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Growlers Announce ‘Phone Free Night’

Team banning cell phones for a night to promote distracted driving awareness and limiting screen time usage

Kalamazoo, MI – Today, it’s hard to go 10 minutes without a quick glance on your cell phone. Whether it’s during meetings, at the dinner table, watching a movie or, unfortunately, when driving. This season, on June 3rd, the Kalamazoo Growlers will jump back to a simpler time, when the cell phone never existed. To achieve that, they’re banning cell phones from their ballpark for a night.

All fans attending the game will be forced to check their cell phones when entering the stadium. Fans who manage to sneak their phones into the stadium during the game will be asked to hand them over or be ejected by specially trained Phone Umpires.

The Growlers, aware that most use their phone as a camera, will staff the game with more photographers to take photos of fans enjoying their time together, not through a screen.

Vice President Brian Colopy said “While the cell phone has changed most of our lives for the better, it’s a double-edged sword. We’re more disconnected with each other now than ever before. On June 3rd, we want everyone to put the phones away for a few hours and enjoy time together with their loved ones. To do this, we’re taking this drastic action.”

The Growlers will be teaming up with Mattawan High School students to educate fans on the dangers of using a phone while driving. The students, recently led an “Every Distraction Limits Reaction” campaign which reached more than 1,200 students at Mattawan High School.

Brooke Hinz, who received statewide recognition for the campaign, said “Spreading the message about the dangers of distracted driving is crucial in today’s world. I am so honored to not only bring that message to Mattawan High School with the help of my team, but to have a night for all ages to realize how one text or call can alter a lifetime.”

Throughout the game, the Growlers will be sharing tips with fans on how to limit screen time with their phones. These includes:

  • Installing a ‘time limit’ app to reduce time using unessential apps.
  • Set aside times where the whole family ‘logs off’ such as dinner and before bed.
  • Using a real alarm clock instead of your phone and keeping your phone in a different room during the night.
  • Disabling notifications, so valuable family time isn’t interrupted by another Candy Crush notification.
  • Knowing the signs of Cell Phone Addiction, and where to get help.

The Growlers are hoping the night will inspire people to have a great time without cell phones, whether that’s at the ballpark or at home.



The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.