CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A months-long feud could come to an end on Tuesday.
Champaign Central High School’s varsity football team wants to play a game at McKinley Field, but some who live nearby are protesting the idea. The proposal is now in the hands of the Champaign City Council.
The council will vote on Tuesday whether to amend an intergovernmental agreement that says varsity games cannot be held at McKinley. For that reason, the Champaign Central Maroons normally play their home games at the home field of their rival Champaign Centennial.
The debate started with the players; they asked school administrators about playing at McKinley, which is where they hold all of their practices. The school board listed to them and took the proposal to the city council.
Both the school board and the city council have to vote yes to amend the contract forbidding games at McKinley. The school board voted on Monday to approve the amendment, leaving the final say to the city council.
Neighbors are divided about whether to support or oppose the efforts to bring a game to McKinley.
“I think it’s a beautiful field to go to waste, to only do JV and practice,” said Dave Wilson, who supports the proposal. “I’ve always enjoyed it and when I was in high school many, many years ago, they played varsity games there and I didn’t think it was a problem then.”
“They keep saying ‘This is for one game. This is for one game.’ I really don’t think it’s for one game,” said Mary Lowry, who opposes the proposal. “Why are they going through all this effort and all the money the school district is paying to have this game?”
Neighbors’ reasons for opposing the game include people parking on their streets, loud noises and the lights. To appease these neighbors, the city council has proposed holding the game on a Saturday afternoon to avoid those issues.
The city council meeting starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and will include an opportunity for public comment.