Cedar Rapids Kernels close Veterans Memorial Stadium for next 4 weeks

A Cedar Rapids Kernels game at Veterans Memorial Stadium last summer. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
A Cedar Rapids Kernels game at Veterans Memorial Stadium last summer. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Kernels announced Tuesday afternoon that Veterans Memorial Stadium is being closed for the next four weeks because of the coronavirus threat.

Major League Baseball has suspended its operations and the start of the minor league season has been pushed back indefinitely.

“Over the last week, the outlook for the 2020 baseball season has changed,” said a letter from Kernels CEO Doug Nelson and Greg Seyfer, Cedar Rapids Kernels Ball Club, Inc. President. “Spring Training was closed last week, and it was announced that there would be a delay to the start of the Major League and Minor League Baseball seasons. This includes the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Our Opening Night will be pushed back from April 13th, and there has not been a new start date announced.

“Once Major and Minor League Baseball, as well as our public health agencies deem it safe to start the 2020 season, and the players are physically ready to compete, we will have our Opening Night of 2020. For now, we ask that everyone in our community heed the best practices put in place by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Iowa Department of Public Health and our state and local officials.

“The City of Cedar Rapids has recommended social distancing, meaning that gatherings of 25 or more people be prohibited to curb the spread of the virus. With the health and well-being of our staff, community and fans in mind we have decided to close Veterans Memorial Stadium for four weeks effective today. Only necessary staff will be allowed at the stadium.

The Kernels said single-game ticket sales for all May through August games will be available online and via phone only.

“The safety of our players, coaches, employees, and fans is of the utmost importance to the Cedar Rapids Kernels,” said the letter from Nelson and Seyfer. “We will continue to monitor all developments and follow recommendations and guidelines set forth by Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and our public health officials.”

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