Storm damages several sports stadiums, including Veterans Memorial Stadium and ImOn Ice Arena

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - It’s already been a difficult year for the Cedar Rapids Kernels from the season being canceled due to the pandemic and Major League Baseball wanting to cut several minor league teams. Monday’s storm created more hardship.

The storm blew over the wall in right and center field. One light pole in center field was also blown over and extensive damage was done to the concourse.

“We went underneath the steps and were hiding in a building that’s all concrete and steel, and we were still worried because we watched the right field wall as it fell down,” said Scott Wilson, the General Manager for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. “It was raining so hard, but all of a sudden, you couldn’t see the red TransAmerica sign anymore. I don’t know when the light post went down. Never saw it. Never heard it because it was too loud. It was just unbelievable to be apart of.”

Across the parking lot, there was also damage to the ImOn Ice Arena. The city of Cedar Rapids said it has structural engineers providing estimates, but is still waiting for a total cost of the damage. The RoughRiders are still waiting on if there will even be a USHL season.

At Veterans Memorial Stadium, the wall and light pole will have to be replaced, but Wilson said there’s no timetable on when repairs will begin.

“There’s not a building in town or a house in town that doesn’t need construction, so we’re going to be in the same line as everyone else in getting these things done,” he said.

Despite everything the organization has been through in 2020, Wilson is confident there will still be an opener in 2021.

“Just like we said, the pandemic wasn’t going to bring us down; this isn’t either.,” Wilson said. “We’ll get back. We’ll be playing ball in April. That’s not so many months away at this point in time, but I sure hope it hurries up and gets here.”

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