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Citing violence, schools won’t play football at stadium anymore

By Tyler Fingert

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    MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — High schools in Mobile County may have played their final football game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Mobile County Public Schools says they will no longer play games or hold graduations at Ladd after a shooting earlier this month left five people hurt.

Neighbors who live near the stadium tell us they are disappointed with that decision.

“I understand, but I still disagree because crime is everywhere so why would you stop the people from coming over to Ladd Stadium, that’s not going to stop the crime,” said Stephanie Gage, who grew up near the stadium.

The school system’s decision came exactly a week after a shooting at the stadium near the end of the Vigor and Williamson game. Five people were injured when a gun was able to get through security.

Multiple people have been arrested in connection to the crime and they are still looking for one more person.

“We want it to stay here, everybody wants it to stay, but they need to beef up security better,” said Willie Mae Henderson.

Last week’s shooting at the stadium is the second one in a little more than two years.

The school system and Ladd put more security in place after the 2019 shooting.

Now Ladd officials and the school system are seemingly blaming each other for this latest incident.

“I was really taken aback by the finger-pointing, simply because I felt like we had a really good relationship,” said Vic Knight, Ladd-Peebles Stadium General Manager.

Those who love Ladd hope there can be a compromise so high school football can still be played at the stadium.

“We need something. They’re out playing somewhere else, at other schools and such and parents want to see their children play over here because this is a landmark,” Henderson said.

“I just hope they don’t close it down and just make Ladd Stadium stay open,” Gage said.

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