BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) – Expect to see a lot of guns at the Battle Creek Bombers baseball game Friday for an event focused on the Second Amendment.
Together with a sponsor, the Bombers are hosting “2nd Amendment Education Night” at Friday night’s 7 p.m. game at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek.
“It’s as American as baseball and apple pie, right? Firearms are, too. They’re part of the fabric of our society,” said Joel Fulton, co-owner of Freedom Firearms, which is sponsoring the event.
Battle Creek Bombers General Manager Tony Iovieno said extra security from Battle Creek police will be on hand at the event that has already nearly sold out. As of Wednesday afternoon, only some 200 tickets remained.
Iovieno said he recognizes the controversial nature of the event given the intense debate surrounding gun control in America.
“Minor League Baseball, in my mind, is all about pushing the envelope anyway,” he said. “This is probably the most press we’ve gotten in a really long time. So, if it gets attention for us and if it gets attention for Freedom Firearms, our sponsor, and more importantly, opens up an important conversation, I think it’s a win-win-win.”
The team will provide exchanges for anyone with tickets who doesn’t want to participate in the event.
In addition to added security, Iovieno said those who bring their firearms will be given a wristband and won’t be allowed to purchase alcohol on the premises.
Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker did not return a call seeking comment about the event Wednesday.
Battle Creek City Attorney Jill Steele told 24 Hour News 8 that the city owns the Bomber’s stadium and leases it to the team. She said the group has requested a permit for the event. She expects it will be granted. Steele declined to say whether the city supported the idea behind the event.
Organizers say the festivities will focus on educating the public about firearms with a focus on safety.
Iovieno and Fulton both acknowledged the timing of the event following the nation’s worst mass shooting in Orlando, but said rescheduling was never considered.
“Do we let ourselves be held hostage by terrorist? Do we let them change our lives?” Fulton said. “If they do, then they’ve won already.”
The team is expecting a sold-out crowd for the game against the Rochester (Minnesota) Honkers. Friday’s game is also Boy Scout Night, according to the Bombers’ website. Tickets can be purchased online.
“It’s going to be a great night,” Fulton said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re going to enjoy baseball.”