Negative reaction moves Upper Darby to relax limits on fans at games

By Matthew DeGeorge

 By tip-off time Saturday afternoon, 26 people, many of them adults, including two uniformed security guards, did their best to populate the stands adorned with banners for “Upper Darby students.”

Behind the Conestoga bench sat a contingent of parents and the remnants of the JV team. Members of Upper Darby’s family and friends occupied a section behind the Royals’ bench. All told, a little more than 100 fans were in the Upper Darby gym for the Central League contest.

It was, by all appearances, an ordinary boys basketball game, even if it followed a very unusual Friday.

The first event hosted under Upper Darby School District’s new game attendance policy – which was announced Friday as making Upper Darby games “no longer open to the general public,” then substantially clarified late Saturday in light of a flood of media attention – didn’t seem much different from many others in the past.

It certainly underwhelmed compared to the controversy stirred up a day earlier, and most importantly, it was markedly different from the Royals’ last home game, a Dec. 17 visit from Haverford marred by a melee that interrupted the game, injured security personnel, led to arrests and inspired the new policy in the first place.

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