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New Kokomo ballpark opens despite bad weather

Kokomo Municipal Stadium

After an offseason of red tape and uncertainty, Kokomo Municipal Stadium opened yesterday as fans braved cold and rain to see the Kokomo Jackrabbits (summer collegiate; Prospect League) split a doubleheader with the Danville Dans.

That opening, rescheduled after Saturday night’s game was washed out. was in doubt through Friday; it was only then Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) signed off on the final ballpark design. It had been touch and go for an opening of the ballpark: a month ago the city made changes in the ballpark design to address FEMA and IDHS concerns. A letter allowing the ballpark to open came through on Friday; Saturday the opening was rained out. And the legal issues are not done: while government officials allowed the ballpark to open, there are some final issues to be addressed in court. From the Kokomo Journal:

While many braved the sub-60 degrees temperature and incessant drizzle with blankets, towels and rain ponchos, a significant number of fans chose to watch the game from under the awning, in close proximity to drinks and food.

The wet surroundings never seemed to dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm, however, which could be partly attributable to concerns previously surrounding the stadium. With unfinished construction providing a reminder of the city’s battle with state and federal agencies, some chose to express their relief and admit their former skepticism.

The team didn’t report attendance, and the local newspaper noted many fans decided to stay home because of the poor weather. Too bad: it’s pretty amazing this ballpark got built at all, given the amount of scrutiny devoted to the project by government officials.

Photo courtesy Dean Hockney, @Sports_Journal.

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