Lauren Rabaino

Although Cal Poly was one of seven sites considered to host five high school football state championship games in December, the California Interscholastic Federation announced Wednesday a two-year deal keeping the games at the Home Depot Center in Carson, where they were played the past two years.

Deemed April 1 by CIF director of communications Emmy Zack as being “substantially more prohibitive in cost” than the other sites, the Home Depot Center seemed unlikely to repeat as the venue before its representatives apparently lowered their monetary demands.

“The Home Depot Center worked with us to bring CIF back to their facility,” said CIF executive director Marie Ishida in a news release. “Their willingness to provide a financial deal and other incentives indicated their strong desire for our football championships to return.”

All five CIF State Football Championship Bowl Games matching teams from Southern California and Northern California will be played Dec. 19-20.

While Zack didn’t divulge specific financial parameters of proposals, she told the Mustang Daily on April 1 the Home Depot Center would’ve cost close to $200,000 for the two-day rental, while Cal Poly was “more in the ball park with everyone else” at less than $100,000.

On-campus Alex G. Spanos Stadium, which would’ve served as the San Luis Obispo site, was reviewed along with L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Stanford Stadium, San Jose State’s Spartan Stadium, Memorial Stadium in Bakersfield and UC Davis’ Aggie Stadium.

Spanos Stadium, which was renovated from 2005 to 2006, has a seating capacity of 11,750, roughly 15,000 fewer than the Home Depot Center.

The CIF extended requests for proposals throughout the state, and after being contacted in late February, the San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau immediately reached out to Cal Poly to use Spanos Stadium before returning its proposal, according to Jonni Biaggini, executive director of the San Luis Obispo County bureau.

Biaggini said in late March she would’ve expected up to 25,000 people in attendance over the course of the five games were they to be held in San Luis Obispo.

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