MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Vigor High School is one of four Mobile County Public Schools with a newly built, multi-million dollar football stadium, but it won’t be the site of their season opener and biggest game of the year.
MCPSS confirmed to WKRG that the Battle of Prichard – between Blount and Vigor – will be played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, August 26th, not Vigor’s new, on-campus stadium despite the Wolves being the home team. Last year, Blount hosted the game on it’s campus.
NFL Hall of Famer and Vigor alum Robert Brazile said he was shocked to hear the news while watching WKRG News 5. Brazile says he long wished for Vigor to have a place to call home and believes the rivalry game belongs in Prichard.
“I went off and played for the Houston Oilers and every high school in Houston, Texas had it’s own stadium. I brought that idea back here,” said Brazile. “It’s here. And we got to take the biggest game of the year and take it somewhere else? I don’t think that’s going to go over well with the team or the people of Prichard.”
MCPSS Board Member Dr. Reginald Crenshaw told WKRG that Vigor’s new, multi-million dollar stadium isn’t adequate to host the Battle of Prichard, primarily due to size.
Dr. Crenshaw said the stadium is too small to hold the crowd for the rivalry game, including the pregame tailgating and parking. He also mentioned that traffic would cause a potential problem for emergency personnel. Dr. Crenshaw said City of Prichard officials reached out to MCPSS offering to help in anyway that would allow the game to be played at Vigor.
Brazile says that crowd size has never been a problem at Blount High School and that parking in Prichard isn’t an issue.
“People park in Prichard anywhere they want. We played the game at Blount last year, it wasn’t a problem. Is it going to be a problem next year when we go to Blount? Are they going to take the game back to Ladd?” Brazile asked rhetorically.
MCPSS spent more than $20 million on four new stadiums this offseason. Brazile says the stadium is there for good reason.
“Every high school needs a home stadium. This is your home. Play at home,” said Brazile.
The Battle of Prichard is scheduled for Saturday of opening week because Williamson hosts MGM on Friday, and Murphy hosts Daphne on Thursday at Ladd Stadium.