Fireworks for Battle Creek Bombers (Northwoods League) games at C.O. Brown Stadium have been canceled indefinitely after perchlorates, used as a propellent in fireworks, were found in the groundwater in Evart.
Evart, MI is located 120 miles away from Battle Creek. It’s not a situation of the Bombers created this pollution, as reported in a Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy; it’s that the fireworks could cause groundwater pollution. The ballparks is located in the city’s wellfield, serving as Battle Creek’s only municipal water source. The presence of perchlorates in the Battle Creek area and its cause is being disputed by the Bombers, who point to other studies of wells in the area as being clear of perchlorates. Specifically, four Verona wells were tested in May 2020.
Since 2007, the Bombers have hosted numerous fireworks displays every year the team has played at C.O. Brown Stadium, according to a team press release. Over those 14 years, the Bombers have had zero incidents regarding their fireworks shows including; no injuries, fires, water contamination or soil contamination. The city is not contemplating a similar ban on other city-licensed fireworks.
This is a big economic issue for the Bombers: Fireworks shows are easily the highest attended games for the team and the most requested by season ticket holders, group outings and partial plan holders.
“We absolutely understand the importance of safety for our fans and the community that we serve. We have proven to host safe fireworks displays for 14 years. This change in policy is sad for our fans that come to expect these shows every summer,” said Bombers Managing Partner Brian Colopy. “Even with this, we are laser focused on providing an amazing summer for Battle Creek in a year when our community needs it more than ever. We are working behind the scenes with local partners and staff to build a brand new promotional schedule to highlight our 15th season in Battle Creek. We expect to announce more details in the coming weeks.”
This not a new problem when it comes to pollution and fireworks. The Madison Mallards (Northwoods League) implemented low- or no-perchlorate fireworks after community input toward a fireworks event held by the team at Warner Park.