Ashland, Ore.- Southern Oregon University has postponed and relocated its season-opening football game with Eastern Oregon University following concerns over air quality. The game had been scheduled for Thursday evening in Ashland, however it will instead be played Saturday at Sherwood High School, just southwest of Portland.
Air Quality Index readings earlier this week in Ashland consistently registered near the high end of the “unhealthy” level, at which everyone is advised to reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Ashland’s air quality had improved on Thursday morning, but SOU Athletic Director Matt Sayre pointed out that conditions could change rapidly.
“What we know at this point is the fire in Brookings is still raging and there is still a better-than-average chance any game we schedule here could be smoked out,” Sayre said. “We had to make a decision at least two days in advance because of travel for both teams and the immense amount of effort that goes into producing a college football game, and we aren’t in a position to play chicken with the smoke and the health of our student-athletes.”
SOU considered various rescheduling scenarios before settling on the offer to play at 6 p.m. Saturday in Sherwood’s Aaron J. Contreras Memorial Stadium. All previously purchased SOU-EOU tickets will be valid, and tickets will also be sold prior to the game at Sherwood High.
Refunds are available for those who previously purchased single-game tickets online for the SOU home game but cannot attend the contest in Portland. Those wishing to be refunded should contact the SOU athletic office from 8 to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, at (541) 552-6772.
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