For the first time since 1949, Los Angeles Loyola High School will host a varsity football game on its campus Friday night.
Although the Cubs are 2-0 on the year after a 48-6 win over rival Harvard-Westlake, and a 42-6 defeat ofLakewood, Loyola’s home and neutral site records have been identical for the last 65 years.
All of that will change on Friday night when the Cubs take on San Diego’s St. Augustine.
Loyola’s school officials have been planning the game for almost half of a year. Considerations for seating capacity, lighting the area and parking had to be made first. In response to what is expected to be a close-to-maximum capacity event, Loyola will dedicate portable lights and bleachers, while Venice Boulevard will be closed to assist in parking.
Loyola is expecting a big turn out, and rightfully so after tickets for Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game sold out in 54 minutes. Close to 100 security officials will canvas the area, while there will be free shuttle buses leaving fromPershing Square downtown to help with the expected massive attendance.
Cubs Athletic Director Chris O’Donnell said, “We sold a little under our maximum, so we’re planning to have an uber drop off site as well. For fans that aren’t able to come, we’ll be streaming the game live on our website,Loyolahs.edu, as well.”
Loyola usually holds its home games at Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys, but has also played games at Glendale High School.
If all goes well, Loyola will hold another home game in 2015 to celebrate the school’s 150th anniversary. “This game is more of a dry run,” O’Donnell said, “When our president asked for a home game to take place on our 150th jubilee next year, members of our committee wanted to host a game to determine the unknown and fix it for next year. After this game, we’re going to come together and discuss what we did well, what went wrong and what we can improve on in the future.”
The Cubs are currently ranked 459th in the nation by MaxPreps and are 56th in the state. With their first home game on campus coupled with the positive momentum of last week’s big win, the Cubs have much reason for celebration.
With regards to whether or not the upcoming home game could lend itself to all future home games being played on the Loyola campus, O’Donnell said, “there are a lot of factors that go into that. In terms of coordination and finance, it’s a possibility. I really hope this leads to future games. Based on what happens Friday night, we’ll have a lot to go on for the future.”
“When we asked alumni and former football players what we could do for our 150th anniversary, they responded have a home game, so we’re listening to them. It’s going to be a fun experience for everyone involved.”