MASON, OH (FOX19) - This weekend's Moeller-Colerain playoff game will remain at Mason High School, despite previous efforts to play at the much larger Paul Brown Stadium (PBS).
Saturday's Division I regional final was initially scheduled at Mason's Atrium Stadium, which only holds 6,800 people and many considered too small of a venue.
Hamilton County Commissioners, including Colerain graduate Todd Portune, discussed changing the location to PBS. On Wednesday, they announced the game will remain at Mason.
"After 48 hours of intense effort to see whether we could change the venue for this regional showcase game between two greater Cincinnati powerhouses, I regret to report that we are unable to control all of the many variables that can complicate, if not render impossible, our ability to stage the game," Portune stated. "To open up and use an NFL stadium is a lot more complicated than staging one at a traditional high school venue. Unfortunately the time constraints we are operating under coupled with the factors that could work to reduce attendance at Saturday's game have all conspired to make the risks too great for everyone involved."
The bleachers at Atrium Stadium are expected to be overflowing Saturday night because the match-up between Colerain and Moeller means so much to the teams and fans like Theresa Strong.
"[We're] Very pumped up. We're excited, we're already making our tailgating plans, we're getting there early, we're going to get in to get good seats," says Strong.
Cardinals coach, Tom Bolden, says he really doesn't care where they play.
"Once you step between the lines of the football, the dimensions of the football field are the same, but I do understand the concern for the fans and the football fan that wants to come watch a great game and you want to make sure it's memorable for everybody and I'm sure Mason will do a great job putting it on," explains Bolden. "Wonderful facilities."
The size of the stadium is just fine with Moeller Principal, Blane Collison
"I think we'll have a great crowd out there for both sides and it's two teams locally that have had kind of a rivalry going the last few years in the playoffs so it should be a lot of fun and it's a great venue for us so we're happy to be there," says Collison.
Mason police advise people planning to attend the game to arrive early and when the game is over have plenty of patience.
Moeller beat Elder last weekend at UC's Nippert Stadium to advance to the high school football regional championship. Colerain beat Pickerington Central at Dayton's Welcome Stadium 38-20.