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City officials mark return of baseball after rough year for Kernels

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - On Tuesday morning, Cedar Rapids city leaders held a ceremony with the Cedar Rapids Kernels to mark this day, and the Kernels organization is grateful the city stood behind them during a difficult year.

15 months ago, Kernels staff were told there wouldn’t be a 2020 season. After all the disappointment since then, this isn’t just a big day for the Kernels, but for the city as well.

Members of the city council, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, and the Kernels organization held a ribbon-cutting this morning, welcoming baseball back to Veterans Memorial Stadium. After the financial strain of the pandemic and a canceled season, and the derecho in August, the Kernels and the city say their partnership pulled them through.

”The last couple years have been pretty darn tough for the ballpark, and the Kernels organization is so fortunate to be part of the Cedar Rapids community so many individuals and organizations have come out to support us,” Doug Nelson, the CEO of the ballclub, said. “And the Kernels are very very grateful for everything everyone has done for us.“

The relationship between the city and baseball team is reciprocal.

”Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize the benefit of being able to come to a baseball game in our hometown with our family, our friends, and our co-workers,” Brad Hart, Cedar Rapids’ mayor, said.

Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman also thanked the city, saying its support, especially during a difficult time has been amazing.

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