SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --
The 28th annual Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic broke with tradition and kicked off from a different stadium, Saturday.
The yearly charity game with teams made up of top players from across the state was held at Thornton Academy in Saco instead of what had become its home at Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field.
That change was made after the tickets were printed, they still say Biddeford on them.
It happened because the bleachers at Waterhouse were taken down due to safety concerns.
The Kora Shriners, who host this game, called up Thornton Academy after getting word the Lobster Bowl would have to be held elsewhere.
Thornton quickly agreed to host the game instead.
Organizers from the Shriners are happy with this year’s venue this year and point out Saco played host to the very first Lobster Bowl in 1989.
People who live nearby are also happy about the convenience factor.
“I came to the first lobster bowl game back in 1989,” said Jim Conti. “I love watching the games here at Thornton Academy. I'm not from Biddeford so I don't have that tradition. Biddeford is a great place to watch the game, the field's nice, the crowd's on top of the field, here it's a little bit further away. But [Thornton Academy] is a little bit closer for us.”
But for folks from Biddeford who come home to see this game, it belongs across the river and the bleachers should never have been in rough shape.
“I live in Boston now and I've heard all the stories,” said Tim Potvin. “It should never have gotten to where it is. It should never have gotten to the condition it's in now.”
As for whether or not the game will stay here, the Shriner's say they won't decide that until the end of the year.
They say part of their decision will be cost since proceeds from the game go to Shriners hospitals.