By Rick O’Brien
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Officials from both North Catholic and Frankford said Tuesday that no decision had been made concerning the site of the schools’ Thanksgiving Day football game and that exploration about a possible alternate site would continue Wednesday.
A new site is desired because an overflow crowd is expected because North Catholic is scheduled to be closed at the end of the school year.
“We’re still exploring the options we have since the beginning," Paul Dixon, North Catholic’s first-year athletic director, said late Tuesday afternoon. "We’re still pretty much where we were a couple of weeks ago.”
Dixon said North Catholic was still investigating the possibility of using one of three sites other than Frankford’s stadium, located at Large and Dyre Streets: Northeast’s Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium, Franklin Field and La Salle University.
“As far as I know, right now the game is still scheduled to be played at our stadium on Thanksgiving morning at 9:45 a.m.,” Jack Creighton, the athletic director at Frankford, said.
If the game is moved to Northeast, it would likely be played on Thanksgiving Eve.
“I can’t see us asking Central and Northeast to not play as usual on Thanksgiving,” Dixon said. “If they came forward and suggested something different, we would, of course, listen.”
An alternate site is being seriously considered, both Dixon and Creighton said, because of the possible safety issues that would result from an overflow crowd at Frankford.
"We can’t take that chance,” Creighton said. “With all the emotion involved in the game, people could do unintelligent things. In those situations, people make bad decisions.”
Said Dixon: “We don’t want to overwhelm Frankford with people, and we also want to give everybody a chance to see it.”
Of Lincoln Financial Field being ruled out, Dixon said, “I just thought that was a long shot from the beginning, not because of anything bad on the part of the Eagles’ people.”
When it comes to Franklin Field maybe being the game’s site, Creighton said Frankford is not in a position to make any contribution toward the rental fee.
“We have no money to pay for Franklin Field,” he said. “Unless North Catholic has some benefactor or the University of Pennsylvania wants to be nice to us, I can’t see that happening.”
Dixon, who has received help in the exploration process from former North Catholic athletic director Tom Kaiser, said there was “no official meeting or talks” set up for Wednesday with Frankford officials, including first-year principal Reginald Fisher.
Dixon did say that he hoped to have a site finalized by the end of this week.
Contact staff writer Rick O’Brien at 610-313-8019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.