Fires force Cal, Stanford to reschedule game

Cal and Stanford have rescheduled the 121st edition of their rivalry game because of poor air quality from the Camp Fire still burning in Northern California.

Originally scheduled for Saturday night, the game now will be played Dec. 1.

“We have been carefully tracking air quality in Berkeley and the Bay Area over the past week, relying on the best data and guidance available to us from medical and environmental experts,” Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton said.

“The forecasts we have received show a minimal chance of the improvement necessary to hold the game on Saturday. While we would have preferred to play the Big Game on its scheduled date, once we realized that air quality would likely not return to acceptable levels, we made the decision to postpone for the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, gameday staff, students, band and spirit groups, alumni and fans.”

The game now will be played a day after the Pac-12 championship game, but both teams already are out of the running to represent the Pac-12 North.

Stanford’s athletic director concurred with the move after the schools worked with the NCAA Sports Science Institute and the Pac-12’s Health and Well-Being Board to monitor the conditions.

“The entire Stanford Athletics community recognizes this has been an extremely challenging time for so many people who have been affected by the wildfires, both in the Bay Area and throughout the state,” said Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir. “Our thoughts are with them, first and foremost. We are thankful to the University of California for collaborating with us on the logistical challenges of rescheduling the Big Game, and are looking forward to playing the game on Dec. 1.”

The Camp Fire is one of a number of fires affecting the state, and it has proved deadly. Authorities said the death toll as of Friday morning stood at 63, with 631 people still missing.

In the NFL, the Oakland Raiders canceled practice on Friday and instead held a walkthrough because of poor air quality in the Bay Area, according to media reports.

That was the second consecutive day of canceled practice for the Raiders because of the effects from the Camp Fire.

The Raiders will travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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