linked to thyroid problems.

“My responsibility is to make decisions that take into account the 50,000 people that we service with water,” Fedders said.

He cited a study conducted in Evart, Michigan, in which fireworks were launched near the wells and the chemical was discovered in the water.

“It’s an easy decision when you look at it from that stance. We understand that it’s a smaller demonstration than maybe what was happening up in Evart,” Fedders said.

Shore said fireworks have been launched at the stadium off Capital Avenue north of Emmett Street for decades without any safety or chemical contamination issue.

The fireworks displays at the games are some of the baseball team’s most popular events.

“I think anyone in minor league and summer collegiate baseball would tell you, fireworks are the biggest promotion that you can do,” Shore said.

The Bombers are working on other entertainment possibilities for this season.

“Whether that’s a different type of show or trying to figure out maybe there’s a way to try and do fireworks elsewhere. There’s lots of things that we’re working on right now,” Shore said.

The team plays the first game of the season on May 31 at C.O. Brown Stadium. Last year, all of the Bombers’ games were played at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo because of coronavirus restrictions in Battle Creek.

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