Cal expects to host its football game against No. 8 Washington State as scheduled Friday night, despite concerns about the air quality in Berkeley because of the North Bay fires.
Stanford is also monitoring the situation ahead of its game scheduled for Saturday night on the Farm.
Cal issued a statement just before noon Thursday saying it is closely monitoring the situation and is staying in communication with the Pac-12 and Washington State officials as experts determine the best course of action.
“We are working through a unique situation, and the health and safety of our student-athletes, fans, coaches and all those who work home football games is of utmost concern,” the statement said. “As of the time of this release, we do not anticipate any changes to our scheduled game with Washington State.”
The NCAA Sport Science Institute provides parameters for activities in poor air quality, and Cal is using those guidelines. A sustained Air Quality Index of 200 or more is the threshold for delaying or canceling a competition, and the Berkeley area was at 155 on Thursday afternoon.
Numbers from smoke are highly dependent on wind direction and speed, and past data don’t necessarily predict future results. Still, the AQI in Berkeley has declined the past few evenings, falling into the 80s by 7 p.m. Wednesday.
As a result of the North Bay fires, Stanford is also monitoring the air quality as it might affect several home sports events on Reunion Homecoming Weekend, including Saturday night’s football game against Oregon.
The fires have compromised air quality through much of the Bay Area, including the Stanford campus.
It’s not known how late a decision could be made regarding the 8 p.m. football game. Rescheduling the game would be difficult because, although Stanford is idle next week, Oregon has a game that Saturday against UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
Neither team has another open date before the Pac-12 championship game Dec. 1.
Soccer postponements: Four Bay Area WCC soccer matches scheduled for this weekend have been postponed: the men’s Friday matchups of Pacific-USF and St. Mary’s-Santa Clara, and the women’s Saturday games of BYU-USF and San Diego-Santa Clara. The conference will try to reschedule those matches.