Jesuit’s much-anticipated season opener against Bay Area power De La Salle won’t be played at Levi’s Stadium next week because of the ongoing issues with the facility’s turf.
Instead, the Marauders will play at the new stadium later in the season – against Elk Grove instead of De La Salle.
Jesuit and De La Salle still will play each other to open the season Friday, but it won’t be at Levi’s Stadium after the 49ers canceled the scheduled high school doubleheader. An alternate site has not been determined.
The 49ers removed the entire playing surface at the stadium on Thursday and installed a thicker sod for Sunday’s preseason game against San Diego. But because more work will need to be done to the field next week, the high school games couldn’t be played there.
“We’ll play De La Salle next Friday, for sure, but we don’t know where,” Jesuit athletic director Chris Fahey said. “Yeah, we’re disappointed. The kids are really disappointed, but it happens and we’ll deal with it.
“And we need to get over it quickly because we’re still playing a great team. It’s no one’s fault what happened. It’s like a natural disaster – sod.”
The four teams scheduled to play next week instead will play new opponents on back-to-back nights in October.
On Oct 10, Santa Clara will play Wilcox High of Santa Clara, followed by Jesuit vs. Elk Grove, a game originally scheduled for Oct. 11 at Jesuit.
On Oct. 11, Oakdale and Manteca will play the opening game, followed by De La Salle vs. James Logan of Union City.
“The 49ers are trying to make it right, and we appreciate that,” Fahey said.
Tickets purchased for Friday’s games will be honored at the Oct. 10 games, but refunds can be requested, too. Exchanges and refunds will be available through Ticketmaster, the 49ers said.
Jesuit and De La Salle are considering other venues for next week’s opener, but Fahey said it’s difficult to book a facility on such short notice. The easiest solution would be to play at De La Salle in Concord, but that might affect ESPN’s planned broadcast of the game.
“ESPN wanted to televise the game at Levi, but if the game is switched to De La Salle, it becomes problematic as ESPN needs extra lights, and that’s hard to do in six days,” Fahey said.
Other venues under consideration include Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, where De La Salle has hosted games, and Cal’s Memorial Stadium.
Fahey said De La Salle’s freshman and junior varsity teams still will play at Jesuit on Aug. 30. De La Salle’s varsity is scheduled to play at Jesuit next season.
“We’ll figure it all out by Monday, and we’ll deal with it,” Fahey said of an alternate site.
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.