Central High School

CHAMPAIGN — Answers to many of neighborhood residents’ questions about a first-of-its-kind Saturday afternoon Central High varsity football game at McKinley Field were provided Monday night — just in time for tonight’s city council vote.

  • All told, the game would run the Champaign school district an estimated $4,250.40. That’s $645.42 more than if the proposed Sept. 24 game against Wheaton St. Francis were to be played a night earlier at the shared home of Central and Centennial, Tommy Stewart Field, Unit 4’s Orlando Thomas told school board members at Monday’s meeting.
  • For those concerned about parking: Dashboard permits would be issued to residents prior to next weekend, with seven side streets in the neighborhood marked “resident parking only, permit required.” Fans attending the game who don’t live in the neighborhood would be shuttled to and from the field from Central and the Champaign Country Club.
  • Portable bleachers donated by the University of Illinois would be installed prior to the 1 p.m. Saturday kickoff. They’d have room for 200 — which is the number of fans St. Francis expects to make the 150-mile one-way trip, Central Athletic Director Jane Stillman learned — and total capacity would top out at 700.
  • And most important of all to one of the two residents who spoke during the public comment portion of Monday’s school board meeting, any amendment to the existing intergovernmental agreement prohibiting varsity football at McKinley Field would apply to this one game — and this one game only, Thomas reiterated — though several board members would like to see it become an annual tradition if all goes well.

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