Though it was considered a possible location, the championship meeting between the Arroyo Grande High and Culver City football teams will not be held at Cal Poly’s Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Instead, the Eagles — who were granted home designation — decided to keep the CIF-Southern Section Western Division title game at their own Doug Hitchen Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Arroyo Grande location offers free parking and seating for about 4,000 fans, with portable bleachers available.Arroyo Grande athletic director Dwight MacDonald cited numerous reasons for keeping the school’s eighth appearance in a divisional final at home, but the main reason was this: the Eagles didn’t need to go elsewhere. At the same time, he appreciated that Cal Poly was willing to work with his school.
“They were very gracious. They were more than helpful and cooperative. People have to realize a ton of effort is involved. There’s an abundance of considerations that’s involved in hosting a football game,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald expects Culver City, which is making a 170-mile trek to Friday night’s game, to travel with a fan base that won’t push the capacity seating at Hitchen Stadium.
In 1990, Arroyo Grande did host its Division 7 title game with Lompoc at Cal Poly after the schools’ first meeting that year — for a league title — attracted 7,000 fans, MacDonald said, prompting the CIF to ask Arroyo Grande school officials to look for a bigger venue.
Arroyo Grande is making its second consecutive appearance in a division championship game, while Culver City has reached the title game for the first time in 33 years. The Eagles lost to Serra on the road in last year’s division final.