R/W Week: Old Rivalry takes toll on neighborhoods surrounding stadiums


Reagan Roy

Every year, thousands of students, parents, alumni and community members crowd into Manual or Male Stadium in late October, all watching in anticipation to see who will win the famed Old Rivalry game. Such a storied matchup naturally brings about lots of laughs, shouts and screams. Some, however, aren’t cheering: for the neighbors living around the stadiums, the Male/Manual game instead means long nights, crowded parking and threats of vandalism.

“The Male/Manual game is almost like being a prisoner,” Ben Snyder, a long-time resident of the Germantown neighborhood near Manual Stadium, said. “You can’t go anywhere.”

Photo by Amanda Tu (12, J&C)
The entrance to Manual Stadium casts its shadow over the empty streets of Germantown. Photo by Amanda Tu

On the night of the game, many residents are confined to walking rather than driving their own cars.

“If you want to leave, you have to walk,” Snyder said. “You can’t drive anywhere or else you’ll lose your parking spot.”

According to Snyder, the Male/Manual rivalry game also brings about noise pollution, not from the cheering fans, but from the loudspeakers at the stadium.

Though fans are always excited when either team makes a big play, area residents are less enthused. The crowds and sounds of the game force neighbors to spend their Friday night in virtual house arrest. For residents of the neighborhoods surrounding both Manual and Male Stadium, limited parking on game night appears to be the most significant grievance, over both vandalism and excessive noise.

Goldsmith has not simply taken these inconveniences lying down.

“I’ve had someone parked across the end of my driveway, and I had to call a tow truck and have them towed,” she said.

Other people around the neighborhood described similar experiences with game attendees attempting to park on their private property.

“People try to park in our driveway,” resident Taylor Felker said. “One time, we had to make some old people move out of our driveway, but that’s pretty much the most of it.”

Felker, who lives near Male Stadium, has taken preventive measures to keep people from trespassing on his property in the first place.

The stadium is barren as the sun sets. Photo by Amanda Tu
Manual Stadium is barren as the sun sets on the Sunday afternoon preceding Red/White week. Photo by Amanda Tu

“We put a sign up in the back of our car that says, ‘Don’t park in our driveway’,” he said. “We had to start doing that after the first game of the season.”

Aside from concerns about parking, some neighbors also voiced concerns about the throngs of people who walk through the residential streets near the stadiums after the game.

“We had one incident where the car was broken into,” a homeowner also living by Male Stadium who wished only to be identified as Mary said. “They just kind of threw things around; I don’t think anything was actually taken. We’ve had people wandering in the backyard. The shed was open one time, but we keep a better watch on it.”

“There are a lot of sketchy people that walk around this area at night,” Felker said. “They’ve never broken into our cars, but they did break into people’s cars down the street, and we’ve had some issues with people getting into fistfights down the street sometimes.”

However, it isn’t all bad living near a stadium during the Old Rivalry game. There are certainly perks, especially for Felker and Mary, whose front yards directly face Male’s football field.

“Sometimes we like to sit out on the porch and watch [the game],” Mary said. “[It’s] free viewing.”

“We like to have people over sometimes, and we have a fire pit,” Felker said. “If they’re going to be loud, we might as well have a few people over ourselves.”

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