In a move that could result in the biggest money-making athletic event in school history, Crespi High has switched its Nov. 7 football game with Loyola from Pierce College to Birmingham High. The Del Rey League game between the two nationally ranked teams is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.
St. Genevieve, which plays its home games at Birmingham, agreed to move its Nov. 7 game against Downey from Birmingham to Pierce, Crespi Athletic Director Paul Muff said.
Birmingham has the largest high school stadium in the Valley with an 11,000 seating capacity, and Crespi, which is expecting a sellout, is printing 11,000 tickets. Crespi's home field seats 3,000 and Pierce seats 5,000.
Crespi, the defending Big Five Conference champion, is 5-0-1 and ranked ninth in the country by USA Today. Loyola is 6-0 and ranked 15th. Last season's game at Glendale High drew an estimated 8,000.
"The game appears to be one that will draw a lot more than 5,000 fans," Muff said. "I'm sure we would have had to turn people away if we stayed at Pierce. Our concern is a question of accommodating people. Obviously, we'll get more revenue, but we don't want to turn away 2,000 to 3,000 fans."
Muff said he expects a gate of $20,000 to $25,000. Expenses, including a $1,500 stadium rental fee, are estimated at $2,000. The rest goes to Crespi under a league agreement in which the home team keeps all gate proceeds. Tickets are $4 for adults and $1 for children under 12. Crespi students may attend free.
"If we sell out, this could be our largest money-maker," Muff said.
Last year's conference championship game against St. John Bosco at Anaheim Stadium drew 12,000, but Crespi shared the gate with the Southern Section and St. John Bosco.