ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A recent late-night game at Isotopes Park has some neighbors wondering how late is too late to light up the sky with fireworks after the team finishes playing. On Saturday, a fireworks show took place near a neighborhood while many were sleeping.
The fireworks have become a staple at 'Topes games, with the team typically launching about 10 to 15 shows per year. As the team’s season wraps up this week, it spent the weekend doing its last few shows for the year. Typically, those shows launch around 9:30 to 10 p.m.
However, on Saturday, the rain forced the ‘Topes to push back the start of the game. That also pushed back the start of the fireworks show to about midnight.
“We probably had 8,000 or 9,000 people here in the ballpark at games end and they stayed for the fireworks,” said John Traub, general manager for the Albuquerque Isotopes.
While plenty of fans loved the show, some neighbors did not.
“I thought it was gunshots, woke me out of a deep sleep,” said Michele Buchanan, a resident in the Victory Hills neighborhood near Yale Boulevard and Ross Avenue.
Christine Dubois, another neighbor in the Victory Hills neighborhood, said she also woke up because of the "super loud fireworks.”
The 'Topes game was supposed to start at 7:05 p.m., but was pushed back by an hour and a half. The game lasted more than three hours, with play finishing after 11:45 p.m. After that, the fireworks show was one.
Some neighbors say the 10-minute show was too late for their taste.
“I think it should not happen,” said Buchanan.
Dubois says the fireworks ruined her next morning.
“We had plans to get up early and go climbing and that didn't happen because we were up pretty late with the fireworks,” said Dubois.
While many are upset, employees who work in the 'Topes front office say they're sorry. However, they also say they couldn’t ditch the show.
“That would have been one that we would have had to eat the cost for and with only four or five games left in the season, there was no other time to reschedule it,” said Traub.
Traub says the 'Topes front office only received one complaint. He also says the late-night fireworks show is never something they plan on, and it's only happened a couple of times.
“We don't want to make anybody upset, but at the same time, you look at the numbers and this don't happen very often,” said Traub. “If we would have had a couple hundred fans at the end, that might have been different but we had several thousand people waiting here for that show that they paid good money for and they wanted their show, so we decided to shoot it off.”
The ball club also sent an email to all the local neighborhood associations Saturday night before the show, warning them that they would be launching late.
“I don't want people thinking we're out here just callously thinking of the neighbors, because that couldn't be further from the truth,” said Traub.
The Isotopes have a game each night through Thursday this week. All of those games start at 6:35 p.m. because school is in session. No more fireworks shows are planned for the rest of the season.
The city of Albuquerque says because Isotopes Park is a sporting venue, it is exempt from noise ordinances. The city says it also did not receive any complaints about the noise on Saturday night.
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