Play ball! Mayor pitches opening ball fields

Play ball! Mayor pitches opening ball fields

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Mayor Harold Perrin gave the go-ahead signal Friday to Jonesboro softball and baseball players to return to the diamond.

Perrin announced plans to reopen the Southside Softball Complex and Joe Mack Campbell Park for recreational and youth softball and baseball practices.

The city will begin taking reservations for practice fields on Monday, May 11, according to a news release, with practices beginning Tuesday.

“We need to get out and play,” Perrin was quoted as saying. “We just have to do it in a way that respects the reality that coronavirus is still out there.”

He and Parks Director Danny Kapales stress the importance of maintaining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s best practices.

Kapales said bleachers and dugouts will not be opened during the first weeks of practice.

“We are actually going to have an employee in both locations,” Kapales said. “That is going to be monitoring these practices and we’re going to keep advising people to make sure that they’re, they’re physically distancing.”

Parents, guardians and siblings must remain in their vehicles during practice.

According to the release, both the Caraway Drive and Stadium Boulevard entrances will be open at Southside. Joe Mack Campbell will only be accessible by the Harry Drive entrance.

Kapales was quoted as saying the city is awaiting word from Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office before they schedule games for recreational leagues and tournaments.

The governor had said he would announce on May 18 startup dates for youth sports competition to begin.

Soccer fields will open at the discretion of the State Soccer Commissioner, who also set May 18 as an announcement date, the release said.

For more information or to schedule a practice, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 870-933-4604.

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