Bleacher space lacking for tonight’s LBJ game


Livy Fry and Jesse Karstetter

The LBJ game this Friday is once again being played at Shippensburg Memorial Park, a place that many fans consider a small venue that may not be able to support the amount of people  in attendance for this rivalry game. This will be the 49th year of this contention, and Big Spring athletic director Jay Hockenbroch is predicting record high crowds to be in attendance since both teams having winning records. The stands at Shippensburg are three small and separated stands, where one is usually taken up by the band and student section.

There has recently been discussion at Shippensburg board meetings about building a new field to better support their students and fans. Superintendent of the Big Spring School District, Richard Fry said, “There were serious discussions between each school district and the University four years ago [about just playing the game at Big Spring], but we were unable to come to any sort of agreement.” There have also been suggestions for the game to be held at Shippensburg University;  however, the game would then have to be played in the afternoon because there are not any stadium lights. Senior Derek Sweger said, “I obviously wish that the game could be at home for my senior year, but hopefully we still get enough supporters to come out and watch the show.”

There has been talk at board meetings and among the Shippensburg community, and articles written in local papers about building a new stadium in Shippensburg.  According to The Sentinel, community member Tim Hess said that he has heard talk about either playing on a different field or building a new stadium for 30-40 years. Fry said, “I always leave the LBJ game at Ship proud to be a bulldog knowing that we are blessed with fine facilities to support our community and student athletes.” Currently, the Shippensburg School District rents the field at Memorial Park at a rate of about $18,000 per year, and rent it in increments of about 3 years.