SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD)- Changes are coming after football fans crowded the Summerville High School stadium Friday night to watch the Green Wave take on Fort Dorchester High School.
“They had some record crowds…it was a big game, it was for the region title and a lot of people showed up,” Summerville Police Department (SPD) Chief Doug Wright said. “With that being said, there were some overcrowding issues that public safety identified.”
The stadium quickly reached capacity leading the fire marshal to prohibit any more fans from coming into the stadium.
“The fire marshal has the ultimate authority to decide if they feel like it’s an unsafe situation,” Chief Wright explained. “And they can make a decision to shut down an operation if they need to.”
Chief Wright estimates nearly 6,000 people were inside the stadium, while many more were not allowed in.
In a statement Monday, officials with Dorchester District Two said they met with leaders from SPD and Summerville Fire & Rescue “to review and to determine” the capacity of Memorial Stadium.
“Moving forward, this will ensure our community can safely enjoy events while including as many fans as possible,” officials wrote.
According to Summerville Fire and Rescue, the stadium currently has a seating capacity of 5,595, but with some fencing changes, it will be able to hold 6,500 in the near future.
Summerville High School plays River Bluff High School in the first round of the high school football playoffs Friday.
The changes are expected to go into effect for Friday’s game against River Bluff High School in the first round of the high school football playoffs.
“We’re going to have a very similar environment this Friday,” Chief Wright said. “We’re going to have a unified command structure set up to make sure that this week is going to be a much better experience for everybody and hopefully not replicate the situation that occurred last Friday.”
The changes are expected to be in effect for Friday’s game.