JORDAN — The Jordan Brewers may soon run the bases of the Mini-Met despite restrictions laid out in Gov. Tim Walz’ Executive Order 20-74.
The Jordan City Council adopted a COVID-19 preparedness plan Monday night for organizing adult sports at the town ballpark, paving the way for the Brewers to take part in the Minnesota Baseball Association’s 2020 season.
The council adopted the plan despite the governor’s June 9 order limiting outdoor gatherings. In researching the issue, City Administrator Tom Nikunen said the governor’s office was clear on their stance.
“The governor’s office says the intent of Executive Order No. 74 was to not allow games to be played,” Nikunen said in a council memo.
Nikunen also consulted the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s risk management attorney Chris Smith, who said the city’s liability — in the event someone contract COVID-19 at a ballgame — is relatively low.
“They will represent us if there is a lawsuit,” Nikunen said. “They think that our chance of having liability in this instance, if somebody were to get sick, that would be hard to prove.”
The resolution was adopted by a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Amanda Schuh opposed. Councilman Bill Heimkes abstained due to technological difficulties that interfered with the teleconference. Councilman Robert Whipps said he wants the Brewers to play ball but decided to abstain.
“I don’t think I should be telling people to go violate the executive order, so I’m not going to give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down but I’ll tell you straight to your face that’s the reason why I’m not doing it,” Whipps said.
Mayor Tanya Velishek and councilmen Jeff Will, Terry Stier and Jeremy Goebel voted to approve the resolution. Goebel said prohibiting baseball in light of the recent weeks’ activities is hypocritical.
“They’re playing baseball in every small town around us and the same hypocrite who’s making these rules and telling us we can’t do it is out protesting with 5,000 people telling us on TV that it’s OK, but they next day you can’t play baseball? C’mon.”
According to Nikunen, Brewers General Manager John Breunig said the team probably won’t be ready to play immediately, as the field and concession stand require upkeep.