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Grants Pass braces for 5A semifinals

GRANTS PASS —Several thousand fans are expected to pack Mel Ingram Field today for the Class 5A football state semifinals.

The doubleheader will feature Crater against Summit at noon in the first semifinal, and Wilsonville will play Ashland at 5 p.m. in the nightcap.

General admission tickets are $8, and one ticket is good for both games.

The OSAA selected Grants Pass High as the best site for the games, which must be played on artificial turf. The OSAA prefers to have covered stands in case of inclement weather and needs enough space for TV and radio broadcasts, as well as other media.

Mel Ingram also works as a neutral site — though neutral doesn't always mean equidistant.

"We have two teams down in that region, and it was a pretty simple decision to move Wilsonville down (to Grants Pass)," said Brad Garrett, assistant executive director of the OSAA in charge of football.

Though Portland's Providence Park has already been selected as the site for the Class 6A semifinals and championship, the site for the Class 5A final is up in the air. Spiegelberg Stadium in Medford or Mel Ingram could be used if Crater and Ashland both win, said Garrett. The number of potential spectators would play a part; Mel Ingram holds around 3,200, while Spiegelberg has more than double the seating.

Should Wilsonville and Summit (Bend) make the title game, the teams would not play in southern Oregon.