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Many with tickets left out of Hanner
Burns' camp: Fire Marshal ordered doors be closed
Bush crowd 3 col color
The crowd outside Hanner Fieldhouse is shown after the doors were closed. - photo by JAMES HEALY/staff
While thousands gathered inside Hanner Fieldhouse for a rally in support of Max Burns, hundreds more were left outside, including several school groups, even though they had tickets to the event.
    Phillip Bohannon's daughter was among the students who expected to see Burns and President George W. Bush Monday morning, but was turned away as the facility was filled to capacity
    "That's pretty poor, to me, that kids got turned away. It's poor planning," he said. "I'm a Republican who usually doesn't do anything but vote straight Republican, but Max Burns lost my vote today."
    "If he can't plan any better than to do that to my kids who take time out of their instructional time to go see him, I don't need him up there making decisions for me in Washington," he said.
    Tim Baker, spokesman for Max Burns, said the Fire Marshal made the decision around 10:15 a.m. to stop allowing people to enter the building.
    "We regret that people who had a ticket couldn't get in," Baker said. "We felt, the way it was set up, that there was never any concern that a ticket holder would not be able to get in."
    Baker said approximately 6,000 tickets were distributed to friends and supporters of Burns.
    According to the Georgia Southern Basketball Media Guide, Hanner Fieldhouse's capacity is 4,358, though that does not take into account room on the floor for spectators.
    Jessie Strickland, superintendent of Bulloch County Schools, said students from four schools, Southeast Bulloch Middle and High School, Statesboro High School and Langston Chapel Middle School, all had students at the rally expecting to enter, but were turned away.
    "From what we can tell, we had students from William James and Portal Middle/High School who got in, but after that we were stopped by either the secret service or the police and rerouted," Strickland said. By the time they reached the front of the line, Hanner Fieldhouse was full.
    "They were disappointed, but they took it as well as could be expected," Strickland said.
    Baker said the White House was responsible for determining the number of tickets for the event and Baker and his staff were responsible for distribution of the tickets.
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