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Football finals sites, spectator policies announced

By Journal Sports Staff

EAST LANSING — The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday that it has confirmed locations for the state championship games in 11-player and eight-player football.

The MHSAA said the same day that limited numbers of spectators would be allowed for the upcoming rounds of football and volleyball tournaments.

This is according to a pair of Wednesday emails sent by MHSAA assistant director for communications Geoff Kimmerly.

Following approval from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the state high school athletics group said that football teams will receive 125 tickets for each game, which will be divided among game participants for purchase by immediate family members via the GoFan digital ticketing platform.

Volleyball teams get 50 tickets distributed in similar fashion.

The third state tourney remaining from the fall, Lower Peninsula girls swimming and diving, can’t allow spectators because of the higher number of participants at an indoor venue.

Spectators from different households must be spaced out by six feet and maintain distancing at all other times, including arrival and departure from the game facility, the MHSAA said.

Spectators must also wear face masks at all times.

Dates for the state football finals remain the same as had been announced several weeks ago, the last time the state high school athletics group had to roll back the restart of its fall playoffs.

The 11-player finals will be played at Ford Field in Detroit, the home of the NFL’s Lions, on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23.

Negaunee is among 64 teams statewide waiting to play a regional championship game. The Miners play at Grayling at 2 p.m. Saturday in Division 6.

That state finale will be held on the Friday of state championship weekend at 4:30 p.m.

The other even-numbered divisions will also play that day, Division 8 at 10 a.m., Division 2 at 1 p.m. and Division 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Odd-numbered divisions play on Saturday — Division 7 at 10 a.m., Division 1 at 1 p.m., Division 5 at 4:30 p.m. and Division 3 at 7:30 p.m. Iron Mountain is still alive in Division 7.

The eight-player finals, though, have shifted location again, now to be played at Legacy Center in Brighton. That facility has a full-sized indoor football field, while the most recent announced location, the Midland Community Stadium, did not.

An 11-player playoff game in Division 7 is scheduled to be held at the Legacy Center on Saturday afternoon between Ithaca and Cass City.

The eight-player state finals remain on Saturday, Jan. 16, the Division 1 game at 2 p.m. and Division 2 at about 5:30 p.m. North Central is still alive in Division 2.

The original site for the eight-player finals was the Superior Dome in Marquette, where those finals have been held for the past several years, but was changed during the fall to Midland.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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