On June 3, the Kalamazoo Growlers (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) will have fans check their cell phones at the gates when they host Phone Free Night.
All fans attending the game will be forced to check their cell phones when entering the stadium. Fans who manage to sneak their phones into the stadium during the game will be asked to hand them over or be ejected by specially trained Phone Umpires.
The Growlers, aware that most use their phone as a camera, will staff the game with more photographers to take photos of fans enjoying their time together, not through a screen.
“While the cell phone has changed most of our lives for the better, it’s a double-edged sword. We’re more disconnected with each other now than ever before,” said Vice President Brian Colopy. “On June 3rd, we want everyone to put the phones away for a few hours and enjoy time together with their loved ones. To do this, we’re taking this drastic action.”
The Growlers will be teaming up with Mattawan High School students to educate fans on the dangers of using a phone while driving. The students, recently led an “Every Distraction Limits Reaction” campaign which reached more than 1,200 students at Mattawan High School.
Brooke Hinz, who received statewide recognition for the campaign, said “Spreading the message about the dangers of distracted driving is crucial in today’s world. I am so honored to not only bring that message to Mattawan High School with the help of my team, but to have a night for all ages to realize how one text or call can alter a lifetime.”
Throughout the game, the Growlers will be sharing tips with fans on how to limit screen time with their phones. These includes:
Installing a ‘time limit’ app to reduce time using unessential apps.
Set aside times where the whole family ‘logs off’ such as dinner and before bed.
Using a real alarm clock instead of your phone and keeping your phone in a different room during the night.
Disabling notifications, so valuable family time isn’t interrupted by another Candy Crush notification.
Knowing the signs of Cell Phone Addiction, and where to get help.
The Growlers are hoping the night will inspire people to have a great time without cell phones, whether that’s at the ballpark or at home.