The logistics were taken care of three weeks ago. The site was set, the date confirmed, the support personnel enlisted. But would anyone show up?
When Crespi (7-0-1) rented Birmingham High's Tom Bradley Stadium for Saturday's Del Rey League showdown with Loyola (8-0), there was an element of risk involved. After everything was signed, sealed and delivered, Crespi Athletic Director Paul Muff still had to sweat out whether both teams would remain undefeated.
Chalk up a pair of wins for both teams and a tactical victory for Muff.
"We were obviously hoping that both teams would come into the game undefeated," Muff said. "That's the whole reason for moving it to Birmingham."
Crespi made it with relative ease, winning, 52-14, over Notre Dame and, 38-14, over Alemany. Loyola's ground game sputtered on muddy fields, but the Cubs managed a 6-0 win over Alemany and a 6-2 win over St. John Bosco. Crespi is ranked No. 8 and Loyola No. 14 by USA Today.
The demand for tickets has prompted the schools to sell them in advance. Saturday's game will determine the Del Rey champion--both teams already have clinched playoff berths.
"There's been more interest in this game than any in the last couple of years," Muff said. "Even more than the Big Five championship last year."
Athletic Director Jon Dawson of Loyola said tickets went on sale at the school Tuesday morning and 1,000 were sold by midday.
Crespi, the home team, printed 9,000 tickets to be sold to the public and allotted an additional 2,000 for students and passes. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Crespi athletic department and the Loyola activities office. Prices are $4 for adults and $1 for children under 12.
It could be the bargain of the year.
"That's the regular price for all league games," Muff said. "We probably could have doubled the price and done very well at the gate. We had a basketball game a while back with Notre Dame and kids were scalping tickets."
Tickets go on sale at Birmingham on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Game time is 8.
A sellout is within the realm of possibility.
"I don't know," Muff said. "Interest has been very high, but I don't want to scare anybody away. If we sell out before Saturday, we'll let everybody know."
Saturday's daytime forecast calls for warm temperatures and fair skies.