2017-04-20 / Sports

TA to host Lobster Bowl

By ALEX SPONSELLER
Associate Sports Editor

SACO — The 2017 Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic football game, sponsored by the Kopa Shriners, will move from Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field to Thornton Academy’s Dr. Paul S. Hill Stadium this July.

Waterhouse Field has hosted the All-Star event since 1992, but it will now take place at TA for the first time since it’s inaugural game played in 1990.

The Kopa Shriners, along with the Lobster Bowl’s board of governors have been in search for a new venue for many months, and were ready to pull the trigger once Waterhouse Field was closed last week due to unsafe bleacher conditions.

“We had an idea that Biddeford might have some issues so last fall we put some feelers out to different schools. We wanted to keep the game in Southern Maine since we have established it down there so Thornton jumped right on board,” said Lobster Bowl President Brian Robbins. 

The Lobster Bowl raises money for Shrine hospitals throughout the area, and has generated over half a million dollars since it’s start almost three decades ago. Robbins is excited to get to work with TA, who has already been gracious early on in the process.

“(TA Athletic Director) Gary Stevens jumped on board and invited us to go down there and meet, so we had a walk through with him (on Wednesday) to check out the facility. They had everything we needed, everything we wanted for the Shrine hospitals, they were more than happy to accommodate all of our needs,” said Robbins.

Not only were Lobster Bowl representatives focused on the charity aspect of the game, but they were also intent on making sure that the venue could accommodate the amount of fans traveling from all over the state in terms of seating and parking.

Another goal was to keep the game in the Biddeford-Saco region, where the event has flourished over the past 28 years.

“We wanted it in Southern Maine and near Biddeford because that’s where a lot of people recognize it. It was an easy decision once we got down there,” said Robbins. “We were concerned about seating but Thornton has about the same amount of seating (as Waterhouse), Thornton Academy also gives us a lot more parking on site. The athletic directors have worked together — (Biddeford Athletic Director Dennis Walton) also wanted to help in any way he could which helped us a lot because he knew what we would need to accommodate us. We think it’s going to be a great arrangement.”

The game will be played on July 15th with a 4 p.m. kickoff. The East team won last season’s Lobster Bowl over the West, 58-52.

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at asponseller@journaltribune.com or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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