BYU's game at San Diego State Saturday night has been postponed due to the wildfires raging in the San Diego area, officials said Tuesday afternoon.
The game has been rescheduled for Dec. 1 at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, which now is being used as an evacuation center for residents displaced by wildfires.
More than 500,000 residents have fled due to the fires. More than 10,000 evacuees are currently seeking refuge at Qualcomm.
"There is a far greater priority than sporting events in the San Diego area at this time," Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson said in a statement Tuesday. "The focus should be on emergency response and resources, and getting the community back on its feet. Our thoughts are with our colleagues at San Diego State University, as well as everyone who has been affected by this disaster.
"Some are sleeping in tents or open-air cots and the elderly are staying in the luxury boxes," Thompson added.
Aztec coach Chuck Long earlier had canceled practice and encouraged his players to help in the community.
"It's been a tough situation in San Diego right now," said Long. "We're not even talking football right now. We're in a disaster zone."
Thompson said that moving the game to BYU was "not really a consideration."
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said football is secondary compared to what's going on in San Diego. Before Tuesday afternoon's decision to cancel the game, Mendenhall said he would support that decision.
Other factors that led to the decision were air quality, fan safety and transportation considerations.The NFL's Chargers are scheduled to play the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium. The NFL and the team are discussing what to do about that game.
Contributing: Associated Press E-mail: [email protected]
E-mail: [email protected]