Lutheran Explains Venue Switch

ROCKFORD-Lutheran will host Harvard in a Class 4A playoff football game Saturday afternoon. But the game won't be played at Lutheran. It has been switched to Guilford's Swanson Stadium which has more seats and artificial field turf.

Some people say the field turf plays into Lutheran's advantage because of Lutheran's speed. Lutheran administrators and coaches don't deny that speed is a big part of the Crusaders game, but they say the move is simply about not making this game a mud bowl on a bad field with all the rain in the forecast for Saturday.

"For those skeptics who think it's just because we're going to get an advantage I think what it does is it makes it a level playing field for both teams," says Lutheran coach Bruce Bazali to Eyewitness News. "I don't think playing in mud and slop is any kind of advantage especially for a game of this magnitude. I think it detracts from what both teams do. If we have an opportunity to play on a field that has turf I think anybody would do that."

Bazsali points out that Lutheran is surrendering it's home field advantage. And athletic director Gary Griffin says Lutheran has been considering playing a game at Swanson Stadium ever since the turf was installed there over a year ago. He says with the heavy rain in the forecast this game is the ideal time to do it.  And both Bazsali and Griffin say that if the game had been scheduled for Friday night when the weather was ideal it would have been played at Lutheran High School.

Eyewitness News meteorologist Brandon Arnold says heavy rain is expected Saturday afternoon with storms possibly moving in as the day progresses.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News

Video Center